Press release

Portorož, 16 May 2024 – Planet GV and the Slovenian Purchasing Association announced the recipients of the "Purchasing Practice of the Year 2024" award at the Procurement Conference 2024. The award recipient is SIJ Group for the "Introduction of Procurement Category Management" practice.

 The jury recognised the excellence and innovation of SIJ Group's approach to structured procurement category management, which has contributed to increased efficiency and cost reduction. By introducing this practice, SIJ Group has demonstrated that an innovative approach can achieve outstanding measurable and sustainable results.

Upon receiving the award, Marjana Drolc Kaluža, Chief Procurement Officer at SIJ Group, stated: "At SIJ Group, the largest steel group in Slovenia, we manage a procurement volume of EUR 500 million. The introduction of category management represents a turning point in the development of procurement. Through a strategic approach to procurement, the company has achieved significant improvements in cost efficiency, productivity, transparency, and supplier relations. Today, 40% of procurement categories are managed through a new digital platform. We have doubled the range of possible and tested substitutes. We have clearly defined strategic, tactical, and operational tasks. Category management is now a key element of SIJ Group's procurement function, allowing procurement as a strategic function to play an even more important role in achieving SIJ Group's business results. Behind it all is a team of 50 dedicated procurement officers. I dedicate the 2024 Purchasing Practice of the Year Award to the entire team."

Marjana Drolc Kaluža also highlighted that, by introducing procurement category management, SIJ Group has improved cost optimisation, increased transparency, simplified processes, and fostered closer collaboration with suppliers. The introduction of new digital solutions, such as the Cirtuo platform for strategy development and category management, and the Oracle system for the transactional part, has significantly contributed to the optimisation and automation of procurement processes.

All these changes were supported by a reorganisation of procurement, where strategic, tactical, and operational tasks were separated. The introduction of category management has enhanced market and supplier knowledge, enabling faster and better decisions and reducing supplier risks. 

SIJ Group has demonstrated that procurement as a strategic function can significantly contribute to the company's business results. The "Purchasing Practice of the Year 2024" award recognises the efforts and commitment of the entire procurement team.


SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group is one of Europe's leading producers of stainless steel and special steels. We are committed to global and European climate goals and operate in line with circular economy principles. With our steel and steel products, we are the right partner for facilitating the green transition in Europe. We confirmed our sustainability credentials by achieving certification to the stringent ResponsibleSteel standard in April 2024. This positions us as one of the world's most responsible and sustainable steel producers. Our two largest companies are modern recycling steelworks, and our steel is recycled because it is made from steel scrap. With 3,500 employees, we are one of the largest employers in Slovenia and a pillar of the Slovenian steel sector. We are one of Slovenia's leading exporters. About 85% of our revenue is generated in foreign markets.


Find out more at:

SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
Mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications
Corporate Communications
Phone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 41 313 532