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 spendmattersnet.com, 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.

Mr. Gustin Goes to Washington and Other Musings on SupplierPay

- November 26, 2014 2:32 AM | Categories: Suppliers, Trade Financing

file2511287608843 Our fearless compatriot David Gustin at TradeFinancing Matters recently attended a White House meeting on the SupplierPay initiative. David is one of the world’s leading experts on trade finance, and The White House was smart to invite him to share his insights. For my part, I’ve had a few discussions with the US Small Business Administration tasked with running SupplierPay. The people at the SBA were very interested in the financial supply chain study that I did with ISM and with my other research analysis findings on how extending payment terms statistically correlates with lower enterprise value. More specifically though, I’ve reviewed the draft set of metrics that SBA is thinking about implementing with the program, and I provided it some detailed feedback.

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Frank Boyer Takes Over as CPO at Sprint

- November 19, 2014 10:15 AM | Categories: Breaking News, Cost Management, Procurement

Sprint has hired a new chief procurement officer (CPO) in an effort to improve the wireless carrier’s standings in the market. Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure announced that former AT&T Wireless CPO Frank Boyer (who was also CPO at EDS) will now serve as the company’s CPO. Claure said Boyer will "oversee our efforts to evaluate where we spend every dollar and look for ways to improve our cost structure."

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Focusing on Efficiency with the AT Kearney 2014 ROSMA Benchmark Report

- November 19, 2014 6:29 AM | Categories: Analysis, Learning / Research, Procurement, Spend Management

Earlier this week, we began our series analyzing the new AT Kearney 2014 ROSMA Benchmark Report, “Building the Brand of Procurement and Supply.” I first talked about the context and how the report analyzes ROSMA’s scores. Then, in a Plus post, I dove deeper into our analysis of the report, and I shared some of its highlights. Today, I’ll talk efficiency – what firms are the most efficient and why.

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Lessons From Another Third-Party-Vendor-Based Data Breach

How did hackers gain access to 53 million email addresses and 56 million credit cards belonging Home Depot customers? Through one of the retailer’s third-party vendors. Home Depot recently reported the news, saying he hackers gained entry to the retailer’s system, and deployed malicious software to steal personal information from customers using self-checkout machines and standard registers at the store.

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Results and Additional Analysis of AT Kearney 2014 ROSMA Benchmark Report

- November 18, 2014 6:45 AM | Categories: Analysis, Learning / Research, Procurement, Spend Management

In the previous installment of this series, I outlined the background and approach for the 2014 AT Kearney Return on Supply Management Assets (ROSMA) benchmark report that can be found here. In this installment, I’ll not only highlight some interesting learnings, but also even enhance the analysis a bit based on the data in the report. The report highlights the basics of the ROSMA model, but I wanted to show a complete model that illustrates the mechanics of it a little more deeply.

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AT Kearney Releases its 2014 ROSMA Benchmark Report – Context and Approach

1411825487tprmf AT Kearney recently released a report titled “Building the Brand of Procurement and Supply,” which summarizes and analyzes its 2014 Return on Supply Management Assets (ROSMA) benchmark metric that it collects on its own (e.g., it has been part of Kearney’s AEP study since 2010) and through a partnership with ISM and CIPS. Members of ISM and CIPS (of any size) can participate in the benchmark study (and get a results readout) and we’d highly recommend procurement practitioners to at least read this report and familiarize themselves with the concepts and the structure of the ROSMA metric.

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50 Shades of Pay – Shade 9: The Magic Cube (Analyzing it)

- November 11, 2014 6:23 AM | Categories: Spend Management

In Part 1 of this Shade 9 Plus article, we discussed building your “spend cube.” Now that you have done that, the real fun begins: finding savings opportunities! Certainly, finding sourcing savings is where most start. The most popular analysis of course is evaluating spend fragmentation within a category across suppliers at the enterprise level, the regional level, the cost center level, the business unit level and so on. Since there is so much information out in the public domain (and from providers) on various spend reports that you can run off of this spend cube (e.g., including time as another dimension to support multi-period spend trending), we won’t re-invent the wheel, but do want to make a few points...

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50 Shades of Pay – Shade 9: The Magic Cube (Building it)

- November 10, 2014 6:39 AM | Categories: Spend Analysis, Spend Management

In this installment of our 50 Shades of Pay series, we finally dive into some of the gory critical details of building out the “magic cube” of spend visibility. Actually, it’s not that magical, and it can be more than 3 dimensions, but let’s keep it simple for now. The cube provides the data to answer the question, “How much did we spend on what with whom?” What we’re focusing on with this installment in the series is getting the data “on what” by classifying line-item level detail data into a spend category taxonomy.

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What Procurement Practitioners Can Learn From Car Talk

- November 5, 2014 10:02 AM | Categories: Procurement Commentary

microphone-radio-sound-484-825x550 Tom Magliozzi, the popular co-host of National Public Radio's “Car Talk” program died this week from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77. If you’ve never listened to “Car Talk,” you really should check it out. Tom and his younger brother Ray did a weekly radio program that has been part of my life for decades. I had lived in Cambridge near their car garage for years. But really, anyone who listened to them probably felt that Tom and Ray were their neighbors too. I learned a lot from that show – and not just about cars. So, I thought I’d try to share some of what I learned from Tom and Ray to the world of procurement:

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Apple’s Tim Cook – A Courageous Step

- October 31, 2014 1:25 PM | Categories: Commentary

Yesterday, Tim Cook officially shared what many in the Bay Area tech scene knew already – that he was gay. The announcement should be meaningless for the supply chain and procurement profession, but it is not. Simply put, while throughout our careers we have seen passionate pleas beyond government mandates to drive supplier diversity programs as well as significant recruitment programs internally that emphasize racial inclusion and diversity, it is our view that the operational side of businesses – procurement, supply chain, accounts payable, etc. – generally remain far less accepting, at least publicly, of an openly gay and lesbian workforce in comparison to other areas of the business.

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Could Proper Procurement Have Saved Apple and GT Advanced?

By now, you’re probably well aware of the Apple and GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) debacle that’s been all over the news headlines. In case you haven’t been following this, GTAT makes sapphire manufacturing equipment and had hoped to also sell some special sapphire glass made from its most advanced equipment to Apple (there’s a cool video here on how the crystal is made). The $578 million exclusive contract was loaded with penalties, namely $50M per incident of any IP violation, and involved a series of milestone payments as production scaled up.

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Is Services Spending That Much More Challenging Than Goods Procurement?

file2691249348632 When you look at modern supply chains, they’re certainly complex, but they’re also run pretty darn rigorously in terms of direct materials spending. Cost breakdown understanding and benchmarking? Check. Inventory requirements? Check? Continuous improvement? Check. Read on to find out how you can participate in a new Spend Matters poll.

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