The Procurement Analysts’ Reel Episode 6 – An Interview with Michael Lamoureux

As we explained in our initial post, we are running a series of podcasts we have named The Procurement Analysts' Reel – in them we speak to each of our analysts about their areas of expertise, and their thoughts on current market trends within their procurement domains.

We thought it was about time our readers got to understand who it is that is behind our vendor and tech analysis and who contributes to the famous SolutionMap vendor and platform benchmark rankings. The analysts have a deep understanding of the procurement market which can help procurement practitioners and leaders with their business challenges.

Here's Michael:

In a nutshell: 

Michael is Spend Matters’ lead analyst on strategic procurement technologies and advanced technology applications.

Michael’s background and role at Spend Matters 

Michael’s background is “broad and varied.” He has a degree in mathematics, and a degree and PhD in computer science; his education focused on data structures, computational geometry, high-dimensional mathematical modelling and core algorithms. He began working as an enterprise architect, before transitioning into sourcing and supply chains in 2000 at MindFlow Technologies. Overall, Michael has spent about 22 years in e-commerce and sourcing in procurement and supply chain and has held many roles, including developer, architect, research scientist, chief technology officer, consultant, and analyst. “Basically what I do is everything source-to-pay from a technology perspective,” he said.

Michael is now the lead consulting analyst on strategic procurement technologies and as Core Platform Technology Analyst evaluates advanced-level tech. He also covers the suite vendors, sourcing, analytics and supplier management for SolutionMap, and works on consulting and due diligence matters for Spend Matters when clients need a deeper level of evaluation or insight. Unlike analysts who come from an operations, consulting or journalistic background, Michael comes from a core technology background, which enables him to “dive deep when no one else can.”

What makes Michael passionate about procurement? 

Michael truly believes that “cost control is the better way to organisational growth.” He thinks organisations become less profitable when they focus on sales and revenue instead of cost control and expense. Michael notes that a few decades ago procurement and sourcing were the last avenue for company value generation and profitability, because most agencies helped companies expand their marketing and sales efforts, rather than cost control. “You can sometimes spend a lot less, but be a lot more profitable if you’re not wasting any money,” Michael said.

What trends does Michael observe in procurement technology now and in the future?

Michael believes that organisations that were early adopters of technology and have continued improving the platforms they use for sourcing and procurement see “tremendous returns,” such as savings of 10% to 15%, increased visibility into costs and supply base and a better ability to maintain oversight of their supply base. This focus allows them to better mitigate risk, understand supplier compliance and where third-party validation is required. “Companies that have adopted sourcing platforms have identified and negotiated additional savings,” he said.

Michael is interested in technology that uses advanced modelling and analytics and incorporates machine learning or adaptive technology to better support buyers’ end goals. “I’m interested in how technology is truly progressing,” he said. He wonders whether we have reached a plateau where Enterprise Resource Planning and Material Requirement Planning data will stagnate for a while or whether technology will continue to advance and produce “procurement 4.0” in the future.

What does Michael believe people don’t know about Spend Matters, but should?

“The degree of depth in terms of coverage of core source-to-pay goes beyond most other analyst firms that have a much broader focus in their technology coverage,” he said. The team members at Spend Matters have their own areas of focus, whether sourcing and analytics, advanced procurement technology, the peer-to-peer space, services capabilities, service analysis or customer lifestyle management. “By focusing in on one area versus trying to cover dozens, we have a deeper understanding and the end result is SolutionMap,” Michael said. “That’s where Spend Matters is different. We go much deeper and can provide much better insights for people looking to augment their source-to-pay capabilities.”

What trends and developments does Michael observe in Europe?

Earlier this decade, Michael noticed an emergence of new technologies and innovative start-ups in Europe. He also notes that many recent acquisitions by the North American heavyweights are European companies. Companies that started in Europe, he observes, “offered solutions that were multilingual, multi-currency and supported multiple regulations” from day one. In contrast, most of the North American companies were English-only, used only USD and did not have a lot of support for specific tax laws, e-invoicing, e-commerce regulations or the different documentary requirements necessary for crossing borders. European firms also have an in-depth approach to overall cost modelling and network modelling.

Listen to the full podcast to get to know Michael better.

Tune in next week for our interview with more of our analysts!

 

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