Institute for Supply Management

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Institute for Supply Management
Abbreviation ISM
Formation 1915
Type Non-profit
Purpose Supply Chain Management
Region served
Website Official website

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM), founded in 1915, is the largest supply management association in the world.[1]

ISM is a not-for-profit educational association that serves its 45,000 members and professionals and organizations with an interest in supply management in more than 90 countries. ISM offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD) qualifications, and, in partnership with Arizona State University, sponsors CAPS Research.

ISM defines supply management as the identification, acquisition, access, positioning, and management of resources and related capabilities the organization needs or potentially needs in the attainment of its strategic objectives. (ISM Glossary of Key Supply Management Terms, Fifth Edition, Institute for Supply Management, 2009)

Components included under the supply management umbrella are: purchasing/procurement; strategic sourcing; logistics; quality; inventory control; materials management; warehousing; transportation/traffic/shipping; disposition/investment recovery; distribution; receiving; packaging; product/service development and manufacturing supervision.


Institute for Supply Management was founded in 1915 as the National Association of Purchasing Agents (NAPA). Prior to 1915, purchasing associations had formed in at least 10 major cities in the country, including one of the earliest and most active groups in Buffalo, New York, founded in 1904, and the New York Association, formed in 1913, which eventually became the nucleus of the national organization. The first local associations to affiliate with the new association were New York, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Columbus, Ohio in 1916. They were closely followed by South Bend, Indiana, Detroit, Michigan; and Los Angeles, California in 1917. Buffalo later affiliated with NAPA in 1918.

In 1968, the name of the organization was changed to the National Association of Purchasing Management, Inc. (NAPM). As the field continued to change, traditional “purchasing professionals” were becoming more responsible for the supply of goods and services instead of strictly purchasing. NAPM members voted in April 2001, with a name change taking place in January 2002 to Institute for Supply Management.

Certification Programs[edit]

ISM’s currently available professional designation programs include the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity professional (CPSD). ISM launched the CPSM program in May 2008, to address the changing demands of the profession and the international marketplace. The CPSD™ launched in January 2011 is currently the only professional certification for professionals whose responsibilities include supplier diversity and is supported by various diversity organizations. According to ISM’s 2014 annual salary survey, the average salary for a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) was $103,415.

Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.)[edit]

ISM’s Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation remains the most globally recognized designation for procurement and supply management professionals. The program was designed for experienced supply managers, and focused on managerial and leadership skills, plus a variety of specialized functions designed to enhance the value of the profession. While no longer offered for testing by ISM, the C.P.M. endures as a required or preferred qualification in employment listings and ISM continues to recertify C.P.M.s who meet continuing education requirements. According to ISM’s 2014 annual salary survey, the average salary for a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) was $108,122.

Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.)[edit]

ISM also offered Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) designation for several years. The A.P.P. focused on entry-level purchasing functions for those primarily engaged in the operational side of the supply chain. No longer offered for testing, ISM continues to recertify A.P.P.s who meet continuing education requirements. According to ISM’s 2014 annual salary survey, the average salary for an Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) was $104,036.


ISM publishes the monthly publication Inside Supply Management, which includes the purchasing surveys Manufacturing ISM Report On Business and the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, which debuted June 1998. ISM releases its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) on the first business day of each month. This can be found under "ISM Reports on Business" on the ISM home page.


In January 2012, ISM invested in the consulting firm ADR North America (ADR NA), which continues to operate under its own name. ISM and ADR NA have been partners for years in a successful joint venture, the ISM-ADR School for Supply Management, which provides a broad range of professional development courses delivered in a variety of formats and native languages around the world. To execute its investment, ISM established the for-profit company ISM Services, Inc. ADR North America will operate as a subsidiary of ISM Services, Inc., as will ADR-ISM Supply Management Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. ADR North America and ADR-ISM Supply Management Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. will continue to be licensees of ADR International, the U.K.-based global consulting firm.

As a result of a partnership with the Houston-based Supply Chain Council, Inc. (SCC), ISM members have access to SCC's SCORmark supply chain benchmarking database, and receive member rates for SCOR Framework and Project workshops and SCC members receive member pricing on ISM educational programs and CPSM testing as well as registration for the ISM Annual International Supply Management Conference. ISM is also partnered with procurement blog Spend Matters in conducting research and surveys.[2]


External links[edit]