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.


Design-Centered Thinking and Innovation in Procurement (Part 1) — An Introduction

design thinking

In the 1980s, GM learned a difficult lesson about technology when it copied Japanese auto manufacturers in their use of robotics — but didn’t copy anything else. GM figured that large capital investments in expensive technology were the key design element in the Japanese supply chain. Unfortunately, the technology itself was complicated and was not used within the context of a broader supply chain design that emphasized lean manufacturing principles.

Oracle Acquires Textura — Tackling Payments and the Financial Supply Chain for Construction and More

kritchanut/Adobe Stock

Oracle announced Thursday it agreed to acquire Textura, a cloud-based solution for the construction industry with end-to-end capabilities spanning from initial bid estimation and sourcing through to subcontractor management, communication and collaboration, invoicing and payment. The $633 million transaction values Textura at roughly 8X trailing revenue and represents an over 30% premium to the previous day’s close, a stiff price for a product that will complement one of Oracle's existing solution lines.

Defining Your Solution Approach: Supplier Management 101 (Part 3)

supplier management

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced supplier management from a process and methodology standpoint before mapping it to various solution areas that are out in the marketplace. Supplier management often is called SLM because of its lifecycle focus, which spans initial analysis (analysis and opportunity identification), planning (sourcing), negotiation (contract management) and execution (performance), and closes the process loop by leading back to the analysis phase of the strategic sourcing cycle as a result of future opportunity identification. Third-party management (3PM), which deals with non-suppliers that are also critical to your organization — such as government agencies, third-party logistics, partners and (media) agencies — is simply the application of the appropriate finely-tuned subset of supplier management capabilities to the third party that needs to be managed for organizational success. And, of course, you also need good supplier information. In this installment we cover what is in scope from a process and information standpoint before mapping to solution categories that are available in the market.

A Simple Way to Understand Supply Chain Resiliency, Agility and Prevention: Superheroes!

agility

If you’re like me, you get overwhelmed by the various jargon that gets thrown around and would like an easy way to sift through the clutter. Well, today, I’m going to offer procurement and supply chain professionals a metaphor for understanding one area in the supply chain — supply chain risk. In particular, the terms resiliency and agility are thrown around quite a bit. The same with goes with older terms such as risk prevention or mitigation.

Why Over-Compliance Can Actually Increase Risk

Supply risk

One thing that has struck me over the years is how disconnected supply chain risk management and supply chain compliance can be. Even within the supplier realm, supplier risk management and supplier compliance often can be strangely siloed. In a perfect world, you would hope that improved supplier compliance, especially regulatory compliance, would reduce supplier risk. Yet what often happens is that so much time is spent "checking the box" on supplier compliance activities that little remains to focus on the “real” risks out there threatening supply performance.

Verian-Basware Deal Analysis: North America Expansion, Solution Comparison and Integration Strategy

Tradeshift Baiwang

Basware announced Thursday it was acquiring Verian, a U.S.-based procure-to-pay (P2P) provider. Spend Matters broke the news and offered initial commentary a few hours after the transaction was announced. And later in the day, we published our first PRO briefing on the news, offering our initial analysis of the transaction and how it may impact the market. Given the fact we believe the transaction will disproportionately impact the North American market in relation to its relative low transaction value (approximately $35 million, according to Basware), the Spend Matters research team will provide additional targeted commentary in the coming days on the deal, especially surrounding its likely impact on customers, prospective customers and competitors. This PRO series includes our analysis of the transaction, provides summary background on the solution focus and capability of the providers and cuts through some of the marketing claims of the deal to get at what we believe really matters. In this installment, we explore Basware’s North America expansion strategy, provide insight on the key solution components (and differentiators) of each of the providers and tackle the unified versus loosely coupled suite question head on. In the final installment of this series publishing next week, we will provide detailed customer and competitor recommendations and analysis.

Spend Matters Launches New Personalized As-a-Service Research Platform

ra2 studio/Adobe Stock

We wanted to take our thought leadership one step further and personalize the insights about smartly tapping innovation from the XaaS mega market. You are unique and therefore we wanted to “mass customize” an XaaS intelligence solution for you. It goes beyond traditional supply market intelligence to tailor the content your unique needs. We call it MyaaS.

Basware Acquires Verian: First Take and Market Analysis

Tradeshift Baiwang

Earlier today, Basware announced it acquired Verian, a procure-to-pay (P2P) provider. Following the announcement, Basware shared with Spend Matters that the acquisition was done at an approximate 3.5X trailing revenue multiple. (Verian’s 2015 revenues were $10.5 million and the overall deal value was $35.9 million, according to Basware.) Given the deal terms and the immediate growth potential of the Verian business with increased distribution through Basware, Spend Matters believes the transaction will be accretive (i.e., adding value that exceeds the cost of the acquisition by improving revenue and earnings ratios) to Basware by 2017 (if not before). Basware also shared with Spend Matters that the deal is expected to close on April 1, 2016. This Spend Matters PRO analysis shares our initial impressions of the Verian acquisition and what it means for Basware, as well as provides preliminary market analysis. Additional PRO commentary, publishing in the coming days, will center on detailed customer and competitor analysis.

Tech Benefits: Write Better RFPs (Part 5)

RFP

In our first article, we noted that sometimes good RFP responses are hard to come by. We noted that there are a variety of reasons why this is the case and tried to give some insights on what makes a good RFP. Then, in Part 2 of this series, we defined some critical requirements of a good RFP in an effort to help you write better RFPs. In Part 3, we discussed how to understand and incorporate the supplier’s perspective into your RFP so that you can be a “prospective customer of choice” by presenting an “RFP of choice” that makes your business even more attractive to the prospective supplier. Finally, in Part 4, we highlighted some best practices to consider in creating one. To close out this series, we’ll examine how the best way to write a better RFP is to make the task easier via automation. That’s what a good software solution will do. Modern RFX solutions that support requests for information (RFIs), proposals (RFPs) and quotes (RFQs) bring with them a host of benefits and should be adopted if you aren't using them already. The only possible exception is when the RFX is for an RFX solution, in which case you may have to use a system (“free” supplier-funded solutions or a homegrown/spreadsheet tool) that doesn’t compete with the solutions you’re considering!

Buyer Best Practices: Write Better RFPs (Part 4)

RFP

In our first article, we noted that sometimes good RFP responses are hard to come by. We noted that there are a variety of reasons why this is the case and tried to give some insights on what makes a good RFP. Then, in Part 2 of this series, we defined some critical requirements of a good RFP in an effort to help you write better RFPs. Finally, in Part 3, we discussed how to understand and incorporate the supplier’s perspective into your RFP so that you can be a “prospective customer of choice” by presenting an “RFP of choice” that makes your business even more attractive to the prospective supplier. To do that, let’s dive into some details on the best practices needed for creating one.

In Defense of Innovators — A Fond Farewell to Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson, the keyboard player for the trio ELP (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) died earlier this month, unfortunately at his own hand. As the consummate perfectionist, he didn’t want to disappoint fans as nerve damage had been affecting his right arm at the age of 71. What a tragedy — and waste of genius’ life. I’ve been playing a lot of ELP recently, and although it’s been a real hit on my productivity, I can’t help myself.

Provider Secrets: Write Better RFPs (Part 3)

RFP

In our first article we noted that sometimes good RFP responses are hard to come by. We noted that there are a variety of reasons why this is the case, and tried to give some insights on what makes a good RFP. Then, in Part 2 of this series, we defined some critical requirements of a good RFP in an effort to help you write better RFPs. Before we move on to some best practices and benefits, we feel it’s important to consider the supplier’s perspective more formally. If you are going to be a “customer of choice,” you should present an “RFP of choice” that makes your business even more attractive to the prospective supplier. One of the best ways to signal that you are more than just a checkbook is to demonstrate leadership right from the onset.