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Mining a new type of ‘less conventional’ Spend Matters procurement intelligence

03/16/2021 By

Our readers will be aware of the incredible breadth of content that Spend Matters produces on a daily basis to help the procurement professional be more informed and effective. Through our deep-dive vendor and technology analyses, breaking and daily news stories, CPO interviews, and opinion and insight into current affairs of the business world, we aim to equip our readers and subscribers with the knowledge to make meaningful decisions. And with our unique SolutionMap technology ranking engine, our tech-matching service and dedicated research, we strive to enable the practitioner with the tools to execute those decisions.

What many readers may not realize, however, is that behind all the research, intelligence and reporting that constitutes the Spend Matters machine, sits some very real and super clever people with real-world procurement and supply chain experience and expertise. Our analysts hail from diverse backgrounds and many have become authorities on the purchasing and supply chain industry. Meet some of them here.

As Spend Matters heads into a new era of diversifying our knowledge to cater to a more diverse procurement readership, we are also providing a new type of procurement intelligence that aims to advise and help procurement professionals with the less conventional challenges of the day, while offering topics for dialogue and debate. One of those voices will come from our Chief Research Analyst, Pierre Mitchell.

Introducing the ‘conventional’ Pierre

Many of you will know Pierre from his 30 years’ experience in digital transformation, best practices, benchmarking and supply chain. He is the chief architect of our industry-leading SolutionMap resource. He hails from the supply chain and some tours of duty in management consulting, and he’s well-known for his research and benchmarking days at The Hackett Group. 

Fun fact: He coined the term “guided buying” back in 2005 as the first procurement technology market analyst at AMR Research (now part of Gartner Group). 

At Spend Matters, Pierre has penned hundreds of research reports, advised many organizations in strategy and emerging tech to deliver value beyond cost savings, and has spoken at a multitude of internationally recognized events to both educate and empower procurement and supply chain organizations to achieve their goals.

If you’d like to listen to Pierre in action, tune into the Spend Friends video podcast series where he and CIPS invite special guests each month to discuss topical themes and offer some advice for all procurement practitioners from all walks of life. You can follow or connect with Pierre here, and of course subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Introducing some ‘Unconventional Wisdom’

What we are aiming to do in the coming weeks and months is to mine the brain that is behind much of Spend Matters IP for those one-off nuggets that create “a ha!” moments with practitioners.

We’ll be talking to Pierre to extract ideas, wisdom and advice on many of the pain points that continue to plague the community. And we’ll be making those conversations available for free and in many formats: look out for LinkedIn articles, podcasts, and a new weekly column on Spend Matters where he’ll get into:

  • Commentary on current affairs and how they might translate into procurement
  • Regular rants on what is irking procurement, and what we might do about it
  • What’s really lurking behind the procurement headlines
  • Some of the really important (perhaps even ‘disruptive’) technologies and case studies to pay attention to
  • The truth behind some of the myths we’ve come to believe about procurement …

… and more!

Would the real Pierre Mitchell please stand up

Now that you’ve got to know a bit more about Pierre, here’s the interesting stuff (from Pierre himself):


“Grew up a Cubs/Bears fan in Chicago, but been in Boston the last 30 years. Married, lives in Lexington, Mass., but still hasn’t attended the 5 a.m. battle green re-enactment. Three kids (and Oliver the hound) — the oldest has nearly turned me vegan — nearly. Son of refugees who fled Egypt in the 1950s. Sephardic Jewish mom and Greek dad (and was born with last name “Michellepis”) who liked French first names I guess. Have three brothers and one is a procurement category manager!”


“Cycling, coffee roasting (lowest TCO for highest quality), cooking (not cleaning), hiking, yoga, wine, hazy NE IPAs, lyrical/cerebral piano jazz (Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch, etc.), Grateful Dead, Prog rock, Indie, NPR tiny desk, movies, friends, chasing shiny objects, duality, spirituality, free will, choice, diversity/cultures (especially food!), good stories, well-designed visualizations, family.

“Empathy, humor, genuine-ness, open-mindedness, irreverence, thoughtfulness, kindness, honesty, independent thinking.”


“Most mushrooms, closed mindedness, short-term thinking, elitism (e.g., Harvard MBAs,  generally), smarminess (is that a word?), pandemics, vapidness, grappa, haters, trade-offs (e.g., economic conservatism vs. social progressivism), labels, materialism, hypocrisy, lack of self-awareness, and ‘best’ as an email sign-off (please don’t feel offended if you use it though).”

Would most like to meet:

“Harry Styles. And I’m bringing my teenage daughter with me.”

How he fell into procurement:

“Through supply chain and consulting. Supply chain was much more appealing: combination of real-world and impact of tech to make a difference. Procurement was originally boring to me, doing deals and pushing POs. Then I did some sourcing work in consulting and things eventually flipped for me (SCM is still too much ‘feeds and speeds’) during the great morphing of supply management and bringing these worlds together — with digital as the disruption juice to tap the amazing power of supply markets. It’s a good time to be here!”

The topic he could discuss for hours on end:

“Almost anything given the right conditions. I’ll leave it there.”