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.

7 Secrets to Creating Supply Risk Management Leverage


As recent events such as Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy, the Zika virus and the East Coast oil disruptions have demonstrated, supply risk management is more important than ever. Yet trying to implement supply risk management as a standalone program is often a tough affair for companies where the modus operandi is unprotected “supply reward management.” All too often, organizations view risk management as a glorified insurance policy instead of as a strategy integrated with the rest of the business.

This is a mistake. Risk and reward can work together to create true win-win situations for both suppliers and the business. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we share seven strategies that leading supply chain organizations have found to be successful.

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 31-40, P&G to Siemens


This is the fourth installment of our supplier innovation case study series where we help answer the question, “What are other procurement organizations doing in supplier innovation?” We’ve curated a “Top 50” list of some of the best case studies highlighting supplier innovation from a select group of major firms. We looked at the innovations in question, the results, the related suppliers and some key takeaway lessons. In this installment, we’ll look at P&G, Pratt & Whitney, Proxiumus, Roche, Samsung and more.

The Zen of Spend


As an old Zen Buddhist riddle goes, “If you seek it, you can not find it.” To paraphrase, you'll be miserable if you seek happiness only through specific outcomes rather than attaining happiness merely as a byproduct of living life fully. The same concept applies to cost savings. Procurement groups that only focus on finding purchased cost savings as their raison d’être will not be happy, nor will the stakeholders who own the spending where savings are generated.

Why Platforms are Needed to Accelerate Procurement Agility


Businesses don’t want to be “digitally disrupted” by others, so they are searching for new supplier capabilities they can serve up as new customer-facing services. This then becomes a defining moment for procurement and IT, professionals who need to keep up with their internal stakeholders to bring value into the business — and do so with the same or less budget!

Preparing Buyers For Difficult Supplier Conversations — We Check out Rapid Ratings’ New Offering

Supply Chain Fraud

Rapid Ratings has released a very cool procurement content solution that I had a chance to kick the tires on. It’s called a “Financial Dialogue Report,” and basically it packages up Rapid Rating’s FHR (Financial Health Rating) score, CHS (Core Health Score) and supporting FHR components and data analytics into a scripted conversational guide that buyers can use to support their discussions with suppliers regarding “data of concern.”

Coupa: A Pre-IPO Primer for Investors & Procurement

stock prices

P2P provider Coupa filed preliminary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Thursday to go public, a move many in the procurement technology space had anticipated this year. The San Mateo, California-based company plans to raise up to $75 million with its initial public offering and would be the second unicorn to be newly listed this year.

But what exactly is Coupa, and how does it stack up to competitors that offer similar software enabling procurement, accounts payable and other related business functions? This analysis provides an overview of Coupa and its solutions to help investors and procurement practitioners get up to speed on the provider. Included in this Spend Matters Plus+ brief are an overview of Coupa’s technology offerings, an evaluation of the sector it serves and a survey of the competitive landscape.

For an exhaustive report on Coupa and its prospects as a publicly traded company, complete with SWOT, functional support, user experience and competitive analyses, please see our Spend Matters PRO briefing document.

Coupa IPO: Company, Technology & Competitive Overview


On Thursday, Coupa filed Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), putting to rest months of rumors about its intent to become a public company. We’ve previously written about why a Coupa IPO would be good for procurement, but is Coupa a good bet for investors?

This analysis provides a procurement-centric overview of Coupa and its solutions. It does not dissect (or even consider) financials, nor does it highlight the SEC registration documents in the least — or even refer to them, although the filing documents validate many of our estimates and other assumptions that we’ve written in previous Spend Matters and Spend Matters PRO analyses in the past. Rather, this research brief explains how Coupa fits into the market: where it’s strong, where it’s weak, who its true competitors are and how procurement organizations are looking at it — and what we, at Spend Matters, think as well.

This Spend Matters PRO briefing document includes a summary overview of Coupa, definitions of e-procurement and e-invoicing, a SWOT analysis, a comparative footprint and product analysis, a competitive alternatives analysis, functional coverage ratings in key modules and areas and a Coupa outlook. This comprehensive document is also available for individual download.

Vinimaya Launches Aquiire Platform: First Take

Amazon Business

Earlier this week, Vinimaya announced the official launch of Aquiire, a cloud-based, real-time e-procurement suite. The announcement may confuse some, as Vinimaya has always been in the e-procurement business. But in fact, this is an entirely new solution, albeit one that leverages Vinimaya’s federated search, shopping and marketplace product roots. It’s also the first time Vinimaya has delivered a bundled P2P solution versus individual piece parts.

Deloitte’s Global Sourcing Insights (GSI) — From Best Shoring to Best Sourcing

apinan/Adobe Stock

In Part 1 of this analysis, we discussed the need for a truly strategic supply chain sourcing platform built on a supply network design model rather than just the typical BOM-based sourcing workflows and low-level commodity sourcing efforts that use “empty” e-RFX tools. We detailed the full requirements for such a supply network-based platform in a four-part series (see related articles below), but in Part 4, one of the trends highlighted included a pivot from such empty apps to content-enabled apps increasingly provided by large service providers that use cloud-based analytics and intelligence platforms as a way to deliver continuous insight and value. In that piece, we highlighted Deloitte’s Global Sourcing Insights (GSI) solution as a prime example:

GSI is a strategic sourcing and extended supply network design workbench that allows clients to explore high-level sourcing strategies by uploading their supply network configuration and then performing what-if and predictive scenarios in the tool that is pre-integrated with regional and country-specific cost and risk data. It is truly the harbinger of things to come with consulting organizations that need to survive and thrive by productizing their IP.

Many organizations strive to perform “best shoring” to optimally determine what regions to source from. Deloitte’s GSI solution is the only solution I have ever seen that is so well suited to best shoring, especially in a retail-oriented supply chain. It not only helps optimize the regions that you shore (source) from but also drives down to the cost elements and sub-regions that help you tailor their supplier-level sourcing execution activities that perform cost, risk and capability discovery and then subsequent “risk-adjusted cost” analysis against a “benchmark supply chain” of your peers (and if you load up your own manufacturing plants as suppliers, you can also do make vs. buy analysis).

Phew, that’s a mouthful!

Since the platform is pre-loaded with all sorts of external content and benchmarking data on costs, spend and risk, you can test whether the supply chain that you’ve built over the years still holds untapped opportunities. It basically is like a risk-adjusted should-cost analysis in a box. That’s why it’s more of a “best sourcing” tool than a simple “best shoring” analysis. We spend a lot of time go through it and the bottom line is that it’s pretty badass — and that it has some implications far beyond the consulting ecosystem and how it’ll impact firms that sell app suites, niche apps, analytics, market intelligence (apps/services), “networks”, BPO and the like.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll look under the covers at an offering we feel is on the vanguard of an emerging solution model in sourcing and supply chain. If you are a practitioner who subscribes to Spend Matters Plus and are interested in this content, please drop us a line and we’ll send you a copy.

Deloitte’s Game-Changing Analytics Platform Puts ‘Strategic’ Back into Sourcing

FM Global Resilience Index

In a massively complex global supply chain, wouldn’t it be nice to have an extended network redesign tool that lets you not just map your internal network or your extended but also automatically infuse external intelligence into the platform to help you do “opportunity identification” per the n-step sourcing process? And wouldn’t it be nice to have this strategic supply chain sourcing analytics platform served up in the cloud and built by leading edge companies and the experts who serve them? This is where Deloitte’s Global Sourcing Insights (GSI) analytics platform comes in.

SciQuest: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive & Summary Analysis


While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that SciQuest competes in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market. To date, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and different competitors for its core P2P product, primarily serving the higher education, research and public sector verticals through sourcing optimization, spend/supply analytics and contract lifecycle management solutions. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments rather than more.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SciQuest offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers (suite and otherwise). It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider SciQuest.

Top 50 Supplier Innovation Case Studies: Nos. 21-30, IBM to Nokia


This is the third installment of our supplier innovation case study series where we help answer the question, “What are other procurement organizations doing in supplier innovation?” We’ve curated a “Top 50” list of some of the best case studies highlighting supplier innovation from a select group of major firms. We looked at the innovations in question, the results, the related suppliers and some key takeaway lessons. In this installment, we’ll look at IBM, Kraft, L’Oreal, Mars, NOKIA and more.