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.

Why World Domination in Indirect Procurement Might Come from VMS

talent management Services procurement is harder than indirect goods procurement. The former is more complex to model and manage than using a catalog-based SKU-like approach. Services spend is also embedded and hidden in other spend areas. For example, contingent labor spend reaches much further than just temp staffing spend. Now, you may ask, “Can’t services be modeled like SKUs? Can’t there be a ‘service catalog’? The answer is, “Yes.” But the traditional catalog-based solutions don’t model the “asset” behind the service — the worker.

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What Toyota’s Latest Supply Risk Event Teaches Us

Toyota supply chain Toyota's supply chain is much revered for its lean Toyota Production System that it deploys internally and at its suppliers. It does help drive out waste and improve product quality. Yet it’s “necessary but not sufficient” in running an end-to-end supply chain. This was evidenced by several recent events. Most recently, Toyota faced the threat of production line shutdowns in Japan due to a fire at an Aichi Corp. steel plant, which, given the incident occurred back on Jan. 8, makes the potential shutdown all the more shocking to hear.

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Requirements Framework: Supplier Management 101 (Part 2)

supplier lifecycle management As a follow-on to our first installment of this series on supplier management, we describe our underlying requirements framework for supplier management processes and the related subprocesses that tend to get supported by solution providers who use terminology such as supplier lifecycle management (SLM), supplier information management (SIM), third-party management and other monikers. Our framework provides a holistic view of supplier management but aligns process-wise to SLM and data-wise to a subset of master data management (MDM). Within the SLM process cycle, we link out to other processes that have well defined solution provider markets, such as e-sourcing, contract life management (CLM), purchase to pay (P2P) and supply risk management, but we also dive into supplier engagement processes for not just supplier qualification and onboarding but also deeply into performance management, risk and compliance management and relationship management areas.

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Why Procurement Must Help Fundamentally Rethink and Improve RONA

- January 28, 2016 6:30 AM | Categories: Finance, Innovation, Technology

AnyData Solutions Over on the CPO portion of our site, in part 1 and part 2 of this series, I discussed how “assets” in the new digital economy are sources of supply (i.e., equipment, people, software, products, suppliers, user roles) that increasingly interact in complex ways and therefore go far beyond how traditional applications model and manage these assets. An entirely new breed of intelligent applications needs to be developed that can manage the choreography and orchestration of these many-to-many assets. And they don’t yet exist — other than in pieces.

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Supplier Management 101 (Part 1): Introduction

supplier network Supplier management is simply the management of supplier-facing business processes throughout the lifecycle of a supplier. Many procurement organizations have historically used strategic sourcing as the core methodology by which supply bases are shaped and suppliers are commercially engaged. But sourcing by itself is just one episodic process in a much larger supplier management lifecycle. In response, many organizations have broadened their sourcing activities to a category management activity that transcends category sourcing and pushes upstream into stakeholder management and downstream into deeper supplier engagement. Additionally, as rationalized supply bases lead to larger suppliers that provide multiple categories, and as procurement organizations are increasingly seeking innovation and top line growth from key suppliers, supplier management is expanding beyond its traditional post-sourcing and post-contracting to become the default methodology to manage the lifecycle of suppliers within which these processes and other source-to-pay processes get executed. So, when we talk about “supplier management,” we are really talking about “supplier lifecycle management” because of this broader scope.

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Don’t Just Reduce Costs — Reduce Trade-Offs!

supplier scorecard One of the most critical competencies that a supply chain organization can master is the ability to not only recognize trade-offs but to reduce them. Progressive procurement organizations don’t just get measured on cost reductions alone — especially just purchase price — but rather work cross-functionally with stakeholders to develop supply requirements and related performance metrics needed to support their particular objectives, and then work backwards to optimize the balanced scorecard so that all stakeholder objectives are considered and optimized.

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Procurement: Be Intelligent and Disrupt Thyself!

- January 11, 2016 8:25 AM | Categories: Procurement Systems & Architecture, Technology

disruptive technology The circle of life includes death, and traditional procurement is dying. The sooner that procurement organizations, and the solution and service providers that serve them, recognize how the various aspects of the old procurement model are dying, the more quickly they can plan for rebirth. Honestly, I think procurement today is really not that different from 10–15 years ago, but procurement 10 years from today is going to be very different indeed, and it’s going to be because of technology.

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GM Invests in Lyft: Digital Business Strategy and Platform Wars in the Supply Chain (Part 1)

Uber GM announced earlier this week a $500 million investment in ridesharing company Lyft as part of a $1 billion fundraising round. The partnership entails joint development of a network of autonomous GM vehicles that can be summoned via the Lyft mobile app. GM’s move here has many lessons for procurement and supply chain organizations that we’ll discuss in future posts, but as an interesting side note, one of the providers linking into AppLink is Concur.

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Procurement Instructables: Building Your Own Guided Buying Engine

guided buying Procurement works hard to establish preferred supply agreements, but the moment of truth comes when somebody in the firm needs to buy something. This process of searching for supply is not always a delightful experience. So, to keep internal customers on the ranch and guide them to the preferred supply source that hopefully meets their needs — and have a feedback process if it doesn’t — you need a guided buying process.

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How to Build Your Own Guided Buying Process

spend visiblity The process of searching for supply is not always a delightful experience. So, to keep internal customers on the ranch and guide them to the preferred supply source that hopefully meets their needs, you need a guided buying process. Great, but how should you build a guided buying process? I’ll take a page out of DIY site instructables.com and show you how to build your own. The first thing you need to do is to take stock of the software that you have available to use. You may have some packaged e-procurement and e-sourcing applications, some ERP, some homegrown stuff and some duct tape. So, where to start? Here's what you'll need.

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How Non-Compliant is Your T&E and P-Card Spend?

services sector Gaining better compliance on your spending is not a new topic, but it’s still a daunting one for many reasons. Compliance takes many forms: regulatory compliance, internal compliance to contract, supplier compliance to contract and source-to-pay process compliance that affects the others. Therefore, your compliance analytics have to accommodate many different requirements, and we recommend including these analytics on your evolutionary journey from simple forensic “spent analysis” of PO and accounts payable (A/P) history to more strategic predictive supply analytics.

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What Procurement Leaders Can Learn from Calvin and Hobbes

- December 11, 2015 8:13 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Procurement Commentary

Calvin and Hobbes Just over 30 years ago, Calvin and Hobbes first appeared in print when I was in college. The cartoon series resonated with me strongly, and I have loved sharing it with my kids because of its humor, certainly, but also the way in which it captures a love of life not overly jaded by the trappings of everyday society. I’m not going to go overboard here, but there are some things that perhaps we can all learn from a little boy, his stuffed tiger and a healthy dose of imagination.

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