Survey Reveals Gradual Shift in Makeup of World's Largest Supply Management Organization

FOR RELEASE: June 28, 2004

CONTACT: Jean McHale
  ISM Public Relations
  800/888-6276 ext. 3143

(Tempe, Ariz.) — Changing demographics in gender, ethnicity and employment sectors are revealed in results of a recent membership survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM). The report, Results of the 2003 ISM Membership Needs Survey, identifies a shift in the makeup of the world's largest supply management organization. Trends detailed in the report could, in some cases, forecast emerging trends throughout the supply management profession.

ISM conducts a Membership Needs Survey every three years. In December 2003, a random group of 8,000 ISM members were sent an e-mail invitation to complete an online survey, along with a hyperlink to the survey. In addition to providing overall demographic data, survey participants were asked to give opinions and perceptions about ISM programs, products and services. From the completed responses received, the survey data identified the following:

  • The percentage of female ISM members rose from 38.4% in 2000 to 43.1% in 2003.
  • The percentage of African American ISM members increased from 2.9% in 2000 to 4.2% in 2003.
  • More than half (51.2%) of ISM members reported holding a position with supervisory or management responsibilities.
  • An increasing percentage of ISM members reported earning annual compensation of $55,001 or more, up from 51.4% in 2000 to 62.4% in 2003.
  • A significant number of ISM survey respondents (41.4%) have achieved Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) certification. An equally significant number (45.3%) plan to achieve C.P.M. certification in the future.

ISM members are employed in a variety of different industry sectors. While the manufacturing sector has the greatest representation of ISM members, the percentage employed in manufacturing industries is at 42.4%, down considerably from 50.4% reported in 2000 and 56.7% reported in 1998. The sector with the next largest representation of ISM members is utilities/communication with 10.2%.

Annual compensation in the profession appears to be increasing, with 62.4% of respondents reporting annual compensation of $55,001 or more, up from 51.4% in 2000. Survey respondents with the C.P.M. designation generally reported higher annual compensation than those without certification. Among respondents with C.P.M. certification, 73.0% reported annual compensation of $55,001 or more. This percentage dropped to 54.4% for those who do not hold C.P.M. certification. The value of certification is evident in higher salary ranges as well. The percentage of respondents earning $85,001 or more grew from 14.6% in 2000 to 20.6% in 2003. This percentage increased to 26.5% for those who hold C.P.M. certification versus 16.2% for those who do not.

Downloadable versions of Results of the 2003 Membership Needs Survey or the condensed version, 2003 Membership Demographics Report, are available on the ISM Web site at

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