Supply Line 2055: Certification Update Newsletter Logo

October 2007, Volume 21

Issue Highlights:

Please note: To view this newletter in its graphic format access the PDF version (695 KB).

Contact Your ISM Affiliate or Participating Company for Pilot Testing

Endorsed by business and thought-leaders across the globe, the introduction of the CPSM qualification transforms the profession. Earn your CPSM and you will be able to take on the greatest challenges that require the highest degree of professional competencies. You will truly be able to excel in 21st-century strategic supply management.

Be among the first and participate in CPSM Pilot Testing. Pilot testing will be offered through ISM affiliates and participating companies in February and March of 2008. All supply management professionals who want to achieve the CPSM are welcome to participate in the CPSM Pilot Testing Program. Keep in mind that the CPSM Bridge Exam will not be offered during the pilot testing period.

CPSM Eligibility
The criteria for earning the CPSM qualification are:

  • 5 years of full-time, professional, non-clerical, nonsupport supply management experience

  • 4-year degree from a regionally accredited college or university
    If your degree was earned from an institution outside the United States, it will need to be evaluated for U.S. regional equivalency before submitting your CPSM application. ISM recommends that applicants use the services of Educational Credential Evaluators at The "general" evaluation is all that ISM requires. The cost of the evaluation is the responsibility of the applicant.

  • Pass the three CPSM Exams OR, if you are a C.P.M. in good standing, pass the Bridge Exam that will be available in May 2008, at the ISM International Conference in St. Louis.

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Sponsor CPSM Pilot Testing

Be a part of the new era in supply management by having your company or ISM affiliate sponsor CPSM Pilot Testing this next February and March 2008. Affiliates and companies must have at least five exams to test (individuals may take multiple exams) in order to register for the pilot program.

The scope and potential of the profession has dramatically increased. Dare to lead by having your company or ISM affiliate sponsor CPSM Pilot Testing.

Individuals please contact ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276, or +1 480/752-6276, extension 401.

To coordinate on-site testing for groups (affiliates and participating companies), please contact:

Kelly Rich
Senior Sales Associate
800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 3061
Trish True
Senior Sales Associate
800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 3086

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Here's What Your Colleagues Are Saying About the CPSM

Get the first look at what your colleagues are saying about the CPSM. Hear your colleagues' thoughts and opinions about the qualification and what it means to the profession. The video, Dare to Lead, is currently being distributed to ISM affiliates and companies interested in offering pilot testing for employees and affiliate members.

"The CPSM supports new standards in supply management. With an emphasis on all the major components of the profession, managers who earn the CPSM qualification show they have the skills to make better decisions and implement innovative and effective supply strategies. The level of expertise represented by the CPSM is where YOU want YOUR career to be. Dare to Lead — and upgrade your strategic capabilities with the Certified Professional in Supply Management qualification." ISM, Dare to Lead, 2007.

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The New Era of Global Supply Management Approaches

As we near the debut of the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) qualification, it's important to keep in mind why ISM decided to create the CPSM. The world is changing. Over the last several decades, trade, growing market economies and the scope of medium and large multinational enterprises have broadened the profession's responsibilities.

Increasingly, suppliers are positioned to take advantage of economies of scale, many times located in far corners of the globe. Additionally, managers face challenges in technology, regulation, logistics and competition. This has resulted in such a dramatic change in the supply management landscape that demand for the skills represented in the CPSM have made its development critical, even mandatory for the continued expansion of professional capabilities.

ISM exists to lead supply management. As the responsibilities of supply managers have grown, so has the need to prepare supply management professionals for the responsibility they hold. The CPSM represents the profession's progress, expansion and growth — the next level in the profession's evolution. Supply managers who dare to lead in this effort will require courage, stamina and persistence in the face of the unknown.

Microsoft's Bill Gates had these qualities. He dared to lead in an industry when hardware, not software, had more emphasis. In 1985, after IBM refused to purchase Microsoft, the first Windows version 1.0 hit the stores — and flopped. This, however, did not deter Gates. His courage and persistence in the face of the unknown paid off. Windows 2.0 was released in 1987, which saw better acceptance. Then, Windows 3.0 was realized, creating Microsoft's first true success.

With headstrong determination and a vision for success, Debbi Fields, a young mother with no business experience, opened her first cookie store in Palo Alto, California, in 1977. They told her she was crazy. No business could survive just selling cookies. Humble beginnings launched Mrs. Fields into a worldwide celebrity and made her company the premier chain of cookie and baked goods stores.

"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance." Fields said. "Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it."

This kind of determination was also exemplified by Pierre Omidyar, who in 1995 created a small Web site called AuctionWeb. At the time, eBay was just one part of AuctionWeb's domain. Again, Omidyar's persistence in the face of the unknown paid dividends. By 1997, the company was a huge success, changing its name to eBay.

In this new supply management era, the CPSM shows great promise to those who invest in its potential. Professionals who commit to earning the CPSM must have courage and persistence in the face this challenge. They must Dare to Lead.

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The CPSM Bridge Exam: What C.P.M.s Should Know

Current C.P.M.s in good standing and who meet the CPSM educational and experience requirements can bridge directly to the Certified Professional in Supply Management qualification by taking the CPSM Bridge Exam and applying for the designation. The bridge exam contains extensive and expanded supply management content, representing all of the main components of supply management.

Subject matter on the CPSM Bridge Exam has been updated to reflect the most current professional information and best practices. Candidates wishing to bridge from the C.P.M. should also be up-to-date. Extensive use of the CPSM Study Guide, the ISM Professional Series, the CPSM Supplemental Reading List, plus current industry white papers, periodicals and journals are highly recommended. ISM offers core material to professionals as a starting point for exam preparation. However, preparation for such a high-level qualification such as the CPSM is not limited to ISM-produced materials. Professionals at this level are expected be knowledgeable in numerous supply management concepts, with their knowledge stemming from a multitude of sources.

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Industry Week Reviews The Supply Management Handbook

The August 1, 2007 issue of Industry Week includes a book review on The Supply Management Handbook. The review was written by Editor Traci Purdum, who attended this year's ISM's International Conference and Educational Exhibit in Las Vegas.

"For more than three decades of the evolution, The Supply Management Handbook (formerly The Purchasing Handbook) has been offering guidance to purchasing and supply professionals," Purdum writes. "The latest edition encompasses the ongoing shift from simple purchasing to a new, more technology-based imperative — identifying and managing supply chain sources and strategies."

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Get CPSM Information

Sign up for Supply Line 2055: Certification Update newsletter and CPSM e-mail updates on ISM's Web site.

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CPSM Candidates $ave on Study Materials

Take advantage of ISM's special $99 CPSM Pilot Study Package, available prior to and during the pilot testing period. This savings represents more than 70 percent off standard CPSM Exam pricing.

CPSM Pilot Testing Schedule

*Testing for the CPSM will be held on Wednesday, May 7, 2008.

The special $99 CPSM Pilot Study Package includes the new CPSM Study Guide and the new ISM Professional Series. Universal to both pilot and bridging exam candidates, professionals at all levels should take advantage of this special offer.

To pre-order the CPSM Pilot Study Package, contact ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276, or +1 480/752-6276, extension 401.

The CPSM Study Guide
The CPSM Study Guide is one of the most critical study materials to use during your CPSM Exam preparation.

Available late fall 2007, it is applicable to both pilot and bridging exam candidates, providing information on test specifications, examples of the testing format and question styles. With the use of additional reference materials to round out your knowledge, the CPSM Study Guide is an essential part of your study program.

"The CPSM Study Guide is the keystone in a candidate's study preparation," ISM CEO Paul Novak, C.P.M., said. "Special pricing for the CPSM Pilot Program post-pilot period and study materials will help motivated candidates better afford the costs associated with certification. It's also a way for ISM to help propel the profession forward. This is our goal and responsibility," he added. "2008 is almost here, and it's a year of change."

ISM Professional Series
The ISM Professional Series focuses on challenges, goals and skill sets managers will need to acquire in order to be successful in strategic supply management. With methodologies to investigate and strategies to pursue, the ISM Professional Series is an essential resource for every supply professional.

Available January 2008, the ISM Professional Series goes deeper into the major aspects of supply management. It is composed of new supply information from leaders in the profession. The series draws information from all industries and levels, formulating a macro view of supply management.

The ISM Professional Series consists of three books: Foundation of Supply Management, Effective Supply Management Performance and Leadership in Supply Management. As with the CPSM Study Guide, each book corresponds to the content of the CPSM Exams. The Professional Series also details, explains and examines current supply management issues, views and the profession's best management practices. As a companion to the CPSM Study Guide, this stand-alone work focuses on the core concepts that candidates will need to know and understand in order to qualify as a CPSM.

For more information on the CPSM program, visit us online at, e-mail the ISM Certification Department at or call 800/888-6276, extension 401.

CPSM Supplemental Reading List
The Supply Management Handbook has been added to the CPSM Supplemental Reading List. ISM has compiled the list to help CPSM candidates prepare for their exams. The books on the list have been chosen because of their focus on the expanded components of supply management. Additional books may be added to this list as they are identified.

The Supply Management Handbook (7th Edition)
Joseph L. Cavinato, Anna E. Flynn and Ralph G. Kauffman
Item #4
USD $129
ISM members USD $124
Protecting Your Company's Intellectual Property
Deborah Bouchoux
Item #B87
USD $23
ISM members USD $19
Finance for Managers
Harvard Business School
Item #B89
USD $15
ISM members USD $12
Lean Extended Enterprise
Terrence Burton and Steven Boeder
Item #B88
USD $45
ISM members USD $40
The Economist: Guide to Business Planning
Graham Friend and Stefan Zehle
Item #B90
USD $21
ISM members USD $17
Strategy: A View From The Top (2nd edition)
Cornelis A. De Kluyver
Item #B93
USD $50
ISM members USD $45
Quality Essentials: A Reference Guide From A to Z
Jack B. ReVelle
Item #B92
USD $25
ISM members USD $21
Strategic Supply Chain Management
Joseph Roussel and Shoshanah Cohen
Item #B72
USD $40
ISM members USD $35
International Business: The Challenge of Global Competition
Donald Ball, Michael Geringer, Paul Frantz, Wendell McCullock and Michael Minor
Item #B91
USD $139
ISM members USD $129

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Get Added Value With ISM's Online Discount Sale

ISM's Online Discount Sale saves you up to 15 percent off the listed price when you purchase select supply management reference books!

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Free Membership?

Full-time students are eligible to take advantage of the many membership benefits such as various professional development resources, Special Interest Groups and Forums and member discounts — all dues-free! For more information, visit our Web site, or contact ISM Customer Service at or 800/888-6276, extension 401.

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