New Survey Results Offer Emerging Trends in Supply Management

FOR RELEASE: October 6, 2006

Media Contact: Jean McHale
  ISM Public Relations
  800/888-6276, Ext. 3143

ISM's 2006 Member Needs Survey reveals the changing demographics, professional interests and involvement of supply professionals.

TEMPE, Ariz., October 6, 2006 — The report, Results of the ISM Membership Needs Survey 2006, illustrates the makeup of the world's largest supply management organization, Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM). Trends detailed in the report could, in some cases, forecast emerging trends throughout the supply management profession.

ISM conducts a survey to determine member opinions and perceptions about programs, products and services. The survey also gathers information about program topics, methods of delivery and demographics of ISM membership. The survey had an actual sample size of 6,952 and a sample response rate of 11.4 percent.

The following is information gathered from the report:

  • The percentage of Hispanic members rose from 2.6 percent in 2003 to 3.5 percent in 2006.
  • The percentage of Asian ISM members also rose from 1.4 percent in 2003 to 4.2 percent in 2006.
  • The percentage of female members dropped from 43.1 percent to 40.8 percent.
  • Technology/E-Commerce/Auctions showed the biggest increase in degree of interest as compared to member responses in 2003.
  • The percentage of members with graduate degrees increased from 23.2 percent to 27.6 percent.

In 2003, 96 percent of respondents reported purchasing as an area of involvement in their jobs. This number dropped in 2006 to 86.2 percent. While the majority of respondents are still performing purchasing activities, many report new areas of involvement, such as strategic sourcing and services. These new developments are evidence of the changing landscape of the supply management profession.

ISM members are employed in a variety of different industry sectors; however, the survey revealed a decrease of respondents employed in manufacturing. The percentage employed in manufacturing industries is at 38.8 percent, down from 42.4 percent in 2003 and considerably lower than the 50.4 percent reported in 2000.

Survey responses show that supplier relationship management (SRM) moved up one ranking, from fifth to fourth most popular topic among supply management professionals indicating interest in education/training. The top three topics — unchanged in ranking from ISM's 2003 Member Needs Survey — are: Negotiations, Cost/Price or other Financial Analysis and Strategic Sourcing.

The survey also shows that employers continue to value certification. Respondents holding the Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) certification report higher annual compensation than those who are not certified. Of respondents holding a C.P.M., 73.7 percent report an income of $65,000 or more. Of respondents who are not certified, only 49.5 percent earn more than $65,000.

Downloadable versions of Results of the Membership Needs Survey 2006 or the condensed version, Membership Demographics Report 2006, are available on the ISM Web site at Select Tools, then Research Tools and then select the link for ISM Survey Research Results.

As the oldest and largest supply management institute in the world, the mission of the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) is to lead supply management. ISM defines supply management as the identification, acquisition, access, positioning and management of resources the organization needs or potentially needs in the attainment of its strategic objectives. By executing and extending its mission through education, research, standards of excellence, influence building and information dissemination — including the renowned monthly ISM Report On Business® — ISM continues to extend the global impact of supply management. ISM's membership base includes more than 40,000 supply management professionals in 75 countries. Supply management professionals are responsible for trillions of dollars in the purchases of products and services annually. ISM is a member of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM). Visit ISM's Media Room at