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.

Interest Rates Are at an All-Time Low! But, What If…

We’re currently running as a snap poll in conjunction with ISM. It's a super short survey and will take five to 10 minutes, max. The study is aimed at helping bridging procurement, supply chain, and finance from taking a cash-centric view about how liquidity drives supply. Our focus is on understanding perceptions on recent inflationary trends and the increasing cost of finance capital, among other areas. Study participants will receive the quantitative study results, but will also receive additional research currently being performed on what some leading companies are doing in these areas. For an extra little incentive, participants will also have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, and with only a few dozen responses so far, your chances are good! Click here to take the survey.

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An Update on Crossflow Payments: Trade Financing and Free EDI/invoice Connectivity Rocketing Up

Crossflow Payments offers financing that is integrally coupled with free supplier network/EDI replacement capabilities as the two central components of the value proposition. From a marketing perspective, the firm appeared to be relatively quiet since launch, but they’ve more than made up for it in commercial traction to date. The genius of the approach is that the team has taken many years of experience from the world of EDI for all spend areas (e.g., direct and indirect) and combined it with an in-depth understanding of broader trade financing, including cross border transactions. So far 20 UK companies have taken Crossflow up on the offer of a free EDI replacement for supplier connectivity. The company typically signs three-year agreements for free EDI transaction processing (integrated to a commitment to offer the Crossflow finance solution to suppliers). Crossflow’s revenue is driven by its free connectivity, a competitive transactional connectivity offering – and of course the uptake by suppliers of finance. We’re very enthusiastic about Crossflow’s prospects in the market – in the UK and beyond. Spend Matters PRO members can read why in the full text of our analysis.

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Coupa Gets Closer to SAP with NetWeaver Certification – SAP Does Not Get Closer to Coupa

- April 17, 2014 10:44 AM | Categories: Commentary, Industry News, Solution Providers

Yesterday at Inspire, Coupa announced that its latest release, Coupa 11, has achieved SAP NetWeaver certification. According to the press release that went out, Coupa “has achieved SAP certification as powered by the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform … The SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) has certified that the Coupa 11 application suite is powered by SAP NetWeaver." Coupa’s choice of using NetWeaver for SAP integration is a pragmatic one for many reasons.

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Coupa and DocuSign: A Critical Partnership that Bodes Well for Finance, Legal, and Procurement

Coupa announced today that it is partnering with DocuSign to provide integrated digital signing capability with its own set of applications. For customers, this partnership is perhaps the most pragmatic announcement to come out of Coupa Inspire 2014 and is important on many levels for finance, legal, procurement, and supplier collaboration. The integration of digital signatures with source-to-pay suites may seem to be a simple “nice-to-have” for procurement, finance, and legal organizations. But looking ahead, especially as contract management becomes more integrated with standard buying, approvals, invoicing, and compliance workflow in an automated and straight-through-processing (ideally) manner, digital signing will become even more integral to source-to-pay than it currently is. Read on for our analysis of the partnership, its implications, and customer recommendations.

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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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