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.

Opportunities Await Within the Amazon Business Marketplace

- May 27, 2015 2:33 AM | Categories: Analysis, Solution Providers, Sourcing

fishing-fishing-tackle-large In our previous Spend Matters main site coverage of Amazon Business and Part 1 of our Spend Matters PRO analysis, we dove into some of the details of Amazon’s re-vamped foray into B2B e-commerce, particularly regarding the user experience and Amazon’s selection and pricing features. In this next edition, we’ll dive into some of the marketplace solution functionality and some opportunities to close the key gaps. In the next installment, we’ll also analyze some of key opportunities we see for Amazon to improve its B2B solution for larger firms – and even form smaller ones, too! Many associate the term “solution” only with software applications, and while Amazon Business is initially basically a re-skinned version of Amazon.com, we expect to see more e-procurement-like functionality embedded in it to serve the needs of smaller firms where a large percentage of their spending could come from a provider like Amazon. For larger firms, the story is, of course, different as we’ll explain...

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Spend Matters 50/50: Amazon Business – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 21, 2015 2:37 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Amazon Business is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in 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. Amazon is a “provider to know” on many levels, but this also applies to B2B procurement. Amazon Business is the B2B version of Amazon.com. Previously running as amazonsupply.com, it is somewhat of a “re-skinned” version of the Amazon.com consumer e-marketplace.

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Bringing Innovation and Flexibility to Category Management – Category Management 2.0 (Part 3)

hands-new-years-eve-sparkler-2308-825x550 This third and final installment of an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoyed it. Please contact me if you have any questions on the topic – and be on the lookout for the full version of the pending series. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced Category Management 2.0 as “The lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and why it’s superior to category sourcing processes locked inside of an n-step sourcing process. In Part 2, we also began discussing some approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and wrap up with a few closing thoughts.

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How Technology Helps Take Category Management to the Next Level – Category Management 2.0 (Part 2)

abstract-led-lights-1944-898x350 This second part of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoy it. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced category management 2.0 as “the lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and began discussing approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and introduce some approaches to make this happen.

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Spend Matters 50/50: Zycus – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 14, 2015 1:21 PM | Categories: Finance, Solution Providers

Zycus is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in 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. Zycus is a full-suite procurement technology firm based predominantly in Mumbai, India, but serving a heavily US customer base. In the early 2000s, Zycus made a name for itself with its AI-based auto classification capabilities in spend analysis and master data management before embarking on an organic and self-funded development path to build out strategic procurement technology applications such as e-sourcing, contract management and supplier management.

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Category Management 2.0 – Breaking Out From Sourcing Silos to End-to-End Supply Management

- May 13, 2015 2:28 AM | Categories: Category Management, Sourcing, Spend Management

lamps-silo-sky-4496-825x550 This is Part 1 of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that’d be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. I’d like to thank BravoSolution for giving me free reign to really explore this topic in the detail it really deserves (and also a shout out to my peers who helped in developing it). OK, let’s get on with it… Procurement organizations, like the stakeholders they serve, are continually tasked to do more with less. They need to reduce complexity and squeeze out costs, both internally and within the supply base, and also address broader issues such as innovation, customer engagement, risk management, globalization, sustainability and various industry-specific mandates. Unfortunately, procurement’s toolbox isn't always full of the tools needed to get these other jobs done. In this Spend Matters PRO series, we’ll address how to free category management from the shackles of strategic sourcing to unlock broader procurement value creation. It’s more than the usual “yada, yada, yada,” and we hope that PRO members gain value out of this series.

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Spend Matters 50/50: A.T. Kearney – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 12, 2015 1:43 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

A.T. Kearney is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in 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. If there’s a global management consulting firm whose name is practically synonymous with strategic sourcing, it’s A.T. Kearney. Colloquially known as “Kearney” or “ATK,” this firm basically authored the 7-step sourcing process back in the 1980s/1990s that is burnt into the DNA of most strategic procurement professionals.

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Spend Matters 50/50: McKinsey & Co. – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 8, 2015 3:23 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

McKinsey & Co. is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in 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. McKinsey & Co. is easily the largest and most recognized strategy-consulting firm in the world. But, it also has a very strong procurement practice within its larger operations mega practice. Out of roughly 8,000 McKinsey management consultants, we’d estimate that almost a third are in operations and almost a third of that are in procurement – putting them into the 700-800 employee range.

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Spend Matters 50/50: ISM – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 7, 2015 1:12 PM | Categories: Featured

ISM is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. All companies are listed alphabetically in the almanac, and purposely not ranked. ISM is the de facto standard of procurement industry associations in the US The 48,000 member-strong organization is expanding its reach into broader supply chain management and outside of the United States through its affiliates such as those in Japan and China.

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ISM’s Mastery Model and Musings on Supply Management Associations

artist-black-and-white-magic-1417-807x550 (1) Last night at ISM 2015, I sat in on a presentation with ISM’s CEO Tom Derry, who was discussing the official launch of ISM’s Mastery Model – a new competency-based assessment and training model. It’s always good to see a CEO formally taking responsibility for communicating the rollout of a new product – sort of like the Apple launches by Steve Jobs and now Tim Cook. But, the Mastery Model is not really a “product” per se, and as Tom said, “We think this is a career standard for the industry… Our goal is make ISM Mastery Model a recognized brand.” To make something a standard though, it has to be open (unlike, say, how NIGP manages its NIGP Codes), and the good news here is that it is!

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ISM 2015: Storm Rolls In Ahead of Supply Chain Risk Discussion

- May 4, 2015 4:19 PM | Categories: Conferences, Supply Risk Management

ISM kicked off yesterday with a keynote by ex-DoD czar Bob Gates – an appropriate speaker given the current focus on supply chain risk, which is probably the hottest area going on in procurement right now. It's also the most challenging to get funded. Based on the interim procurement/finance study results I'm presenting tomorrow at the conference, supply risk is the most challenging alignment area for the most sophisticated manufacturing organizations. On the flip side, the least sophisticated are still trying to figure out who owns the supplier master and can set up a supplier.

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Spend Matters 50/50: GEP – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 1, 2015 1:27 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers, Technology

GEP is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. All companies are listed alphabetically in the almanac, and purposely not ranked. Our first 17 will include those that will be at the ISM Conference on May 3 and 4. GEP is the proverbial Swiss Army knife of the procurement world.

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