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.

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.

more ▸
 

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.

more ▸
 

50 Shades of Pay: Shade 8 – Analyzing the “Bookends” of Purchases

- October 27, 2014 10:04 AM | Categories: Accounts Payable, Purchasing, Purchasing Process

In some of the previous installments of this series, we discussed why and how you might want to analyze the processes that generate spending so you can spend better by buying and paying better (we’ll get to sourcing in our next installment). The series started with analyzing payment history and then moved “upstream” to purchase history and associated PO line-item detail. What we glossed over, however, is the "bookends" of the transactional purchasing process, namely the requisitioning and receiving process. Now, you may ask yourself why we are focusing on these sub-processes. I mean, these are just transactional processes, right? None of these are really strategic, right? Well, yes, and no

more ▸
 

What Do Procurement People Do All Day? (And What Should They Do?)

- October 24, 2014 10:19 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary

blur-city-crowd-1719-821x550 I saw a blog post a few months back asking the question about how chief procurement officers (CPOs) spend their time. Although the post was really just a Trojan Horse for campaigning a full-blown “benchmarking” survey, the topic is a good one to explore, and there is already some solid quantitative research on the topic. For those of you who have children, you may be familiar with Richard Scarry’s book What do People Do All Day. It’s a wonderful illustrated children’s book dealing with all of the various roles that people play in a small town. Of course, I didn't see any procurement people, and I was envisioning a small, dimly lit negotiations room where supplier people were, ahem, “sharpening their pencils.” But, there was a firefighter, so perhaps that is close enough.

more ▸
 

2015: A “Banner Year” for Invoice Discounting

- October 22, 2014 2:13 AM | Categories: Analysis, Invoicing

Invoice discounting is about to hit the afterburner with significant program acceleration inside existing accounts as well as new program implementation and adoption in 2015. In the second installment of this two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer and managing director along with David Gustin, managing director of Trade Financing Matters, explore 10 reasons for this growth. Part 1 of this series included reasons 1-5. In Part 2, we cover reasons 6-10.

more ▸
 

10 Reasons Why 2015 Will be the Year Invoice Discounting Growth Hits an Inflection Point (Part 1)

- October 20, 2014 6:28 AM | Categories: Analysis, Invoicing, P2P

There. We’ve put a date on it. 2015 will be the year invoice discounting growth hits a true inflection point with many procurement and A/P organizations finally moving away from poorly managed static payment terms. What type of growth are we talking about? At Spend Matters, we would argue that from a relative dollar standpoint (i.e., discounts captured based on dollars advanced early to suppliers), we will see in excess of 25% growth from programs in 2015 within the Global 2000. There are many elements coming together to create what we view will be a banner year in 2015 for invoice discounting. In this two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, Chief Research Officer and Managing Director Pierre Mitchell along with Managing Director of Trade Financing Matters David Gustin explore 10 of them.

more ▸
 

Even SAP’s Employees Are Asking the Question: “Why did we buy Concur?”

- October 16, 2014 10:03 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, SAP

One of our team members was at a conference this week when at the lunch table, an SAP employee was introduced to us and jokingly asked “Oh good. Maybe we can find out from you guys why we bought Concur!" We won't re-hash our pieces that we've already written, but it's a fair question from an employee who's wondering if it’s $8 billion well spent.

more ▸
 

Coming Full Circle With Direct Procurement

- October 14, 2014 3:23 PM | Categories: Learning / Research, Procurement

Back in the early 1990s, my first experience with procurement was from a planning and scheduling standpoint. MRP runs generated batches of planned PO's to "firm up" and release (mostly by fax – but with some EDI). Unfortunately, the sheer volume of data combined with variability of all forms made it clear to me that a buyer/planner was going to be doomed to a life of expediting and firefighting.

more ▸
 

50 Shades of Pay: Shade 7 – Purchase and Payment Historical Spending

- October 13, 2014 2:36 AM | Categories: Accounts Payable, Purchasing, Purchasing Process

In the last six installments of this research series, we’ve talked about the numerous ways to mine and utilize payment history data to create value. But, you can't really do spend analysis without analyzing purchase history too. In other words, we are now going to analyze what you purchased rather than just whom you paid. In our next two installments, we will talk about more granular insights into receiving and upstream into requisitioning. And only then we will get into how to automatically classify line item details into a spend category taxonomy and cross reference that spending data back to contracts. So, for now, we are just going to focus on purchase orders.

more ▸
 

It’s Time to Pull Procurement Research Out of the Gutter

- October 10, 2014 6:34 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Procurement Commentary, Procurement Research

1382985400p16fs For most things in life, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly. So be it with procurement research. I’ve been doing procurement research for a long time, and have seen some really good stuff from all sorts of firms. However, I’ve noticed lately a marked increase in quantity of research surveys and an unfortunate commensurate drop in quality. “So what?” you say. “What’s the problem here?” The problem is that practitioners are surveyed to DEATH by one other (e.g., advanced firms getting hit up by others) and by third-party firms from numerous provider sectors. And when the research is sketchy, it drags everyone down.

more ▸
 

Diving Into the World’s Largest “Guided Buying” E-Procurement Implementation

- October 9, 2014 6:41 AM | Categories: eProcurement / Procurement, P2P

In this Spend Matters Plus article, we dive into some of the details at what is likely the largest implementation of “guided buying” currently underway in the world. What’s interesting though is not just the scale of this global implementation, but its approach. The firm has 10-digit spending across dozens of countries with more than 100,000 active users who access a unified catalog, category-specific “smart” requisition templates, specialized punch outs to category-specific systems and integration to internal shared services centers. What’s also surprising is what solution provider is actually powering it.

more ▸
 

Oracle Goes Long on a PaaS – Now It’s Time For Some Blocking and Tackling

- October 6, 2014 2:23 AM | Categories: Cloud, Commentary, Technology

1373801757yg8lm Recently I joined 60,000 others descending on this year’s Oracle Open World conference in San Francisco and have been really immersing myself in all things Oracle, attending various sessions (e.g., rolling up the sleeves in some “hands-on labs” sessions) and talking to all sorts of customers, employees and partners. There’s so much to cover, but it’s best to start most strategically.

more ▸