Procurement Management Resources and Professional Organizations

As with any profession, there are groups and organizations that can provide special resources pertaining to the field. These are usually groups focused on a particular topic and will involve themselves with anything related to that topic. Their membership is made up of those in that profession and related experts, which provides a special source of information for those who are new to the field. They can operate on the local, state, national, or international level, which means they can be rather easy to find if you know where to look.

This article will look at a variety of organizations and groups related to procurement management on the national and international levels. Information will include what it is that the organization does, their specialties, where they operate, their membership requirements, and any other pertinent information. The history of each organization and any special offerings, like educational resources and events, will also be included.

Take note that there isn't any professional requirement that states a career in procurement requires joining an organization such as these. There are also more organizations that operate throughout the world than what is listed here, including those specialized by industry or on the local level. This is just a sample of what is available, and you should consider searching on the internet or through professional connections for more organizations in your area if you are interested in joining a procurement organization.  

The Institute For Supply Management (ISM)

ISM is one of the largest global non-profit organizations for supply and procurement management. It's been around a little over 100 years since its founding in 1915. ISM is more of an educational organization, offering courses, certification, research, and professional development resources. It primarily offers two certifications for procurement professionals: the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) designation and the Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD) designation. Despite their long history, ISM's training programs have only been active since 2008--however, they boast more than 60,000 graduates from over 30 countries from those courses.

The ISM also offers a report that has proven valuable to the procurement and supply management profession that has been published every month since 1931, Report on Business. It has two versions, one focusing on manufacturing (the original) and a non-manufacturing version (first published in 1998). Both versions of the Report have long been used as a regular indicator of the economy for multiple professional fields in the business world, not just procurement and supply management. The monthly issues of the Report are available on the first and third business days at the start of each month on their website. They are free on ISM's website and do not require membership access to view. ISM has another publication, Inside Supply Management, which is available to members only.

  • Membership--There are three membership offerings: individual, corporate, and student/academic. The individual membership comes in two versions, Professional and Professional Plus, and offers discounted access to programs, ISM's publications, and other community resources. Corporate membership is available to businesses and teams; they receive same access as the individual membership, as well as unlimited postings in ISM's Career Center. The student/academic membership is free for students or educators in procurement and supply management fields and offers full access.

  • Events and Special Offerings--ISM holds multiple conferences, webinars, seminars, and other miscellaneous events throughout the world. They have a yearly conference that is their largest and acts as an accumulation of all of ISM's resources in one location, including interactions with some of the largest companies in the world. The annual conference is held in a different city, with 2018's located in Nashville, TN.

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The Chartered Institute Of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)

Another educational organization, CIPS works directly with organizations and businesses to help their procurement and supply teams improve and be successful. CIPS has long worked to create a standard for all procurement professionals, regardless of their association with CIPS, through research and analysis of the profession. Like ISM, CIPS offers training through a wide variety of courses and programs and most of them are available through their website. The courses are available without membership, but there is a fee for each course regardless of your standing with CIPS.

  • Membership--Nearly everything that CIPS offers is through its membership program, which includes over 100,000 members. Most join through their website, although there is an option to download an application and sent a completed hardcopy to their offices. Membership fees vary by membership grade beginning with the basic Affiliate (£234 new, £184 for renewal); Student, Certificate, Diploma, or Associate for any study programs (£180 new, £130 renewal); Full Member (£234 new, £184 renewal); and Fellow (£240 renewal only). If a membership lapses for more than three months, then there is an additional fee of £50 to rejoin.

    Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Procurement Management course?
  • Events--There are events that are available only to the different membership grades, events specific to different branches of CIPS, and some international events. CIPS also offers a graduation ceremony for its members at a physical location in the United Kingdom, where the organization is based. Many of CIPS events, like its annual conference, are held in London or elsewhere in the UK for members only. 


The International Federation Of Purchasing And Supply Management (IFPSM)

The IFPSM is a global organization that has around 250,000 professionals in its ranks, with around 48 National and Regional organizations associated with it. The organization sponsors a lot of research and educational efforts in the business world, dealing with everything related or connected to procurement. They pride themselves on being a non-profit, non-political, and independent organization. Due to its membership size, IFPSM has a massive network of resources and experts specializing in procurement that is available to anyone one of its members.

IFPSM has a rather large publication library, with many of its documents and articles coming directly from those within its membership. The organization keeps a collection of collection of these publications in what is dubbed "The Knowledge Bank", which is updated monthly and also includes the organization's internal newsletter archive. All documents, articles, and links are posted to the Knowledge Bank either by the original author or with their permission. Many of those authors are professionals in the field who have years, if not decades, of experience and are valuable resources themselves.

  • Membership--Currently, only other professional organizations are allowed to join IFPSM's network. Those organizations who are interested in joining must apply and will be granted membership should they meet the requirements set forth by IFPSM's membership board. An application can be found on their website. Membership access, once approved, allows access to IFPSM's non-public resources and information, meetings, and events. There is an option for Universities to join, which would grant them an affiliate membership and provide access to students who are in degree programs related to procurement and supply management.

  • Events--As mentioned, membership or affiliation is required for all IFPSM events. This includes their annual conference, the IFPSM World Summit, which is held for two days and focuses on a new theme each year. For example, the 2017 conference, to be held in Taiwan, is focusing on the theme of "Sustainability Ensures Success" and will offer related programs to attendees.


The American Purchasing Society (APS)

The APS is a national organization that provides resources related to professional development, consultations, and career assistance to those in procurement management. They first began in the U.S. in 1969 with the simple goal of helping out those in the purchasing and procurement profession, and have now expanded nation-wide with affiliates in 28 countries. As with most of the organizations discussed in this article, the APS largely focuses on training and offers certification programs for their members.

Like the IFPSM, the APS has a large library of procurement-related publications. Many of those publications come from the organization's members or from industry experts and have been thoroughly verified for their quality and relevance. They also have their Professional Purchasing magazine that they have been publishing since the early 1970s for the industry. Some of their publications are available via membership, while others (e.g. courses) must be purchase regardless of your status with the organization.

A unique feature that APS offers is a career center that offers assistance to those in the procurement profession find jobs in their field. Both employers and job seekers can use the service and it is free to use. Those who are looking for a job also have access to a resume evaluation service, which will help your build and fix your resume--which you can then post directly into their network for potential employers to check out!

  • Membership--Members get access to everything that APS has to offer. Anyone seeking membership can simply purchase a membership for either Individual, Company, Associate, or Retired status. The Retired membership is unique to APS, and is only available to those who have at least five years of membership in APS at the time of their professional retirement. The Individual membership fee is $209, plus a $49 setup fee for your access to APS's website and account. Company membership is $389 with the same $49 setup fee. Both have the option to purchase a membership plaque for around $79 (excluding tax). It should be noted that certifications from APS programs do not grant candidates membership, and membership does not grant APS members any certifications; they must be applied to separately and acquired based on the associated requirements.

  • Events--APS currently does not have any events outside of seminars for their professional development programs. It is completely online at this point with no local chapters or affiliates acting on their behalf to host events or meet-ups. However, the organization does keep track of tradeshows and conferences related to the procurement industry, and offers an up-to-date calendar on its website.


The Council Of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

CSCMP is a massive organization and network for those in the field of procurement and supply management. It does a lot of research and education, and is a major advocate for the profession in business and the economy. They are not a traditional organization that doubles as a social or trade association for its members to market themselves, but rather aims for their members to use CSCMP's resources to improve themselves professionally. They're a global non-profit and they've set the bar rather high in an effort to be as innovative and inclusive as a professional organization can be. The value they provide to the professional community is something that they've built up since they started in 1963 and will continue to do so for many years to come.

The vast majority of CSCMP's resources involve education and professional improvement for those interested in a career in procurement. They have resources that will help you get started and will introduce you to the right programs to teach you want you need to know. Their massive network means that they have a lot to choose from so there's an option for everyone, regardless of what point you're at in your career. One of their more unique offerings is a mentorship program that pairs experienced professionals with students and those who are new to the field. The program does have some requirements and restrictions--must be a member upon enrollment, must be able to meet with your mentor/mentee, etc.--that may mean that it isn't an option for everyone based on what they are able to do.  

  • Membership--There are several types of membership for CSCMP, all of which grant you access to all that CSCMP has to offer. The Professional tier is their standard membership and is $325 annually. Those under 30 years of age are eligible for the Young Professional Membership at $175 annually, or the Student membership for $40 annually if they are currently a full-time student with a faculty advisor's verification. Those outside of the U.S. are eligible for the International Digital Membership, $125 annually, which allows all of their benefits to be accessible online. If you are having financial difficulties due to job loss and have been a member of any kind for at least three years, you may be eligible for an In-Transition Membership of $175. This is only for one year and must be done through CSCMP's member services. There is a corporate option, which is customized on a case by case basis.

  • Events--EDGE is CSCMP's main event, which is a global conference held annually. It's three days long and brings members together with industry experts and hundreds of resources all in one place. There are opportunities for education, networking, recent research and publication releases, and basically anything else that can be of use to you as a procurement management professional. CSCMP members do pay a reduced registration fee based on what kind of membership you have, and groups also often receive discounts regardless of membership status.

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