Author Archives: Pierre Mitchell

About Pierre Mitchell

Pierre leads Spend Matters procurement research activities and has broader solution development responsibilities for intellectual property creation and firm strategy as Managing Director of Azul Partners. This includes spearheading efforts to build new types of interactive and social communities of interest within the procurement profession including overseeing the evolution of, Spend Matters PRO, MetalMiner, and other digital assets within Azul Partner’s umbrella. Pierre has 25 years of procurement and supply chain industry and consulting experience, and is a recognized procurement expert specializing in supply processes, practices, metrics, and enabling tools and services. He is a regular contributor to business publications, a frequent presenter at industry events around the world, and counts himself fortunate to have served and interacted with so many CPOs and future CPOs. Prior to his positions in research and advisory, he led numerous operations and systems transformations at Fortune 500 organizations. Industry positions include manufacturing project manager at The Timberland Company, materials manager at Krupp Companies and engineer at EG&G Torque Systems. He holds an engineering degree from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. In the early 2000's, Pierre was the first supply chain practitioner to become a procurement "industry analyst" as the VP of supply management research at AMR Research (now part of the Gartner Group) where he provided trusted counsel to procurement executives, business leadership, IT, and the solution providers who serve them. Most recently, he was the head of procurement research and adjunct business advisor at The Hackett Group, where he helped expand Hackett's procurement benchmarks and research studies while growing the Procurement Executive Advisory Program into a gold standard membership-based procurement advisory service in the market today.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 6 – The Standard Contract Management Platform

Man looking at tablet Today we continue our Plus series on contract lifecycle management, an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle or source-to-pay process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. Today, we discuss the “should-have” features of a contract management platform. While not absolutely required, usability and performance will be significantly affected by the absence of any of these features, and most industry leading contract management solutions will support the majority of these capabilities to some extent. Of course, practitioner priorities will always determine “must-have” versus “should-have” weightings, but we simply break it out for convenience based on how we see organizations prioritize and sequence solution functionality selection and implementation. For most organizations, it’s okay if a few features here are missing, but if too many of these features are missing, then the organization should consider very carefully whether such a contract management solution is right for it, unless the capability is present in another platform currently in use by supply management or the solution is essentially free. In this post, we highlight our list of should-have capabilities.

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Spend Matters 50/50: jCatalog – A Provider to Watch in 2015

- July 29, 2015 3:03 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

jCatalog is one of our 50 Providers to Watch. We will be highlighting 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) from our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs.

jCatalog is a Spend Matters provider to watch because of its virtually unmatched strength in managing complex catalogs for equally complex industrial firms. These “smart catalogs” can be for products, services or both – even simultaneously when both are required in many MRO environments at the work order level.

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How Has a Supplier’s Cost Structure Changed Over the Past Decade?

- July 27, 2015 8:32 AM | Categories: Commodities, Suppliers, Supply Chain

supply Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell and MetalMiner’s Lisa Reisman offer their perspectives on how a supplier’s cost structure has changed over the past decade. From regulatory impacts to labor productivity gains and volatile commodity environments, these shifts have dramatically impacted the notion of the “supplier’s cost structure.” Learn how these 2 experts consider several factors and chime in with your own questions to take the discussion further.

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Friday Rant: Upstream and Downstream Without a Paddle

stream I'm not sure exactly when, but around a few years ago, terminology began to appear in the procurement technology provider community that labeled transactional purchase-to-pay (P2P) processes as “downstream” – meaning post-contract processes – and strategic sourcing processes as “upstream.” It has become a convenient shorthand naming convention – and also seemingly harmless. But, recently, I saw a provider trying to create some thought leadership about upstream value creation and downstream value capture and decided it was time to say something. Or a few things…

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Snap Poll With ISM: What’s the Procurement Value Mix Today? In 3 Years?

- July 22, 2015 9:03 AM | Categories: Innovation, Learning / Research, Procurement Research

Businessman hand draws success words on whiteboard Attention, Practitioners: If you want to build a “modernist procurement” organization – and truly benchmark yourself against your peers – you have 1 week to participate in this 5- to 7-minute snap poll we’re doing in conjunction with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) ahead of the ISM Metrics Symposium. Our snap poll simply asks your take on the “procurement value mix” (i.e., the percentage breakdown of the various types of procurement value-add) today and in 3 years. By seeing how and where the value streams will shift, you’ll also be able to plan for which competencies you’ll need to invest in. But let's back up – how do we define a "modernist" procurement organization exactly? Read on...

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What Do Procurement Metrics and Procurement Analytics Have in Common?

abstract The clock is winding down to the Institute for Supply Management's Metrics and Analytics Symposium, which begins this Thursday in Philadelphia. (Register here.) Jason will be helping with a panel and I will probably be heading down as well. If you can, you should definitely try to make it. Craig Reed, who is an ISM board member and heavy hitter practitioner, will be leading it. I know Craig, and I can tell you he knows his stuff! Other executives from Honeywell and DuPont will also be at the event, as well as the non-manufacturing side, represented by Nationwide. You may wonder why there’s a conference on both metrics and analytics. Aren’t these 2 different topics? The former seems very organizational and the latter seems very technical. But the 2 are highly connected.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 5 – The Core CM Solution

businessman hand pushing on a touch screen interface Today we continue our multi-part Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle (S2S) or source-to-Pay (S2P) process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. So far, we have introduced CLM in depth, defined the “CLM wheel” and reviewed the solution space to try and understand which solutions were typically required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective, as no current solution supports the full buy-side process, in our view. We also followed this solution space review with a detailed review of the core solutions that were historically used to implement a full end-to-end solution, when strategically sourcing a high-value category. Now that we understand where traditional procurement solutions have been used with respect to full CLM and a number of the capabilities a true CLM platform is required to possess, we can discuss the core must-have level 1 requirements. In this post, we point out these must-have capabilities that every contract management platform needs to bring at least some value to your organization and where they fit on the CLM wheel.

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Spend Visibility as a Service: Searching for High Value Options

- July 17, 2015 6:45 AM | Categories: Analytics, Best Practice, Savings Tracking

spend You should never be surprised how little technology many large firms have when it comes to procurement – and the most foundational procurement technology is spend analysis. One of the problems in gaining spend visibility for companies that are early in their procurement transformation journey is getting the funding for this capability. It’s a real catch-22 situation. So how do you get this capability and not be doomed to building your own hobbyist tools using basic Microsoft desktop options?

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 4 – The Traditional Solutions

Traditional tools So far in our contract lifecycle management (CLM) series, we have discussed how the process can generate truly exceptional results when implemented correctly, and we have introduced a “wheel” framework that defined the processes and requirements for a core platform needed to support the end-to-end contract lifecycle in a modern supply management organization. In our last post, we provided a review of the solution space in an effort to understand what types of solutions were historically required in support of the CLM process. This understanding is important because no current solution supports the full CLM process well – as defined in our framework – on the buy-side and within a broader enterprise context. In this post, we will map each of the relevant components included in core buy-side technologies to the CLM framework because it helps one understand not only how these solutions support CLM, but how a specific CLM tool often needs to hook into this technology.

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Spend Matters 50/50: The Hackett Group – A Provider to Know in 2015

- July 15, 2015 3:04 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

The Hackett Group is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs. The Hackett Group is a publicly traded consulting organization with roughly $250 million in revenues that focuses on performance management, back-office transformation, working capital consulting (from its acquisition of REL Consultancy) and benchmarking.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 3 – Mapping the Upstream and Downstream Contract Phases

Map So far in this series, we have introduced contract lifecycle management (CLM) – a process that is not only the key to procurement success, but the key to organizational success. We also have introduced the CLM platform model that provides the foundation for end-to-end CLM, which we will be discussing in more depth in this series. At a high-level, this consisted of the contract information management (CIM) repository, the core contract process/workflow management capabilities and 4 key aspects of (commercial) performance management that the CLM platform must support. This is a great start toward a definition of CLM, and the platform to support it, but we find that in order to fully understand what a CLM solution is in our context, we first have to map the solution space by defining the relevant process areas (i.e., pre-contract upstream and post-contract downstream) and then map them to the applicable software functionality areas that make sense for those processes.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 2 – Understanding the CLM Platform Model

model In this second part of our 10-part series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), we describe our CLM framework first in business terms to set the right context before we start describing solution requirements that will lead to solution approaches and providers. The term “CLM” itself is actually somewhat limiting because it describes the workflow surrounding the contract lifecycle rather than how contracts can be used to support broader enterprise initiatives and relationships. We’ll cover this in the “commercial performance management” layer of the framework (e.g., diving into obligation management as a key multi-faceted competency) and also how CLM connects to 7 key buy-side process areas and 10 enterprise areas. We'll also examine core CLM requirements, covering 11 contract lifecycle processes and 6 contract information management areas, as well as do some initial discussion of underlying technical platform components. Let’s dive in.

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