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.

M&A News: Lexmark Acquires Kofax – Initial Market Analysis

- March 26, 2015 4:47 PM | Categories: Industry News, M&A

Businessman hand touching M & A on virtual screen - merger & acq Earlier this week, Lexmark announced it was acquiring Kofax. The Deal reports that the transaction will add, “$300 million in 2014 sales from a base of more than 20,000 global customers … [and] will boost its enterprise software sales to $700 million.” Spend Matters believes the transaction will further fuel valuation levels in the enterprise software sector (Kofax is now trading at over 3X top-line at the time of publication of this post – up over 25% over the pre-deal multiple) given that the firm competes in the somewhat stodgy world of accounts payable automation, inclusive of OCR services, among other areas.

more ▸
 

Procurement’s Personality Revealed! And it’s a Clear Winner

- March 25, 2015 8:37 AM | Categories: Learning / Research, Procurement, Procurement Research

circle-colorful-colors-2091 It's important to understand personality types in any procurement organization. It's personally beneficial, too – self-assessing your personality traits can help you gain self-awareness into your behaviors and how they might impact your job performance. But no one had measured such a thing in procurement before, so I teamed up with The Institute for Supply Management to survey this, and the results are in! We had an overwhelming response, with nearly 1,800 participants. Check out what the top personality type in procurement is!

more ▸
 

Building a Business Case for Addressing Complex MRO Spend in Asset-Intensive Industries

Brick-Wall-10211351BDAC83D7 Asset-intensive industries such as mining, energy (including oil & gas), utilities, chemicals, heavy equipment, construction and related sectors can meet, exceed or miss earnings expectations based on the availability of key assets and facilities in their portfolio, from plants to rigs. To maximize up-time and availability and to minimize the time to overhaul specific assets, many have invested in specialized solutions to manage plants and other facilities. Yet in the vast majority of cases, organizations have not prioritized specialized procurement solutions that could drive substantial savings, risk reduction and other benefits, sitting alongside asset and facility solutions including Maximo/IBM, SAP PM/MM, IFS, Ventyx, ABB, Oracle Asset Management, Intentia, Infor EAM and others. This Spend Matters PRO brief, the second in a series, explores MRO-specific e-procurement use cases for specialized investment in this area. Today’s analysis centers on building the business case for specialized investment in this area and provides recommendations to organizations on how to get started.

more ▸
 

Who You Gonna Call? Procurement MythBusters!

android-calling-dialer-3071-364x550 I go to a lot of conferences and have facilitated a lot of CPO panels, and what I always find surprising is not just how many of the same challenges exist, but also the extent that the same conventional wisdom gets bandied around. Perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. When procurement leaders are looking for approaches or solutions, they will turn to their peers or to traditional sources of knowledge such as consulting firms, membership organizations and so forth. Stay tuned for a multi-part series on SpendMatters Plus that begins sharpening (or discarding) the “old saws” and conventional thinking that are worth re-visiting.

more ▸
 

Addressing True MRO in Asset- and Capital-Intensive Industries

- March 23, 2015 2:45 AM | Categories: eProcurement / Procurement, P2P, Vendor Snapshots

bank-notes-bills-buy-2114 As the e-procurement sector has matured, industry- and category-specific innovation has left a significant amount to be desired. The vast majority of e-procurement and P2P solutions today are generic rather than specialized, leaving unmet needs in the market. As one example, mining, energy, oil & gas, utilities, chemicals, heavy equipment, construction and related sectors collectively spend tens of billions of dollars per year on maintaining existing facilities (let alone capital expenditure to build new ones), which are not addressed effectively by traditional e-procurement solutions in MRO and related areas. This Spend Matters research note shares some of the innovations that one decade-old name in the sector, jCatalog, is bringing to e-procurement through addressing complex MRO and plant/facility buying scenarios.

more ▸
 

Maverick Spend Analysis, How to Plug the Leaks – 50 Shades of Pay: Shade 13

- March 18, 2015 2:38 AM | Categories: Analysis, Spend Analysis

03F8A942C5 In the last 2 editions of our 50 Shades of Pay series, we tackled how to turn the hands of time forward to “spend planning” rather than forensic spend analysis. Yet, before we get even more forward-thinking and strategic, we’re going to explore a few shades in the realm of the present, namely, making sure that hard-fought savings are getting realized. So, one of the ways that spend analysis can be used here is to tie the spending data to contract data for the purposes of maverick spending analysis. Let’s also put in the language of cost. In procurement, cost is still king, and costs can certainly increase in many ways.

more ▸
 

Amazon vs. SAP/Ariba and the Coming Battleground

- March 11, 2015 2:35 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supply Networks

boxer-boxing-fight-3797 In our previous installment of this series, we highlighted the concept of 3 basic types of value networks: physical, informational and financial. In any network guided by the invisible hand, when 2 firms in a physical supply network want to direct-connect and exchange information, they are happy to consider buying tools to connect or getting that information integration served up as service (and priced accordingly, based on the value of the information integration – not priced according to the value of the goods and services themselves). On the tools side, an increasing number of P2P providers have the ability to create “virtual catalogs” that enable a multi-supplier experience (which may also feature punch-out supplier catalogs – including “double punch-out” or “transparent punch-out” functionality) with an Amazon-like interface and even associated requisition approval workflow if needed.

more ▸
 

Personality Modeling Can Be As Important As Cost Modeling

C812AF8E57 copy Have you taken the small snap poll we are doing in conjunction with the Institute for Supply Management regarding procurement’s personality? This 3-4 minute practitioner poll closes this Friday. If you are a practitioner, check it out and see how you compare to your peers. The results, which you will receive if you participate, should be very interesting. Immediately after posting an article on the survey earlier this week, there was a comment that this topic is basically all pseudoscience and irrelevant to procurement. The comment is telling – and is itself at the core of the problem that I’m trying to address. Let me be more succinct in presenting my 3-part argument…

more ▸
 

What Personality Does Your Procurement Organization Have?

C4B33F06AD Interested in finding out? We are conducting a personality assessment in conjunction with the Institute for Supply Management. Although it’s a variant of a Jungian personality test (e.g., like Myers-Briggs), the focus is on how a procurement professional views the world in terms of problem solving and learning. It’s a simple survey that takes about 3-4 minutes. So, what’s the benefit for a chief procurement officer, and for procurement more broadly, for doing this quick-hit assessment? There are quite a few actually...

more ▸
 

Putting Procurement’s Personality to The Test

--Colored-Pencils-1007131E81344B3C copy What’s the dominant personality archetype for a chief procurement officer – or a procurement professional more generally? To find out, I’m collaborating with the Institute for Supply Management to perform a snap poll that simply asks procurement practitioners about their personality profile. The 3-4 minute poll is simply the 4 personality traits and some demographic questions. Check out the survey here.

more ▸
 

How Better Procurement Practices Could Have Helped Resolve the West Coast Port Crisis

- February 20, 2015 1:08 PM | Categories: Analysis, Industry News, Procurement Strategy & Planning

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA The ongoing logistical logjam at the West Coast ports is still not resolved. The situation is impacting small and large businesses across the US as well as workers that rely on imports and exports from the ports. How could procurement have helped this situation? Spend Matters analyzes the issue and offers ways procurement can step in.

more ▸
 

Coupa Sets Itself Apart in the S2P Sector

public-domain-images-archive-free-stock-photos-3-1000x666 copy Coupa stands alone as the most aggressive vendor in the source-to-pay sector on virtually every level – starting with breakneck pace R&D development and continuing to assertive sales and partner tactics. In this PRO analysis, the Spend Matters research team provides an outlook for Coupa in 2015 and 2016 and offers their thoughts on what potential activities and actions mean for customers, possible customers and partners, including an examination of what the future for Coupa may bring. It is important to factor in both upside and downside potential based on multiple developments occurring in the sector, some of which are outside of the provider’s control.

more ▸