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 one of the largest supply management associations 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.

ISM competes against several education, certification, and membership organizations serving the supply chain profession such as APICS, the Next Level Purchasing Association, the National Contract Management Association, the American Purchasing Society, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.


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]

Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)[edit]

ISM’s Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) certification launched in 2008 to address the changing demands of the profession and international marketing place. According to ISM’s 2015 annual salary survey, the average compensation (salary plus bonus) for a CPSM was $129,827.

Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)[edit]

ISM’s Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (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.

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

ISM’s Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation was a popular certification through the 1990's. However, it is no longer offered for testing by ISM and has transitioned into recertification-only status.[2] ISM continues to recertify C.P.M.s who meet continuing education requirements. According to ISM’s 2015 annual salary survey, the average compensation (salary plus bonus) for a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) was $134,699.

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 2015 annual salary survey, the average compensation (salary plus bonus) for an Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) was $130,686.


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 June of 2013, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the early release of the June 2013 ISM Report on Business. According to an article on, "ISM's manufacturing data was inadvertently sent out early by Thomson Reuters on June 3rd to its high-speed clients, many of whom immediately traded on the information. There was a sharp market reaction to that burst of trading, which prompted downward moves in the SPY ETF, which serves as an investing tool for traders to bet on the overall direction of the market. That downward surge [allowed insiders] more than enough time to profit from early knowledge of market moving information."[3]

On June 1, 2014, ISM revised its monthly economic report twice in the span of about two-and-a-half hours. These mistakes had a significant effect on the stock market. “It’s a debacle, as far as ISM is concerned,” said Tom di Galoma, head of fixed income rates at ED&F Man Capital. “It’s hurt their credibility, and it’s going to take a while for that to recover.”[4] Pantheon Macroeconomics Ian Shepherdson was quoted as saying, "Amateur hour at the ISM strikes again," and Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, was quoted as saying, "ISM made a mistake, another reason not to trust anecdotal information on the economy. They cannot tabulate the survey results correctly and apply the right seasonal adjustment factor. ISM manufacturing is more unreal than ever...It makes you wonder if some of these errors are sometimes not caught."[5]


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.[6]


External links[edit]