--- To enhance the value and performance of procurement and SCM practitioners and their organizations worldwide ---

C.P.M. Exam Specifications - Module 1: Purchasing Process



Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) Certification Program

Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) Examination Specifications
Effective January 1, 2001
Final draft Published September, 1999

MODULE 1: PURCHASING PROCESS

  1. Identifying Requirements
  2. Preparation of Solicitations
  3. Supplier Analysis
  4. Contract Execution, Implementation, and Administration

Part A. Identifying Requirements

TASK 101: Establish procurement plans and make decisions necessary to purchase products or services in congruence with organizational objectives and sourcing strategies.

Knowledge of:

1) Internal organization conditions leading to decisions to buy

  1. Operational strategies
  2. Financial strategies
  3. Marketing strategies
  4. Supply strategies

2) Market conditions leading to decisions to buy

3) Supplier/contractor marketing strategies and how they relate to buy decisions

4) Use of a short- and long-range materials/service plan

5) Organizational opportunities for standardization, consolidation, outsourcing, partnering, and cooperative purchasing

TASK 102: Review purchase requisitions in accordance with organizational requirements and/or budgetary constraints.

Knowledge of:

1) Types of purchase requisitions

  1. Standard requisitions
  2. Traveling requisitions
  3. Project bill of material (e.g., construction)
  4. Systems-generated requisitions
  5. Electronic requisitions

2) Common organizational requirements for requisitions

  1. Specifications and statements of work, format, and content
  2. Justification to limit competition
  3. Format and content of in-house estimates
  4. Control of unauthorized buying (ratification)
  5. Procedures to ensure that necessary approvals have been obtained
  6. Signing limits/approval levels and thresholds
  7. Leadtimes

3) Socioeconomic goals and objectives as they relate to requisitions

4) Budgetary review procedures

  1. Procedures for budgeted versus nonbudgeted acquisitions
  2. Availability of funds
  3. Funding cost reimbursables

5) Expense allocation

6) Types and sources of funds and their relationship to required goods and services (e.g., grants, capital)

7) Priority sequences for handling purchase requests

  1. First-come, first-served
  2. Arrangement by need date
  3. Rush orders/emergencies
  4. Order of importance/impact
  5. Seasonal

TASK 103: Determine appropriate methods of procurement.

Knowledge of:

1) Factors in the decision to use competitive bidding and/or negotiations

  1. Degree of competition/market situation
  2. Industry norms and standards
  3. Urgency
  4. Dollar value
  5. Nature of product/service specifications
  6. Type of contract desired
  7. Procedure for selection of successful offer
  8. Organizational policy
  9. Frequency of purchases

2) Methods of procurement

  1. Purchase orders
  2. Contracts
  3. Letters of intent
  4. Consignment methods
  5. Blanket order
  6. Systems contracting
  7. Telephone order/fax order
  8. Electronic order systems
  9. Stockless buying/inventory systems
  10. Purchase order draft/check with order
  11. Petty cash/local small purchases
  12. Standing orders
  13. Credit cards/procurement cards

  14. 1.0 Function
    2.0 Applicability
    3.0 Benefits
    4.0 Disadvantage
  15. Kanban/pull signals
  16. Direct release
  17. Supplier replenishment/supplier managed inventory
  18. Other methods

TASK 104: Perform cost/benefit analyses on planned acquisitions.

Knowledge of:

1) Definition of "total cost"

2) Standard costs

  1. Purchase price variance

3) Direct costs

4) Indirect costs

  1. Fixed
  2. Variable
  3. Semi-variable

5) Relevant versus irrelevant costs

6) Allocation of overhead

7) Life-cycle costing

8) Opportunity cost

9) Activity-based costing

10) Financial tools

  1. Return on investment
  2. Return on assets employed
  3. Return on total assets
  4. Margin analysis
  5. Profitability

TASK 105: Review supplier samples and/or demonstrations with the buying organization management and/or user departments.

Knowledge of:

1) Confidentiality policies

2) Typical policies regarding the possession, use, and return/disposition of supplier’s goods

Part B. Preparation of Solicitations

TASK 106: Develop/review specifications, statements of work, performance terms, and/or acceptance criteria.

Knowledge of:

1) Procedures for developing and/or reviewing specifications

  1. Internal input
  2. 1.0 Formal
    2.0 Informal
  3. External inputs

  4. 1.0 Suppliers
    2.0 Consultants
    3.0 Industry standards, handbooks, and guides
    4.0 Peers/professional purchasing organizations
    5.0 Competitors

2) Methods of communicating physical and quality attributes of a product or service

  1. Performance and design specifications
  2. Internal versus external specifications
  3. Building quality into the manufacturing process

  4. 1.0 Statistical Process Control (SPC)
  5. Supplier samples

3) Specification problems/abuses

  1. Over-specification
  2. Under-specification
  3. Slanting specifications
  4. Non-use of generic specifications
  5. Obsolete/outdated specifications
  6. International standards differences

4) Statements of work

  1. Work breakdown structure
  2. Hold points/milestones
  3. Performance evaluation factors

TASK 107: Locate and select potential sources of materials or services.

Knowledge of:

1) Degrees of competition and their effects on procurement

  1. Full and open competition
  2. Limited competition
  3. Technical competition
  4. Single source
  5. Sole source
  6. Multiple Source
  7. Integrated supply

2) Nature of sources and their effects on procurement

  1. Manufacturers versus distributors
  2. Large versus small suppliers
  3. National versus local suppliers
  4. International versus domestic suppliers

  5. 1.0 Exchange rates
    2.0 Payment processes
    3.0 Duties
    4.0 Transportation costs and timing
    5.0 Applicable laws
  6. Mandatory sources of supply
  7. Emergency sources
  8. Small and historically underutilized businesses (HUB)
  9. Cooperative/leveraged buying
  10. Joint ventures
  11. Internal versus external sources

3) Locating sources of supply

  1. Buyers' guides
  2. Business directories
  3. Telephone directories
  4. Chambers of commerce
  5. Trade and professional associations
  6. Shows/exhibits
  7. Trade publications
  8. Colleagues/referrals/networking
  9. Suppliers/salespersons
  10. Government sources

  11. 1.0 International Trade Administration
    2.0 U.S. Trade Representatives
    3.0 Customs Department
    4.0 International Trade Commission
  12. International sources
  13. Minority supplier sources/emerging businesses
  14. Direct marketing
  15. Markets/merchandise markets
  16. Group purchasing organizations
  17. User departments (internal departments)
  18. Barter organizations
  19. Bidder’s list
  20. World Wide Web/Internet
  21. Competitor’s practices

4) Existing versus new sources

  1. Market conditions
  2. Product complexity/technology changes
  3. Urgency of need
  4. Quality expectations
  5. Supplier processes
  6. Adequacy of competition
  7. Cost versus value of sources
  8. Long-term needs
  9. Long-term relationships
  10. Need for modification of supplier base
  11. Change in supplier's organization
  12. Supply continuity

TASK 108: Prepare and solicit competitive bids, quotations, and proposals with pertinent specifications, terms, and conditions.

Knowledge of:

1) Types of solicitations/bids

  1. Sealed bidding/formal advertising
  2. Competitive proposals
  3. Restricted competition
  4. Two-step bidding
  5. 1.0 Prequalified bidding
  6. Informal bids/quotations
  7. Offers to buy versus offers to sell
  8. Alternate/innovative proposals
  9. Automated/electronic solicitations (fax, EDI, e-mail)
  10. Non-competitive negotiations
  11. Online bidding

2) Requests for information

  1. When to use
  2. Potential benefits
  3. Potential problems

3) Prebid or pre-proposal conferences

  1. When to use
  2. How to arrange and conduct
  3. Selection of participants
  4. Potential benefits
  5. Potential problems
  6. Mandatory versus nonmandatory conferences

4) General solicitation procedures and concepts

  1. Comparability
  2. Fairness/business ethics
  3. General format/content of bid requests
  4. Fair response time
  5. Issue dates
  6. Opening/closing dates

5) Procedures for cancellation of solicitations

6) Regulations affecting the bidding process

  1. Oral versus written quotes
  2. Existing product compatibility
  3. Electronic solicitations (fax, EDI)

7) Regulations influencing prices and contracts

  1. Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Article 2, Sales
  2. Antitrust and trade regulation
    1.0 Sherman Antitrust Act
    2.0 Clayton Act
    3.0 Robinson-Patman Act
    4.0 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act
  3. Regulation of federal procurement and public projects
    1.0 Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
    2.0 Defense Acquisition Regulations (DAR)
    3.0 False Claims Act
    4.0 Davis-Bacon and related acts
    5.0 Prompt Payment Act
    6.0 Service Contract Act
    7.0 Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
    8.0 Small Business Act
    9.0 Buy American Act
  4. Regulation of international commerce
    1.0 Trade Agreements Act of 1979
    2.0 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    3.0 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
    4.0 General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT)
    5.0 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)
  5. Americans with Disabilities Act
  6. Department of Agriculture rulings
  7. Government price support regulations
  8. Other federal/state/local laws

8) Terms and conditions of solicitations and offers

  1. Types
  2. When to use

9) Bonds and other types of surety

  1. Bid bonds
  2. Performance bonds
  3. Payment bonds
  4. Deposits
  5. Letters of credit
  6. Real estate
  7. Cash

10) Problems related to the solicitation and receipt of offers

  1. Time extensions and amendments to solicitation
  2. Late bids (without time extensions)
  3. Offers with errors, irregularities, or omissions
  4. Conflicts of interest
  5. Protests
  6. Confidentiality/security
  7. Alternate proposals
  8. Debriefing process

TASK 109: Manage and develop lists of recommended sources.

Knowledge of:

1) Types of supplier lists

  1. Approved suppliers
  2. Preferred suppliers
  3. Partnered suppliers
  4. Certified suppliers
  5. Prequalified suppliers
  6. Certifiable suppliers
  7. Disqualified suppliers

Part C. Supplier Analysis

TASK 110: Evaluate competitive offerings to determine the overall best offer for a product/service.

Knowledge of:

1) Receiving, controlling, and abstracting offers

2) Offer responsiveness

  1. Specifications/statements of work
  2. Quality requirements
  3. Terms and conditions
  4. Product/service substitutions
  5. Use of technical proposals (unpriced)

3) Technical analysis

4) Operational analysis

5) Cost and price analysis

  1. Price analysis methods
  2. Profit analysis
  3. Total cost versus unit cost
  4. 1.0 Activity-based costing
  5. Learning curve
  6. Life-cycle costing

6) Offeror capability/offeror responsibility

  1. Past performance
  2. Capacity
  3. Skills
  4. Integrity
  5. Time in business/market
  6. Certification and licensing
  7. Financial factors

7) Transportation terms

  1. International transportation terms
  2. Domestic transportation terms

8) Other factors

  1. Availability
  2. Leadtime
  3. Logistical concerns

TASK 111: Conduct supplier visits/evaluations to determine suitability.

Knowledge of:

1) Factors used to analyze a supplier's ability to perform

  1. Frequency and/or volume of orders
  2. Length of time to process orders
  3. Delivery
  4. Quality
  5. Product/service expertise
  6. Order backlog
  7. Contractor's "make or buy" program
  8. Cycle/lead time
  9. Productivity
  10. Flexibility
  11. References
  12. Electronic capabilities
  13. Breadth of product line
  14. Available capacity

2) Factors used to analyze a supplier's financial status

  1. Balance sheets
  2. Income statements
  3. Cost control history
  4. Credit ratings
  5. Certified annual reports
  6. 10K reports
  7. Financial advisory reports
  8. Dun & Bradstreet reports
  9. Other factors

3) Factors used to analyze a supplier's cost system

  1. Capability of segregating costs by task
  2. Consistent treatment of cost
  3. Compliance with cost accounting standards

4) Factors used to analyze a supplier's quality assurance, quality control, and related systems

  1. Acceptance/rejection history
  2. Testing capability
  3. 1.0 Workers
    2.0 Machines
  4. Process control
  5. 1.0 SPC/SQC
    2.0 Six Sigma/CpK Process Bands
  6. Organization and management of quality systems
  7. Documented systems/procedures
  8. System certification/validation
  9. Process certification (ISO)

5) Factors used to analyze a supplier's organization and management

  1. Top management commitment and involvement
  2. Stability
  3. Training and certification of personnel
  4. Technical competence/service support
  5. Equipment capabilities
  6. General reputation/ethics
  7. Industry status
  8. Customer commitment
  9. EEO program commitment
  10. Subcontractor management

6) Factors used to analyze a supplier's labor status

  1. Employee skills
  2. Unionization
  3. Labor contract expiration date
  4. Employee turnover
  5. Training programs and initiatives
  6. Industrial relations policy

7) Issues in conducting plant visits/site inspections

  1. Reasons for conducting visits
  2. Costs versus benefits of visits
  3. Site inspection team
  4. Factors appraised at site visits
  5. 1.0 Housekeeping
    2.0 Process/material flow
    3.0 Employee morale
  6. Timing of visits

TASK 112: Measure supplier performance using rating systems and/or predetermined standards.

Knowledge of:

1) Items typically analyzed using supplier performance ratings

  1. Supplier capabilities
  2. International, national and, local capabilities
  3. Pricing methods
  4. Financial strength
  5. Inventory locations and methods
  6. Delivery performance
  7. Quality history
  8. Service history
  9. Margin performance and inventory turnover
  10. Innovation history and performance

2) Supplier performance rating methods

  1. Benchmarking
  2. Weighted-point
  3. Categorical
  4. Cost-ratio
  5. Total acquisition cost

3) Factors that can distort ratings

4) Issues in the dissemination of ratings

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Supplier reaction to ratings

Part D. Contract Execution, Implementation, and Administration

TASK 113: Prepare and/or issue contracts/purchase orders.

Knowledge of:

1) Elements of a contract

  1. Offer and acceptance
    1.0 Counteroffers
    2.0 Acknowledgment/acceptance
    3.0 Genuine assent
    4.0 Unilateral versus bilateral contracts
  2. Consideration
  3. Competent parties
  4. Legality of purpose

2) Types of obligation documents

  1. Written versus oral contracts
    1.0 Reasons for written contracts
    1.1 Statute of frauds
    2.0 Circumstances where oral contracts are acceptable
    3.0 Electronic
    3.1 Trading partner agreements
  2. Purchase orders
  3. Letters of intent 1.0 Purpose
    2.0 Types
    2.1 Binding letters of intent
    2.2 Non-binding letters of intent
  4. Types of contract 1.0 Fixed price contracts
    1.1 Firm fixed-price
    1.2 Fixed-price with adjustment/escalation
    1.3 Fixed-price with redetermination
    1.4 Fixed-price with incentive
    1.5 Firm fixed-price per unit level of effort
    1.6 Fixed-price with downward price protection
    2.0 Cost reimbursable contracts
    2.1 Cost plus a fixed fee
    2.2 Cost plus percentage of cost
    2.3 Cost plus an incentive fee
    2.4 Cost plus award fee
    2.5 Cost without fee
    2.6 Cost sharing
    3.0 Indefinite delivery contracts
    3.1 Indefinite delivery/Indefinite quantity
    3.2 Task order and delivery order
    3.3 Time and material contracts
    4.0 Letter contracts
    5.0 Dealer's agreement

3) Exchange of standard forms and battle of the forms

  1. Use of purchase orders
  2. Exceptions to terms and conditions
  3. Battle of the forms
    1.0 Services contracts
    2.0 Goods contracts
    2.1 Inclusion of additional terms
    2.2 Acknowledgment as counteroffer
    2.3 Contract by conduct

4) Considerations in preparing obligation documents

  1. Legal issues 1.0 Intellectual property rights
    1.1 Patent
    1.2 Copyright
    1.3 Trademark
    1.4 Royalties
    1.5 Licensing
    2.0 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)
  2. Notice of awards
  3. Notification/debriefing of unsuccessful bidders
    1.0 Resolution of protests
    1.1 Private
    1.2 State and local
    1.3 Federal

TASK 114: Obtain legal review and approval of a contract when required.

Knowledge of:

1) Law of agency

  1. Definition of agent
  2. Fiduciary duty
  3. Limits of authority
  4. Actual versus apparent authority
  5. Ratification

2) Role of legal counsel

3) Examples of issues requiring legal advice

  1. Forces majeure
  2. Chice of law/choice of forum
  3. Intellectual property
    1.0 Patents
    2.0 Copyrights
    3.0 Source code escrow accounts
  4. Restraint of trade/antitrust
  5. Assignability provisions
  6. Domestic versus international legal relationships
  7. Protests
  8. Claims
  9. Insurance and indemnification
  10. Limitation of liability
  11. Merger/integration cluase
  12. Collusive activities
  13. Suspension and termination clauses
  14. Exceptions to approved terms and conditions
  15. Special contractual circumstances

  16. 1.0 Large contracts
    2.0 Single/sole source contracts
  17. Reservation of rights
  18. Parole Evidence Rule
  19. Hazardous/regulated materials
  20. Liquidated damages

TASK 115: Administer contracts/ purchase orders from award to completion.

Knowledge of:

1) Contract administration concepts

  1. Work control
  2. Compliance
  3. Financial responsibility
  4. Approving systems
  5. Administrative responsibilities
    1.0 Price adjustment clauses
    2.0 Administration of change orders
  6. Contract close-out
  7. Contract terms and conditions
  8. Documentation requirements

2) Supplier management concepts

  1. Standards of performance
  2. Supplier feedback
  3. Supervision of supplier

  4. 1.0 On-site
    2.0 Remote
  5. Management by exception
  6. Progress reports
  7. Customer feedback
  8. 1.0 Internal
    2.0 External
  9. Statement of work
  10. Annual work plan

3) Conflict/dispute resolution

TASK 116: Expedite deliveries and conduct follow-up procedures when necessary.

Knowledge of:

1) Circumstances requiring follow-up and expediting

  1. Adequacy of delivery schedules
  2. Open orders
  3. Back orders
  4. Late orders
  5. Short-cycled requests

2) Rationale for expediting

3) Follow-up procedures

  1. Early deliveries
  2. Late deliveries
  3. Future deliveries
  4. Short leadtime requisitions
  5. De-expediting
  6. Rescheduled deliveries

4) Expediting and follow-up personnel

  1. By buyers
  2. By separate staff
  3. By the user department

5) Methods used for expediting and follow-up

  1. Verbal/informal
  2. Written/formal
  3. Electronic
  4. Personal visits

6) Contingency planning and performance measures

7) Cost considerations

8) Logistical considerations

TASK 117: Resolve contract/purchase order differences with suppliers.

Knowledge of:

1) Typical purchase order/contract problems

  1. Description errors
  2. Pricing errors/omissions
  3. Failure or refusal to perform

  4. 1.0 Anticipatory breach
    2.0 Repudiation
    3.0 Breach by seller
    4.0 Buyer’s recovery from seller breach
    5.0 Breach by buyer
    6.0 Seller’s recovery from buyer breach
  5. Liability issues

  6. 1.0 Customary limitations to supplier liability
    2.0 Consequential damages
    3.0 Hold harmless/indemnification
    4.0 Insurance
    5.0 Risk of loss/liability
  7. Financially troubled suppliers
    1.0 Milestone payments
    2.0 Early possession of materials
    3.0 Bankruptcy/financial restructuring
    4.0 Bond issues
  8. Delivery/transportation problems
  9. The "Law of Mistake"
  10. Acceptance/rejection/revocation
  11. Modification, recision, and waiver
  12. Breach of contract/default/remedies

  13. 1.0 Cure
    2.0 Cover
    3.0 Incidental damages
    4.0 Liquidated damages
    5.0 General damages
    6.0 Consequential and actual damages
  14. Termination of contract

  15. 1.0 For cause/default
    2.0 For convenience
    3.0 Frustration of purpose
    4.0 Unexcusable delays
  16. Suspension of contract
  17. Inspection/rejection rights 1.0 Right to inspect
    2.0 Right to reject
    2.1 Right to withhold payment
    2.2 Right to return 3.0 Disposition of nonconforming goods/services
    3.1 Accept
    3.2 Reject
    3.3 Reword
    3.4 Reclassify
    3.5 Scrap
    4.0 Obligation to give timely written notice
  18. Revocation of acceptance

2) Dispute and conflict resolution

  1. Alternative dispute resolution

  2. 1.0 Arbitration
    2.0 Mediation
    3.0 Mini-trial
  3. Renegotiation
  4. Reformation
  5. Litigation

3) Ownership issues

  1. Point of acceptance
    1.0 On delivery
    2.0 After inspection
    3.0 After functional/performance specifications are met
    4.0 Prior to payment
  2. Title liability relationships

4) Warranties

  1. Express
  2. Implied

  3. 1.0 Title and authority to sell
    2.0 Merchantability
    3.0 Fitness for intended purpose
  4. Latent conditions
  5. Effective date

5) Typical management procedures for dealing with contract problems

TASK 118: Resolve payment problems with suppliers and user departments.

Knowledge of:

1) Progress/milestone payments

  1. How to implement
  2. How to protect against loss

2) Partial payments not directly linked to performance

  1. Potential problems
  2. How to protect against loss

3) Cost/price overruns

  1. Implications in fixed price/cost-type contracting
  2. Purchaser’s obligations
  3. Supplier's obligations

4) Issues pertaining to the funding and control of cost reimbursable-type contracts

5) Invoice problems

  1. Nonperformance
  2. Rejection
  3. Errors
  4. Debit/credit memos
  5. Open orders
  6. Over, short, damage

6) Accounts payable problems

  1. Discrepancies between original P.O. and invoice
  2. Delinquent payments
  3. No receiving report
  4. Credit holds
  5. Tax considerations
  6. Liens and stop notices
  7. Stop payment

7) Implications of the time-value of money

8) Procedures for avoiding payment problems

  1. Evaluated receipts
  2. Pay on production
  3. Electronic Funds Transfer
  4. Federal/state/local government payment mechanisms

TASK 119: Review and revise purchasing practices to ensure their conformance with established laws, policies, and ethical principles.

Knowledge of:

1) Laws and regulations affecting procurement

  1. Health and safety laws
  2. Environmental laws
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Business regulation laws

2) Laws governing issues in ethics

  1. Libel and slander

3) Issues in ethical purchasing practices

  1. Loyalty to employer
  2. Conflict of interest
  3. Fairness
  4. Gifts and gratuities
  5. Misleading business practices
  6. Handling of information/confidentiality
  7. Misrepresentation of authority
  8. Kickbacks
  9. Reciprocity
  10. Other

4) ISM Principles and Standards of Purchasing Practice

TASK 120: Manage files of agreements, equipment records, and/or specifications.

Knowledge of:

1) Requirements for records management

  1. Government/legal
  2. Organizational
  3. Other

2) Formats for record retention

  1. Records on paper
  2. Electronic/computer records/CDs
  3. Microfilm/microfiche
  4. Other media

Back to C.P.M. Exam Specifications Main Page

Rate and Review this item

Rate this item:



Log in to rate or review this item.