NAPM InfoEdge
November 2001, Vol. 7 No. 1

Human Resources Issues For Supply Managers

Table of Contents
  • Supervising in a Supply Management Environment Members Only Content
    Human resource representatives are expected to be experts on human resource issues while supply managers are expected to be experts on supply management issues. However, the degree to which a human resource representative understands supply management issues or a supply manager understands human resource issues varies according to the individual — due to organizational structure, management experience, educational background, and a host of other factors. However, just as human resource representatives benefit from learning and understanding the issues surrounding supply management, supply managers can gain from a better understanding of human resource issues — particularly those who are employed in supervisory positions within their supply management organizations or departments. Understanding human resource issues not only makes the supply management professional a more well-rounded business person, and more valuable to the organization due to the increased expertise and skill, but it is also an asset to the supply manager's supervisory role.

  • Human Resources Law Members Only Content
    In recent years, there has been an explosion of employment-related claims being filed by current and former employees against organizations that have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements — for example, Coca-Cola settled a race discrimination class action suit for $192.5 million in November 2000; Texaco settled a race discrimination class action suit for $176.1 million in 1997; Home Depot settled a sex discrimination class action suit for $65 million in 1997; and Mitsubishi Motors settled a sexual harassment suit for $34 million in 1998. These settlements have motivated many organizations to begin examining their existing workplace practices and policies to ensure that they are fair and in conformity with the mandates of federal employment laws applicable to their organization.

  • Handling Difficult Issues Members Only Content
    No one likes having to deal with difficult issues that come up in the workplace — let alone having to think about and prepare for them. However, being prepared to deal with difficult situations that come along will lead to a better outcome than if the leader ignores the possibility of such situations until he or she is forced to find a solution. Terminations and downsizing situations will likely occur at some point, and personnel disputes requiring mediation or arbitration may arise.

  • Jobs, Skills, and Career Paths Members Only Content
    Many HR issues are charged to the managers or directors of supply management teams or departments. Important issues that managers and directors of any team or department find themselves concerned with are job descriptions, skill sets (including training and education), and even career paths of the people working under their responsibility.


Mark S. Miller, C.P.M., CIRM
Mark S. Miller is senior director of after sales procurement for CNH Corporation in Racine, Wisconsin. He has over 30 years of experience in purchasing and materials management with CNH. Most recently, he has managed the consolidation of CNH's after sales purchasing organization, including systems, processes, supplier consolidation, and implementing synergy cost reduction projects.

Robin C. Bush, BA, JD, LL.M.
Robin C. Bush is a labor and employment law attorney who recently relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona from Philadelphia. As a labor and employment attorney, Ms. Bush represented management in litigation of federal employment discrimination claims, counseled and educated management on their legal obligations, and assisted employers with compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws. Most recently, Ms. Bush managed the employment compliance and diversity initiatives for a major airline carrier.

  • Bear, P., "Moving To/From Other Departments," Purchasing Today®, July 2001, p. 12
  • Blankenship, Jr., W.A., "Handling Grievances in a Non-Union Environment," Society for Human Resource Management, September 1997
  • Carrara, M.J., and Gabbard, E.G., "A Legal Primer: What Every Purchaser Should Know," NAPM InfoEdge, January 1999
  • Cooksey, J., "Transformative Mediation and Problem-Solving Mediation: Dissimilar Goals Require Different Processes and Mediator Roles," Society for Human Resource Management, March 2001
  • Fitzpatrick, R.B., "The War in the Workplace Must End, but Arbitration is Not the Answer," Society for Human Resource Management, Spring 1994
  • Friedberg, K., and Friedberg, J., "Nuts," Fortune, 1996, p. 67
  • Gamlem, C., and Sommer, R., "Developing an Alternative Dispute Resolution Program," Society for Human Resource Management, October 1997
  • The Graceland College Center for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning, Inc., "Fundamentals of Personnel Law for Managers and Supervisors," 1996
  • Grant, L., "What is Arbitration?", 2001
  • Jossi, F., "Take the Road Less Traveled," HR Magazine, July 2001
  • King, D.B., and Ritterskamp, J.J., Desk Book of Purchasing Law, Prentice-Hall, 1993
  • Lee, K., "Report Review: Bringing ADR into the Workplace,", 2000
  • Leenders, M.R., and Fearon, H.E., Purchasing and Supply Management, 11th ed., 1997
  • NAPM, Job Descriptions for Purchasing and Materials Management, TECHnotes manual, 1992
  • NAPM, Job Descriptions for Purchasing and Supply Management, TECHnotes manual, 2000
  • Scott, M., "Managing Employees in a Downsized Environment," Society for Human Resource Management, April 1999
  • Veates, C., and Lee, C.E., "The Fundamentals of Human Resources," NAPM InfoEdge, May 1998

  • American Arbitration Association
    Provides information about alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, as well as information about AAA membership.
  • Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Equal Opportunity, and Discrimination
    From the U.S. General Services Administration, links are provided to the federal human resources legislation.
  • Employment Law Information Network
    Links to articles written on various aspects of employment law. Also provides indexes for federal and state law resources. Discussion forum is also available.
  • Hieros Gamos
    This Web site offers employment as well as legal information — including links to other articles and Web sites.
    Membership is free at this Web site that provides access to articles, expert advice, and forms pertaining to human resource issues.
  • HR Guide to Internet Resources
    Provides numerous links to information, consultants, books, and software dealing with nearly any human resource issue that could arise.
    With over 800 articles about alternative dispute resolution available, this Web site provides useful information about mediation as well as resources for finding mediators.
  • Purchasing Magazine Salary Survey
    Produced annually, compensation information for the industry is provided.
  • U.S. Department of Labor
    This government Web site offers information about human resource legislation applicable to employers and employees.

In May 2001, the membership of the National Association of Purchasing Management voted to change the association's name to the Institute for Supply Management™. The association, established in 1915, is the world's leading educator of supply management professionals and is a valuable resource for decision makers in major markets, organizations, and government. This change reflects recognition of the increasing strategic and global significance of supply management, and becomes effective January 1, 2002. For further information, see NAPM's Web site at

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