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, 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.

2015 Will be the Year of the Chief Buzzword Officer

- January 23, 2015 2:28 AM | Categories: Commentary, Friday Rant, Procurement

The 2015 prediction season is thankfully winding down. We, too, are wrapping up our predictions, many of which are really a continuation of some 2014 predictions, and, like other predictions, are updates on some trends that get extrapolated forward. We don’t fashion ourselves as “futurists,” and if we did, we’d have to incur Dr. Lamoureaux’s wrath on the topic and also on predictions in general. Anyway, prediction season is a good time for providers and pundits to invent new buzzwords that try to encapsulate a trend, but more specifically, also try to support a new concept or marketing push that they like. So, for an analyst firm, this might go something like: “Supplier Management is dead: Long Live Supply Base Management!” or “It’s time for Procurement 4.0!”

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Becoming a Smarter Services Customer – The Evolution of the Operations, Procurement and Sourcing Consulting Market (Part 3)

- January 22, 2015 2:45 AM | Categories: Analysis, Sourcing

In Part 3 of our series examining the evolution of operations, procurement and sourcing consulting, we turn our attention to maximizing value and becoming a smarter services customer. This topic is especially critical when practice utilization (percentage of hours billed as a percent of total available hours of employee bench capacity) is near all-time highs given the current market conditions where purse strings have been slightly loosened to execute the backlog of post-recession activities (e.g., ERP upgrade projects, procurement training, "souring wave n+1" activity, etc.). Previously in this series, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch explored growth rates within firms, the battle for consulting talent, the rise of new practice areas as well as threats and opportunities for the sector.

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What Procurement Can Learn From the New England Patriots

1402599653zouip My colleague Peter Smith penned a great article earlier this week on what procurement can learn from Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks and their amazing come-from-behind win against the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks will face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl XLIX – what should be a terrific game. As I write this article from my home near Boston, I thought it’d be good to provide another perspective– this time from the Patriot’s point of view. I know: big eye roll from fans of the other 31 teams and the all Patriot’s haters. Don’t attach too much of your ego to any team, it’s just a game right? Rather, let’s learn from one game and apply it to another, namely the Great Game of Procurement.

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Don’t Get Mad at Your Trading Partners Who Did You Wrong – Glitter Bomb Them!

- January 14, 2015 1:37 PM | Categories: Commentary

14207642551egcb Have you been harmed by a current, previous or prospective partner? Don't just get mad at them, get your sparkle on and send them some glitter! At (yes, this is a real web site), you can do just that.

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The Evolution of the Operations, Procurement and Sourcing Consulting Market (Part 2 – Threats and Opportunities)

- January 14, 2015 2:55 AM | Categories: Procurement, Sourcing

The management consulting market for procurement, sourcing and related services has grown dramatically in the past 5 years (in the first installment in this series, we share our market growth analysis, along with key trends in 2014). But unlike the numbers, the news (beneath the surface) is not entirely positive. Granted, while from a practice revenue and growth perspective, it is difficult to argue with anything but the notion that we are living in the “best of times,” if you're an insider in the operations, procurement and sourcing consulting market, the actual 2015 reality brings with a number of threats as well. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO series, Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell consider the evolution of the operations and procurement consulting market and how clients can focus on getting the maximum value from their services partners. Today, they focus on threats and opportunities in the procurement consulting market for 2015 and beyond.

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The Evolution of the Operations, Procurement and Sourcing Consulting Market (Part 1 – A High CAGR Is Potentially Misleading)

- January 13, 2015 2:31 AM | Categories: Procurement, Sourcing

If looked at from a superficial perspective, the procurement and sourcing consulting landscape looks similar to how it did 5 years ago. The firms that dominate the sector are largely the same. Boutiques also remain in the mix, but beneath the surface, there are highly significant changes that have been causing a material shift in the market. Large incumbents are acquiring niche provider and are now looking to build a broader spectrum of technology, managed services, integrated market intelligence, advanced analytics and defensible vertical capabilities to go on the offense. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO series, Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell consider the evolution of the operations and procurement consulting market and how clients can focus on gaining the maximum value from their services partners.

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Solving the Best of Breed vs. Incumbent Sourcing Problem – Beyond Selecting Technology

- January 12, 2015 10:02 AM | Categories: Category Management, Sourcing, Technology

apple-bag-collaboration-154-820x550 I was talking to a category manager in the marketing space who I’ve known for decades about his category management plans for 2015. He had a successful year in 2014 driving value in the public relations category but was now looking at broader marketing promotions and, of course, the impact of digital marketing. His stakeholders are in multiple business units and regions, and his expanding “market basket” is becoming highly multivariate in terms of how you break it up by business unit, region and type of service (by process/sub-process; digital vs. conventional, etc.).

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Supply Risk Management 2015 (Part 3): Seizing Leadership and Learning From Example

- January 12, 2015 2:23 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

As we conclude our examination of collected leadership, tactic and management lessons from top supply risk management programs, we explore the role of technology (and why there is no such thing as a “supply risk management software market”), extending enterprise risk management into the supply chain, why no silver risk bullets exist and how to frame the problem for maximum effect. This 3-part Spend Matters PRO brief, co-authored by Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Spend Matters Vice President of Research Thomas Kase provides an outlook on how best to manage supply risk programs. Thomas and Pierre, combined with Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director, have tackled supply chain risk for over a decade in their research. The 3 collectively bring 50 years of experience to exploring the intersections of procurement, risk management, supplier management and the supply chain.

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What is Spaving? And Why Do We Need to Eradicate it?

- January 9, 2015 2:23 AM | Categories: Savings Tracking

We are fresh out of the shopping, I mean holiday, season. Before, during, after the holidays – the sales/"savings" never end… or at least that is what we are told. You know how the commercials go, “The more you spend, the more you save!” This is “spaving.”

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Supply Risk Management 2015 (Part 2): Best Practices

- January 8, 2015 2:59 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

As our examination of supply risk management best practices for 2015 continues, we turn our attention to measuring supply risk scoring in business terms, incorporating variation and volatility into risk models (beyond just structural complexity), showing risk graphically and fully considering supply risk management as an embedded process. This 3-part Spend Matters PRO brief, authored by Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell, provides an outlook on how best to manage supply risk programs in 2015. The lessons he presents are based on his experience working with and learning from best practice procurement and supply chain organizations – and academics in the field.

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Supply Risk Management 2015: Lessons from Leaders

- January 7, 2015 2:25 AM | Categories: Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

Supply risk is not a new topic, nor will it be going away anytime soon. But, it's no time to be complacent. In this 3-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell provides his outlook on how best to manage supply risk programs in 2015, based on lessons from leaders. We begin today with how to think globally and implement locally, aligning risk and reward and how to create and track the right set of metrics and benchmarks.

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50 Shades of Pay – Shade 12 (Part 2): Top 10 Recommendations for Financial Planning & Analysis Support

- January 2, 2015 2:56 AM | Categories: Finance, Spend Analysis

In our last post in this series, we discussed procurement’s role in helping finance professionals and budget owners use spend data to improve the financial planning and analysis process and the general business planning process. Now, we’re going to get specific about how to tackle this beast with some recommendations.

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