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.

Don’t Fall for the Myth of Integrated ERP Procurement

file0001514712773 I remember back to when Oracle embarked on integrating its Oracle CPG product to Manugistics and the admission that there were nearly 1,000 separate points of integration. Now, add in the fact that there is completely new infrastructure coming onto the scene with SAP HANA (not just the HANA database, but also a “cloudy” application development and integration infrastructure) that will be making its way into the Ariba Network and future application products, and let’s just say that some non-trivial orchestration will need to occur. So, it’s complex, but you might ask: what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the ones who will end up footing the bill for tying this stuff together will not be SAP. They’re doing quite well in procurement, thank you very much. And it won’t be the big consulting firms either. Ultimately, it will be the buyers (and sellers of course if it’s going through the network – which it basically is designed to do) who will need to pay for the acquire-and-integrate approach.

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The Mass Customization of Procurement – and Mass Personalization of Procurement Systems

- April 14, 2014 10:12 AM | Categories: Procurement Strategy & Planning

file0001635293278 If you want to dive into some of the aspects of how procurement systems are becoming mass customized, or should I say, mass personalized, then please join me and Ivalua on this webinar! It's today from 12 to 1 pm CDT. Mass customization not only affects direct procurement in terms of how procurement works with suppliers to accommodate such a flexible type of supply chain model, but it also has an impact on the procurement function internally.

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Making of the Secret Sauce: Tricks for Using the Open Web for Supply Market Intelligence

- April 11, 2014 5:20 PM | Categories: Technology

While marketing and strategy groups get budget to use big data tools and high-end premium content subscriptions, most procurement groups are decidedly a little more low budget. They might want a Bloomberg-like cockpit, but they get a web browser. So, let’s work with that, and I will let you in on some dirty little secrets to find really good stuff out on the open web that I’ve learned over the years in procurement research. People will always thank me when I share these easy time-saving techniques with them – so I’m merely doing this no en masse. Yes, there’s a small fee to get into the sausage factory (i.e., this is for Plus members only), but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. Let’s proceed.

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A.T. Kearney ROSMA Performance Check FAQs

- April 11, 2014 3:14 PM | Categories: Industry News, Procurement Commentary

We posted a multi-part series on A.T. Kearney’s ROSMA performance benchmark / framework that the firm is now offering through a partnership with ISM and CIPS. We just received a Frequently Asked Questions document that seeks to provide additional details on the ROSMA “Performance Check” and are posting it here for our readers.

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Case Study: Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Taulia, and Dynamic Discounting

file6941274973247 Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC) is the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the US. It has over 10,000 suppliers, about 25 percent of which are non-PO based. One of the supplier segments that represents a big opportunity within these non-PO invoices is the area of trucking. Historically, many of these small businesses have had to pay receivables factoring firms very high interest rates, and that is money that is taken out of the CCBCC supply chain. The catch is that CCBCC can provide a cost of capital that rivals the factoring firms. CCBCC decided to step in and help with the suppliers’ liquidity problem by giving them the option to take early payments in return for a discount. I interviewed CCBCC's Steve Richards, who gave me an account of the company's experience implementing Taulia.

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Ms. Bossi goes to Washington: An interview with Jill Bossi, Ex-CPO and Candidate for US Senate 2014 (Part 3)

- April 10, 2014 6:30 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary, Public Sector

In this final installment of Pierre's three-part interview with Jill Bossi, they discuss the future of procurement professionals and the role colleges and universities are playing in an effort to provide clearer pathways to the profession. Jill explains the passion behind her run for Senate and what she hopes to accomplish with her candidacy.

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Ms. Bossi Goes to Washington: An Interview with Jill Bossi, Ex-CPO and Candidate for US Senate, 2014, Part 2

- April 9, 2014 6:25 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary, Public Sector

Pierre asks Jill Bossi about term limits, the arguably dysfunctional two-party system in America and diversity among other things. Jill is a former CPO with The American Red Cross and decided to take her procurement skills to the federal government. In Part 2 of her interview with Pierre she explains how complicated things aren't necessarily good things.

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Ms. Bossi goes to Washington: An interview with Jill Bossi, Ex-CPO and Candidate for US Senate, 2014, Part 1

- April 8, 2014 6:45 AM | Categories: Perspective, Procurement, Procurement Commentary

In this three-part series, Pierre interviews former American Red Cross CPO Jill Bossi about her upcoming run for Senate with the American Party of South Carolina. The two discuss procurement in government as well as the shortcomings of the two party system, term limits and the complexity of strategic sourcing at the federal level.

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When Purchase Price Variance Turns Deadly

- April 4, 2014 2:31 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Industry News

Don't be a slave to PPV! What has the fallout from GM CEO Mary T. Barra's recent testimony on Capitol Hill taught us? That the challenge of measuring total costs and defining a balanced scorecard of supply is daunting, yet crucial. It's essential to align that scorecard to corporate/customer objectives rather than an old-school purchasing-led focus on just one of those metrics.

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Benchmarking the Procurement Benchmarkers – An Insider’s Guide (Part 3)

- April 2, 2014 4:45 PM | Categories: Analysis, Ariba, Procurement

In part three of Pierre's four-part series on benchmarking procurement benchmarks, he examines two larger consulting organizations, A.T. Kearney and Accenture. Beyond A.T. Kearney's ROMSA benchmark is the company's AEP study (Assessment of Excellence in Procurement). AEP is primarily an assessment around procurement capabilities, with some level of measurement surrounding performance. Additionally, Pierre explains the mixed bag that is Accenture in regards to benchmarking and how their recent acquisition of Procurian affects their benchmarking capabilities.

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How Procurement Performance Targets REALLY Get Set – And What to Do About It (Part 1)

Target Earlier this morning we posted a Plus piece on this topic. Here's a teaser for non-subscribers. We're happy to provide a trial subscription for anyone interested. Pierre explains the difficulties of Procurement Performance Management and how it relates to Supply Performance Management. Starting with the Strategic Plan and using a manufacturing firm as an example, the importance of pull alignment and push alignment processes are highlighted as well as the formal aspect to gaining such alignment.

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This Is How Procurement $#it Happens

Pierre explains the difficulties of Procurement Performance Management and how it relates to Supply Performance Management. Starting with the Strategic Plan and using a manufacturing firm as an example, the importance of pull alignment and push alignment processes are highlighted as well as the formal aspect to gaining such alignment.

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