Volume 8, Number 2, April 2010
This newsletter is published in cooperation with the ISM Chemical Group.  

Institute for Supply Management

ISM's 95th Annual International Supply Management Conference

ISM Knowledge Center Specials


In This Issue ...
  • Chemical Industry News
    • New Sugar-Based Plastic in Development: A recent FastCompany.com article predicts that if the popularity of a new sugar-based plastic actually catches on in the United States, composting might become as widespread here as it is elsewhere in the world.  Read more.
    • Study Finds R&D Investment by U.S. Biopharmaceutical Companies Increases to Record US$65.3 Billion: New research reveals an increase of more than US$1.5 billion from the total R&D investment made in 2008.  Read more.
    • Diversifying for a Greener Future: Research shows Kyoto Protocol and EU 2020 energy targets are slowly altering the energy industry landscape, gradually shifting energy consumption from coal, oil and natural gas, toward renewable energy sources. To meet stated renewable energy goals while concurrently severing dependence on foreign oil and gas imports, EU governments are laying favorable groundwork for attracting investments into the renewable energy industry and other carbon abatement technologies.  Read more.
  • Feature Article
    • How to Choose a REACH Service Provider: Selecting the right REACH service provider for your organization is no simple process. However, if you follow the common-sense guidance provided in this article, seek help from reputable trade associations and others, and take your time defining the type of support you would like to access, then you stand a very good chance of success.  Read more.
  • Market Report
    • Strategic Sourcing Group Gains Momentum: NuStar Energy has started its journey along the strategic sourcing and procurement life cycle.  Read more.
  • Announcements: At a no-cost April 15 Web seminar, two leading CPOs will share their top five strategies for profitable supplier relationships.  Read more.
  • Additional Resources: Check out these links to additional resources from the ISM Web site.  Read more.
  • Contact Us about ISM eDigest: Chemicals

Chemical Industry News

New Sugar-Based Plastic

The Future of Composting Looks Bright, Thanks to New Sugar-Based Plastic

A recent FastCompany.com article predicts that if the popularity of a new sugar-based plastic actually catches on in the United States, composting might become as widespread here as it is elsewhere in the world.

"This [plastic], unlike current 'biodegradable' plastics, breaks down in a matter of months, instead of centuries," says Fast Company Staff Writer Dan Nosowitz. "This is a big deal."

Although biodegradable plastics made of natural materials (including corn) already are on the market — and some retailers actively use it instead of normal plastic bags — Nosowitz points out that it still takes as long as a few hundred years to decompose. "That's better than vinyl, sure," he admits. "But, it's not exactly ideal."

Developed by researchers at Imperial College London, this new sugar-based plastic is created from glucose polymers extracted from trees and grasses. "Not only is it faster to decompose, but it would halt dependency on fossil fuels, which are used to make 99 percent of today's plastics," Nosowitz explains. "And, it's said that its production is more energy-efficient than typical plastic."

According to the article, the plastic's development team is currently engaged in creating a market-ready version of the technology, but members are optimistic it can be done.

"Hopefully, sometime soon, we'll be able to toss plastic wrappers and packaging into the compost bin along with our banana peels," Nosowitz concludes.

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Record-Setting R&D Figures

Study Finds R&D Investment by U.S. Biopharmaceutical Companies Increases to Record US$65.3 Billion

According to a study released in March, research & development (R&D) investment in new medicines and vaccines by the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry was US$65.3 billion in 2009, an increase of more than $1.5 billion from the total R&D investment made in 2008. These findings are courtesy of a combined analysis conducted by Burrill & Company, a San Francisco-based life sciences organization whose principal activities are in private equity, venture capital, merchant banking and media, and the Washington-based Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

PhRMA-member companies alone spent an estimated $45.8 billion on biopharmaceutical R&D last year, according to a PhRMA survey. The Burrill & Company analysis shows that non-PhRMA pharmaceutical research companies in the United States spent an estimated $19.5 billion on R&D in 2009.

"This is the sixth year that we have joined with PhRMA to report industrywide biopharmaceutical research and development expenditures," says G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company. "The record R&D investment that has been made despite the tough ongoing economic hurdles faced by these innovative companies shows the industry's commitment in supporting important advances in better medicines and new treatments for patients."

Burrill & Company computes R&D expenses among other key financial parameters on a quarterly basis for the universe of U.S. publicly listed biotech companies through its reports on the industry (sourced from company reports filed with the SEC). To create a comparable report additive to PhRMA's annual membership survey, Burrill applies a set of predetermined criteria to their biotech research to identify and select nonmember companies. Specifically, companies:

  • Must be based in the United States.
  • Must not be a member or member subsidiary of PhRMA
  • Must meet the "human healthcare focus" test. (In other words, their R&D expenses are principally for research and development of new medicines for healthcare.)

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A Greener Future

How Diversifying Can Lead European Oil & Gas Companies to a Greener Future

According to recent research by Frost & Sullivan, the Kyoto Protocol and EU 2020 energy targets are slowly altering the energy industry landscape, gradually shifting energy consumption from coal, oil and natural gas toward renewable energy sources. To meet stated renewable energy goals while concurrently severing dependence on foreign oil and gas imports, EU governments are laying favorable groundwork for attracting investments into the renewable energy industry and other carbon-abatement technologies, the report explains.

"A carbon-free future threatens O&G companies with declining business growth in Europe, unless they successfully transfer their technology and skills into renewable energy where they can potentially discover more new business opportunities," says Chiara Carella, corporate communications (Europe) representative for the research firm.

The report, Diversification of Oil and Gas Companies into the Renewable Energy Industry, finds that the European renewable energy industry (offshore wind, geothermal, solar, marine and biofuels) boomed in 2008, with share of renewable energy in the European energy mix increasing from 14.6 percent in 2006 to 16.3 percent in 2008 despite the economic downturn.

"While consumption of electricity from conventional energy sources has declined, consumption of electricity from renewable energy sources continues growing," states Zeinegul Hassan, a research analyst in the firm's Energy & Power Systems Group. "Since Europe is dependent on O&G imports, the increase of renewable energy share in the energy mix is of great importance to the region."

The report asserts that one of the most attractive renewable energy areas for O&G companies is offshore wind, which is fast-growing and backed by government support. However, it adds, this market must nevertheless overcome bottlenecks in the supply of components and a lack of purpose-built installations. Analysts say the O&G industry can help offshore wind through experience and technology transfer and sharing equipment and labor force.

Another renewable energy sector O&G companies could help to grow is the geothermal energy market, according to the findings. Although mature, the geothermal market requires investments to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs. "O&G companies can offer their drilling expertise and services," the report states. "Their involvement as technology developers is likely to help the market transfer to Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) technology."

Solar energy also has great potential, but researchers say this market still needs to be subsidized to develop further. "The high cost of equipment and the dependency on government support is a restraint to investors," Carella explains. "The O&G industry can bring engineering and R&D expertise to help lower equipment costs."

The marine energy market can adapt some of the offshore oil and gas technologies, according to analysts. "Marine energy is a nonintermittent and highly efficient renewable energy source," they say. "However, without clearer government support and expanded technical expertise, marine energy is the least attractive for investors."

Finally, the European biofuels market has negative profit margins and faces strong competition from cheap imports, according to the findings. However, analysts expect this market to grow given the EU 10 percent biofuels commitment.

"This market is one of the first to get an interest from O&G companies," the report states. "If second-generation biofuels are successful, more O&G are expected to invest in the biofuels market."

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Feature Article

The EU REACH Regulation

How to Choose a REACH Service Provider

By Chris Eacott, Ph.D.

The EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation 1907/2006 has been in force for almost two years, and continues to give cause for concern. In particular, increasing alarm is evident among many non-EU companies impacted by the first major registration deadline of November 30, 2010. They often feel more remote from the REACH process than their EU counterparts, based on geography, language and the requirement that they appoint Only Representatives (ORs) as intermediaries. This article specifically addresses the issue of ORs and offers answers to two vital questions: 1) How do I choose the right OR in the first place? and 2) I'm not happy with my existing OR. Can I change to a new one?

Careful Research

There are now so many consultancies of variable size and quality offering REACH-related services that it can be difficult to select the right service provider for your needs. Here are some tips.

Find the reputable trade associations representing companies in your industry sector, and ask them what your REACH obligations might be. While they might not be able to endorse particular consultants, they might be able to point you in the right direction. If you need more specific guidance on this aspect, the UK's REACHReady Matchmaker service is one of the better-known examples of a trade association which has put in place stringent measures to validate service providers.

Also, talk with industry colleagues who might already be using REACH service providers and would be willing to refer them to you.

If you want to look at a broad range of service-provider offerings, Internet searches will conjure up lots of names. So, use sensible search criteria:

  • Technical knowledge — Is a good, rounded knowledge of REACH required? Specific technical knowledge? Both?
  • Geographic location — Does it matter if the service provider is located too far away for regular face-to-face contact?
  • Local language — Is it essential that the service provide speaks the local language?
  • Personality — Would you be comfortable working with individuals in the service provider organization?
  • Networks — How extensive is the service provider's network with other REACH specialists?
  • Back-up — REACH will impose heavy demands on service-provider resources. Can you be sure that you will get the attention you deserve in future?
  • Long-term support — Is the service provider committed to providing REACH support over the long haul?

Examine the experience and education of individuals that might be involved in supporting you. This will help you appreciate the depth of experience and capabilties of the overall organization. Ask for references from former clients, and follow up on these if necessary.

Compare the REACH services the consultancy claims to offer against a checklist of key services. Is the consultancy clear about its areas of expertise? How will it deliver a very broad range of services — using in-house resources, via a network of associates or both?

Here is a breakdown of key REACH tasks adapted from REACHReady Matchmaker:

Technical — Performing scientific data searches; performing substance grouping, (Q)SARs and read-across services; conducting physico-chemical tests; compiling and assessing physico-chemical data packages; conducting laboratory chemical identification and characterization; evaluating chemical identification and characterization data; performing toxicological testing; compiling and assessing toxicological data packages; testing environmental effects and fate; assessing and compiling environmental effects and fate data packages; performing and reviewing environmental exposure modeling and monitoring; reviewing epidemiological data and health monitoring studies; assessing and compiling human health and exposure data; preparing chemical safety reports; devising and evaluating exposure scenarios; evaluating hazard classification and labeling; preparing safety data sheets; submitting registration dossier to European Chemicals Agency; and operational support for managing REACH compliance through IT systems.

Legal and Commercial — Providing Only Representative or Third-Party Representative services; advising on development and implementation of business strategies and plans — aligned to REACH time line; providing project management services; training on REACH requirements (internal, supply chain partners, trade organizations, etc.); compiling substance use information from the supply chain; providing legal advice on the protection of confidential business information and intellectual property; and advising on alternative substances and substitution.

A few large consultancies are gearing up to provide a "one-stop shop" approach to REACH compliance, and have expanded their REACH departments considerably. A natural first response might be to go straight to this type of service provider. However, with higher overhead costs could come higher fees.

Also, for most organizations, their REACH compliance needs will be relatively modest, so the big consultancy option might not always be the best choice. Don't neglect the smaller consultancies that are not tied to using in-house resources, with the potential limitaton in choice this can bring. By operating through networks of associates, smaller consultancies can often bring the best of several alternative options to bear on a particular REACH issue. The key questions to ask any service-provider are, What specific REACH services do you offer? and How and when will you deliver them?

Whatever size consultancy you eventually contract to assist you, you will almost certainly prefer to work day-to-day with one point of contact individual within that organization. REACH compliance is not a single event in time; it is a complex process that will take many years to achieve. So, the questions to ask yourself are, Can I see myself working with this individual over a long period of time? and, How long is he/she likely to be around to support me?

What to Watch Out For

"My OR doesn't communicate with me." This is a surprisingly common claim by many companies. Clearly, regular dialogue with your OR is essential to help ensure that you remain in compliance, albeit indirectly, with the many different requirements of REACH, and at the right time. It is vital that you are kept apprised of progress.

Also, your OR has significant reporting responsibilities to the EU Competent Authority under whose jurisdiction he or she falls. A minimum requirement is that formal letters of appointment of the OR by his or her non-EU client must be made available to the authorities upon request. This includes letters of appointment to individual EU customers, not just the OR. Rather than anxiously wait to hear from your OR, be prepared to be proactive and contact him or her. Make sure it is understood that you require regular updates on progress against key short- or medium-term issues.

When communicating with your OR, be sure to ask a handful of critical questions:

  • Am I in compliance with REACH Letters of Appointment requirements?
  • Has a SIEF Formation Facilitator (SFF) been identified for each of my substances? What should I do if an SFF cannot be found soon?
  • Have you yet identified the Lead Registrant(s) for my substance(s)? What should I do if a Lead Registrant cannot be found soon?
  • Should I join a consortium, and what are the reasons for/against doing so?
  • What are the possible costs of registration, and can you explain how you calculate these?
  • What measures are you taking to keep my compliance costs as low as possible?
  • If Chemical Safety Assessments, Chemical Safety Reports and Exposure Scenarios need to be generated for specific uses of my substances(s), when and how will you arrange for these to be done?
  • What needs to be done — and when — to generate my new REACH and CLP compliant safety data sheets?

"How should responsibilities be shared between me and my OR?" It is in your interest as a non-EU entity to support your OR as fully as possible during the registration process. Your OR is trusting you to provide him or her with accurate information, including tonnages of substance(s) exported to the EU, and EU customers sold to, because he or she is legally accountable for these and other aspects of REACH to the Competent Authority in his or her country. A good OR will be tracking developments in REACH very closely — and perhaps better than you are able to. Therefore, ask him or her to provide you with sufficient advance warning of significant issues which might affect the registration prospects of your substance(s). Check the contract in place between you and your OR; ideally, it should contain a sufficiently detailed explanation of the roles and responsibilities of each party, and is an important reference document in the event of disputes arising.

"Can I change my OR?" Yes, in principle. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has always recognized that, for whatever reason, a non-EU company might wish to change its OR. However, any change has to be agreed with the OR. Hopefully, your contract with the OR contains a clause that permits you to switch to a different OR at no penalty to yourself. Then, a relatively straightforward notification to the ECHA is all that is required.

"I'm still uncertain about what I need to do." It is quite worrisome to realize that many sizeable non-EU companies — especially those seeking to register substances by the November 2010 registration deadline — are still confused and do not yet have substance-specific REACH strategies in place. There are different routes to REACH compliance, so businesses need to adopt a strategy that is suited to them.

Crucially, a proactive OR (or other REACH adviser contracted to you) should be able to help you develop alternative approaches to REACH compliance, always bearing in mind that his or her priority should be to minimize your costs of compliance.

No One Said It Would Be Easy

Selecting the right REACH service provider for your organization is not simple. Among many things, your choice will depend on the size and complexity of your business and its supply chains, your preference to work with a large organization (substantial in-house resources) versus a smaller organization (potentially more customer-intimate), the type of personal relationship you want to establish and so on.

However, if you follow the guidance provided here, seek help from reputable trade associations and others, and take your time defining the type of support you would like to access, then you stand a very good chance of finding the REACH service provider that is right for you.

Chris Eacott, Ph.D. is managing director of UK-based Stewardship Solutions Ltd., a REACHReady-approved provider of REACH consultancy and training services. To contact this author, send an e-mail to author@ism.ws.

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Market Report

Strategic Sourcing

Strategic Sourcing Group Gains Momentum at NuStar Energy

By Barton S. Richards, CIRM

In 2008, NuStar Energy — a publicly traded, limited partnership based in San Antonio, with more than 1,700 employees, 8,417 miles of crude oil and refined product pipelines, 82 terminal facilities and two asphalt refineries — completed a large, organic capital growth plan and the acquisition of an asphalt refining system. This growth created needs within the organization to implement new sourcing strategies to handle both the new assets and to improve services and processes associated with all its business lines.

At NuStar, a shared belief exists that if the company takes care of the employees, then the employees will take care of the business — and, as a result, the unit-holders. Safety and quality play roles in everyday business. This culture also results in decentralized decision-making, which promotes local stewardship and accountability. However, these characteristics make it challenging for a strategic sourcing group to successfully implement traditional centralized cost reductions.

In late 2008, Michael Burgett, CPSM was named NuStar's new vice president of strategic sourcing. Prior to this, he ran the terminal operations for NuStar as a vice president of regional operations. NuStar management was interested in having a user in the sourcing role to create credibility and a higher level of operational understanding, and who knew the culture and people of NuStar.

To assist in jumpstarting this new group, The Claro Group was engaged to focus on strategic sourcing and cost-reduction opportunities. The project began in summer 2008, with Claro and NuStar performing an assessment of cost-reduction opportunities via spend analytics. The assessment allowed the team to prioritize the sourcing opportunities and focus on categories with high probability of implementation success. As in most organizations today, the existing procurement team and budget holders were already doing a great job procuring goods and services. In this situation, the task was to create incremental benefit on top of those efforts.

In 2009, the team focused on both corporate and operational categories, including office supplies, telecommunications, PC hardware, purchasing cards, various tank maintenance areas, environmental remediation and lubricity additives. Burgett assigned NuStar and Claro professionals to work with each user team. To be successful, the sourcing team members needed to advocate for the user and meet their scope needs. They also had the assignment of calculating the savings created from the initiative.

Tank maintenance was perhaps the most rewarding and impactful on NuStar's operations and people. Having previously led the terminal operations group, Burgett understood the strengths and opportunities inherent in the business. Tank maintenance managers were working on a regional basis to accomplish their needs. A companywide approach was needed to leverage the quality and resources around the tank maintenance work. NuStar invited Hector Gonzalez, manager of corrosion and welding, to lead a new companywide tank maintenance steering committee. The sourcing team members now had a working team through which they could vet strategic sourcing initiatives, including tank inspections, cleaning, maintenance and painting.

"The sourcing team has offered strategic platforms for vetting and partnering with service providers which have produced mutually beneficial and economically competitive relationships," Gonzalez says.

In two particular instances, services — such as API 653 atmospheric tank inspections and cathodic protection close interval surveys — were competitively bid using a supplier conference. Service contractors were brought in to meet with NuStar subject-matter experts. The meetings were open forums wherein NuStar simultaneously shared its current operating climate and upcoming workload with the service contractors. The service contractors were then brought in to discuss their companies' capabilities and service footprint with a panel of NuStar subject-matter experts. The result is a very competitive pricing structure based on long-term volume commitments.

The savings results in the Phase I categories was 17 percent overall. Phase I included the areas of:

  • Office supplies
  • PC hardware
  • Telecommunications
  • Environmental remediation
  • P-card
  • Lubricity additive
  • Tank inspections
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Painting.

Phase II categories are underway and include:

  • Terminal management system
  • PLC integration
  • Temporary labor
  • Courier
  • Guard service
  • Close-interval surveys and inspections
  • Pipeline corrosion chemicals.

The team cites several keys to its success. First, NuStar's management provided strong executive support.

Second, Burgett's previous responsibilities as vice president of terminal operations and other past operations roles lend the sourcing team a respected voice at the executive table. He understood the operations and knew the personnel well enough to quickly identify where savings opportunities exist and where change management and communications are a priority.

Finally, making the stakeholders an integral part of the process, advocating on behalf of the user, and allowing them to feel ownership in the supplier negotiation and selection process are critical to any sourcing initiative.

Several leading practices were used throughout the process, including using a spend analytics process or service. Having a spend analytics tool or service is important to help the sourcing group understand what has been spent and with whom.

Also, spending the time to document the cost of a supplier's service or good is important so that you know your starting point and can calculate savings later.

Third, use the appropriate sourcing strategy that meets the initiative objectives. To date, NuStar has used various sourcing methods (incumbent negotiations, supplier conferences, reverse auctions, requests for proposals and requests for quotes).

Fourth, perform a savings sign-off. Once savings are calculated from the team's efforts, having an involved stakeholder actually sign off on the savings calculation can be an unnerving process for the sourcing team member; but, it also validates the forecast savings in the minds of others, which can be very important down the road.

Finally, track the actual results. Setting up a process to validate that negotiated savings turn into real savings for the organization is critical, and is especially useful for senior management, who might ask questions regarding the level and timing of savings amounts.

There are various approaches to making a market exist. Incumbent negotiations can be used when end users are satisfied with the current supplier and savings opportunities exist. Supplier conferences should be considered when new or complicated requirements and standards need to be shared through direct communications with a supplier.

Additionally, a supplier conference will directly expose all team members to new supplier options at the same time (a great tactic when resistance to change exists). Gathering users in the same place at the same time can make the selection process more efficient.

Finally, reverse auctions are another tool that can be used in categories where requirements can be well-documented. Having a critical mass of supplier participants, knowing the market capacity at the time of the event and training suppliers on the use of the reverse auction tool are some of the many keys to success with this approach. Sometimes creating an even playing field is of critical importance, so requests for proposals and quotes might be the best ways to create savings for the organization.

NuStar Energy has started its journey along the strategic sourcing and procurement life cycle. Continuing to be advocates for the stakeholders, and focusing on making procurement easy for the end user, will continue to be the team's focus in 2010.

Barton S. Richards, CIRM is the managing director at The Claro Group. To contact this author, send an e-mail to author@ism.ws.

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CPOs Share Their Top Supplier Relationship Strategies

On April 15, during a no-cost Web seminar hosted by ISM and sponsored by Emptoris, two leading CPOs will share their top five strategies for profitable supplier relationships. This Web event is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT and will last 60 minutes.

Interactive commentary will be provided by CPOs from Wolters Kluwer and Con-Way. Each will share their top recommendations to identify and deepen the right supplier relationships while mitigating a myriad of supplier and procurement risks.

Attendees will learn:

  • Why a 360-degree view is essential to increased performance and reduced risk
  • Key components of effective supplier relationship and performance management
  • Proven frameworks for supplier management segmentation
  • Strategies to balance cost reduction with supplier innovation
  • How proactive management of supplier contracts drives bottom-line results

Attendance of the live session of this Web Seminar qualifies for one Continuing Education Hour (CEH) credit at ISM. Time is running out, so register online right away.

It's Time to Re-Subscribe to eDigest: Chemicals E-Newsletter!

If you have not already re-subscribed to ISM™ eDigest: Chemicals Electronic Newsletter, the cutoff date to do so is Monday, May 3, 2010. If you do not re-subscribe by that date, you will not continue to receive eDigest: Chemicals.

It's easy: Please click here and check the box for eDigest: Chemicals Electronic to continue receiving this quarterly publication produced in conjunction with the ISM Chemical Group.

eDigest: Chemicals provides timely information on supply management topics pertinent to the chemical industry and those purchasing chemicals. Each issue contains articles, facts, strategies and resources to help you understand the sourcing issues that face this dynamic field.

This e-newsletter is valuable for:

  • Supply management professionals within chemical companies
  • Business managers who source chemicals
  • Those individuals who work within a chemical supply chain
  • Anyone interested in learning trends and news from the chemical industry.

To manage your e-mail preferences:

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Click here to renew your subscription to the eDigest: Chemicals newsletter.

Industry Spotlights Are New for ISM 95th Conference

Take the first step toward tapping your suppliers for innovation. Join us in the Exhibit Hall at ISM's 95th Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit in San Diego, April 25-28, 2010. This year's Conference marks the launch of Industry Spotlights. These mini educational sessions are filled with applications you can use when you return to the office.

Industry Spotlights are conducted by senior executives from some of the ISM Conference's major sponsoring organizations. Speakers are available to answer questions after their sessions. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with leaders in their field, who are well-versed in their unique products and solutions. Detailed information is available online at Industry Spotlight Sessions — Discover Innovation.

First Cohort Graduates, Celebrates ISM Approved Master's

Eleven supply management professionals are the first to complete the ISM Approved Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MS-SCM), granted by the University of San Diego (USD) School of Business Administration. Graduating students delivered project presentations, showing significant cost savings and process improvements, on March 18-19, 2010, followed by a graduation ceremony on March 20, 2010, held at USD's Douglas F. Manchester Executive Conference Center. Graduates come from the following companies: Biogen Idec; The Boeing Company; Milestone IT Solutions, Inc.; ModusLink Global Solutions, Inc.; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Salt River Project; United Launch Alliance, LLC.; and WD-40 Company.

The ISM Approved MS-SCM program combines state-of-the-art online learning with face-to-face instruction over 26 months. Students spend 11 days each year on the USD campus working intensively with faculty and their co-learners. The March 2010 graduates embarked on their studies in February 2008, as part of a larger cohort that began a two-phase program.

"These graduates are in a class by themselves, as the first students in the first graduate-level program to receive ISM approval," says ISM CEO Paul Novak, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P. "The interdisciplinary nature of the specialized master's degree rewards professionals for their commitment to lifelong learning and allows them to forge strong professional networks — both of which are major components to career success and advancement."

MS-SCM Program Director and Professor Simon Croom, Ph.D., underlies the value of the program to companies. "Throughout the program, our graduates develop the capabilities that help their firms to reduce costs, bring products to market more quickly and develop new systems to compete successfully in today's global economy," Croom says.

Students have the option to complete Phase I of the program, achieving a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management. Most students chose to matriculate into Phase II to complete the ISM Approved MS-SCM. The 17th cohort of the ISM Approved program began on USD's campus earlier this month. The next group will begin September 15, 2010.

The ISM Approved MS-SCM is the only U.S. degree that is accredited by the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

Enrollment requirements for the MS-SCM can be found on the University of San Diego School of Business Administration Web site.

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Additional Resources

A Wealth of Information at www.ism.ws

Visit ISM's Web site, www.ism.ws, for more supply management resources. The site provides published articles, conference presentations and reference materials that pertain to supply managers in all industries. Here are some items that might be of interest:

  • A February 2010 Inside Supply Management® article, Competition: A Procurement Perspective, discusses the need for supply management professionals to employ a more visible competitive approach focused on building the right supply base. Competition within the wrong supply base does not produce the lowest cost or prices; in the worst case, it can yield supplier bankruptcies, which put the supply management organization at risk.

  • An article in the latest edition of ISM's eSide Supply Management e-magazine — Win/Win Negotiation Strategies — addresses the keys to reaching a true win/win outcome: understanding what each party wants from the negotiation and having a supporting process in place to achieve those goals without sacrificing total-cost objectives.

  • Protect Against Procurement Fraud — an article appearing in the March 2010 edition of ISM's monthly print magazine — outlines how organizations can avoid the devastating effects of fraud with commitment from organizational leaders and supply chain due diligence.

  • According to The Future of Supply Chain Management (which appeared in the March/April 2010 edition of eSide), outsourcing, offshoring and further divisions in labor will continue to be the norm in supply management for the foreseeable future. So, what are the implications for leaders in the profession? This article lays out the challenge for — and the opportunity available to — the next wave of leaders.

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