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.

Developing Strategy: Your Supply Risk Management 2016 Game Plan (Part 2)

supply risk We continue our outlook on how to manage supply risk in 2016 by paraphrasing the adage that advises folks to think globally and act locally, and breaking it down for procurement practitioners. We began our first post in this four-part Spend Matters Plus series with a definition of the major categories of risk that an average organization is exposed to and noted how omnipresent and expensive risk is. In this installment, we dive into a risk management strategy based on global thinking and local implementation before moving on to cover risk and reward alignment as a key to adoption and a discussion of how to monitor and manage your risk management program for success in the remainder of this series.

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9 Things Procurement Can Be Thankful For

- November 26, 2015 8:15 AM | Categories: Industry News, Procurement Commentary

Procurement As Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s important to reflect on all the things to be thankful for in our lives — professionally and personally. Scientific studies have shown that the more that you explicitly write down the things that make you happy and that you’re thankful for, the happier and likely more productive you’ll be. So, I thought it’d be good to consider what procurement organizations can be thankful for, and also what I’m personally thankful for.

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The Great Staples Carve-Out and a Possible Monster Mash-Up

- November 24, 2015 6:36 AM | Categories: Finance, Industry News, M&A, Procurement

Staples In the first post of this series, I talked about procurement’s role in divestitures and more broadly in strategic planning, using the recently rumored Staples proposal to the FTC as a case study. My recommendation would be for Staples to carve out the small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment and sell it to a private equity firm that could bring an Essendant-powered supply chain that could reintermediate regional or local office products firms. But what could this be?

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Procurement’s Involvement in Divestitures: The Staples Case

- November 23, 2015 8:18 AM | Categories: Case Study, Industry News, M&A, Procurement Strategy & Planning

Staples Procurement's role, and a supply chain group's role more broadly, should figure into the strategy as well. Any procurement organization can have a strategy that supports an existing enterprise strategy, but only a truly strategic procurement group can actually help influence the business strategy. So, let’s consider a future case study in the making and consider the situation with office products retailer Staples.

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Your Supply Risk Management 2016 Game Plan (Part 1)

- November 19, 2015 2:37 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Risk, Supply Risk Management

supply risk Risk is more than just a board game. Supply risk is more than just a natural disaster messing up your company’s plans, and supply risk management is not a new topic — nor will it be going away anytime soon. But it's no time to be complacent. In this four-part Spend Matters Plus series, we provide our outlook on how best to define and manage supply risk programs in 2016, based on lessons learned from leaders. We begin with a definition of the major categories of risk that an average organization is exposed to, then discuss a risk management strategy based on global thinking and local implementation, cover risk and reward alignment as a key to adoption and conclude with a discussion of how to monitor and manage your risk management program for success.

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Selecting a P2P Provider in the Oil and Gas Industry: Requirements and Market Segmentation

gas rig The oil and gas industry has unique requirements when it comes to procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions. In Part 2 of this Spend Matters research brief, we take a look at these specific needs, including electronic catalog setup within P2P, necessary capabilities for e-requisitioning and field ticket entry application tools. Today, we discuss the remaining requirements oil and gas companies need when it comes to a P2P solution and segment the P2P market. We also explain why we recommend oil and gas industry companies think about a “loose coupling” approach to selecting P2P solution providers as a means to support industry requirements.

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The Unique P2P Needs of the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry

- November 10, 2015 2:15 AM | Categories: eProcurement / Procurement, P2P, Technology

P2P in the oil and gas industry Given the dynamic nature of the oil and gas industry, various information and technology providers have emerged to support the B2B e-commerce requirements of this extended supply chain. In addition, the emergence of cloud computing, mobile devices and the need for complex but easy-to-use functionality, such as field tickets support, has created a need for oil and gas firms to look for better industry support from incumbent procure-to-pay (P2P) providers — coupled with industry-specific providers that span the range from tablet-based applications purpose-built for the field to broader cloud-based applications and networks. In this two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, we explore some of the unique P2P needs of the oil and gas industry in terms of application functionality and broader technology and services requirements. The focus will be on core P2P, but we’ll touch on ancillary areas as well.

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Catalogs Get No Respect — and That’s a Mistake

catalog When you think of electronic catalogs, do you get excited? Probably not. My colleague Jason Busch penned a piece on this last week that needed a retort. Although you might not find catalogs very sexy, if you look at the data on how the best procurement organizations use them properly, and the performance uplift those organizations get, you probably would.

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Polymorphism: The Key to a Mass-Customized Procurement Organization and Technology Platform

molding clay I want to talk about polymorphism. Yes, polymorphism. Right now, there are about seven technology programmers reading this wearing Grady Booch T-shirts that say “Right on!” For the rest of you, please read on. Polymorphism is about being able to take multiple forms (the “morph” part of the term) and behave in different ways even though you are part of the same class of items. But what does this have to do with procurement? Everything!

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Industrial Manufacturing Malaise Creates a Silver Lining in Procurement’s Cloud

- October 21, 2015 6:21 AM | Categories: Industry News, Outsourcing, Procurement, World Trade

file000997388783 U.S. industrial manufacturers have become less optimistic about the world economy and few see potential of global growth, according to the recently released Q3 2015 Manufacturing Barometer from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Among the industrial manufacturers surveyed in the PwC report who sell abroad, less than a quarter (23%) are optimistic about the global economy in the year ahead, representing a large drop from the 38% with an optimistic view in the second quarter of 2015.

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Spend Matters 50/50: Fieldglass (An SAP Company) – A Provider to Know in 2015

- October 15, 2015 3:30 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Fieldglass (An SAP Company) is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) from 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.

Fieldglass (now part of SAP) is one of the leading vendor management systems (VMS) in the market. The firm has been a long-time player (since 1999) in automating contingent labor management and has more recently shored up its support for broader statement of work (SOW)-based services beyond just independent contractors.

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What is Services Procurement?

what-s-that The question “What is services procurement?” may seem like a dumb question to many. But we would argue that it is an important question for the procurement community to ask itself. However, in this process, another set of questions arises: Is the current state of affairs adequate/acceptable, or should procurement be striving to bring the broad concept of services under a unified perspective? What would be the reasons for doing so? What would be involved? This Plus post aims to tackle all these questions and provide insight into the services procurement world.

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