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Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters: Delivering Value in the Face of VUCA

Variability, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA) – these are the conditions of the “new normal” set of operating conditions faced by most firms today in their value chains.  When one layers on top of this the challenges of navigating one’s way through the “new oil” of digital supply chains, it adds up to a whole lot of challenges for the supply chain manager of today.

Students and executives can both learn a lot by listening to this video of my interview with Pierre Mitchell, one of the primary authors of the new report released by Deloitte on the 2019 Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey.

Pierre highlights a few of the key insights from the study, and provides some interesting anecdotes and commentary on how to interpret some of the results.  Some the results are not surprising given the environment we are in, but a number of them are important for anyone who is working in the supply chain to be aware of.  First, the external risks of a political economic downturn as well as the potential for uncertainty given the trade wars is creating a lot of anxiety for CPOs.  (This is in fact the topic of our upcoming SCRC meeting, “Tariffs and Trade Wars:  The New Normal”.)

Another insight is that CPOs continue to feel the pressure to cut costs in the face of economic and political risks.  This is in addition to the internal challenges they are facing to push forward with “digital” transformation internally, (although Pierre is clear that he isn’t a big fan of the term “digital” anymore!) . Finally, he also alludes to the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, where data is the “new oil”.  However, progress on this front is being held up by, (you guessed it), the abysmal quality of data that exists in most organization’s supply chain systems, and which requires increased levels of data governance.)

Anyone interested in learning more, check out this video – it’s an opportunity to learn from one of the best minds in procurement today (as you can tell, I’m a big Pierre Mitchell fan!)