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.

Forget Category Management, Start with Customer Management and Context Management: Part 2 – The Solution

- August 26, 2015 2:46 AM | Categories: Best Practice, Category Management

starting line In Part 1 of this 2-part series (published over on our Chief Procurement Officer website), we talked about the importance of not just having strong category management capabilities but also customer management and context management. In this second part of the series, we’ll discuss how to implement it in terms of organizational structure, roles and technology implications. Demand management is a combination of what customers want to consume and why they want to consume it (i.e., what are their goals and objectives). This Spend Matters Plus article offers advice for procurement practitioners on how to organize a customer management initiative and how to engage with your customers.

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

- August 24, 2015 3:00 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

GT Nexus 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.

GT Nexus is a Spend Matters Provider to Watch that provides a cloud-based network and supporting platform of supply chain solutions and services that allow retailers, manufacturers, logistics providers and trade financing entities to connect and collaborate.

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Coupa Reports Best Quarter Ever – No Surprises Here

coupa Coupa recently announced its Q2 2015 financial report, which shows the provider is still on the path of gaining market share and had its 26th consecutive quarter of subscription revenue growth. Its customers also continue to experience positive results – as of June, the provider’s customer base had accumulated $5 billion in calculated savings. We can’t say we’re surprised by these positive Q2 financial results – Coupa has been very clever in delivering the message of “savings,” which remains the most wanted word in procurement, at least from a business requirement perspective. Yes, procurement needs to deliver value beyond cost savings, but for Coupa installed base customers who are slightly earlier in their spend management journey compared with the typical Fortune 500 firm, cost savings is usually king.

Still, while it is certainly one thing to promise savings, it’s quite another entirely to deliver it both for procurement organizations and for solution providers, and Coupa is smart to align its strategy to that of its customers. Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn said in the company’s press release on the report: “We are committed to revolutionizing the spend management space by bringing to market solutions that employees and suppliers actually use, which is the only proven way for our enterprise customers to bring previously unmanaged spend under control and achieve millions of dollars in savings.”

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Adopting a Perfect Order Metric: Considerations, Tips and Benefits For Your Procurement Organization

tape measure Over on our sister site, Chief Procurement Officer, I have been discussing the perfect order measurement and how to adopt the metric for your procurement organization. While the perfect order metric may sound simple, the implementation can be complex. This Spend Matters Plus article will focus on how to address and overcome this complexity, as well as how to implement the perfect order effectively. I also touch on the benefits of perfect order, including how it enables better measurement of supply chain performance. If you want to measure perfect order performance, you have to ask yourself a lot of questions. Here are 5 key questions to ask and adapt to your organization regarding the perfect order metric.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 7 The Extended Contract Management Platform

male hand point on touch screen interface We continue our Spend Matters Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM) today with Part 7. So far, we have covered a lot of ground, explaining what CLM is (a decidedly unsexy acronym that, when properly implemented, can generate quite attractive results on its own, and even more when integrated into broader buy-side and enterprise-wide processes), discussed the CLM framework and talked about which solutions are required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective.We have also covered what we believe to be “must-have” capabilities and “should-have” features of any CLM solution. Here we conclude our in-depth review of contract management solutions with a discussion of supporting “nice-to-have” capabilities that, while not present in all or even most solutions, can greatly increase the power, usefulness and even the value of such a solution to your organization.

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

- August 5, 2015 3:00 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

APEX Analytix 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.

APEX Analytix LLC is a Spend Matters Provider to Watch, but could just as easily have been a Provider to Know, because the firm has been around for almost 20 years delivering its spend compliance software and services that cover a broad swath of business processes, industries and value.

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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?

big data 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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