Supply Line 2055: Certification Update Newsletter Logo

December 2006, Volume 18

Issue Highlights:

Please note: To view this newletter in its graphic format access the PDF version (346 KB).

Companies Need Strategic Supply Leaders — Are You in Demand?

By Mike Shirra, Senior Associate

Supply Management Skills

Supply management has seen dramatic changes within the field over the last decade and is poised to see even more in the future, according to data from a recent study published in the July 2006 edition of the International Journal of Operations & Production Management. In order for companies to maximize purchasing, negotiations, contract development and a multitude of other specialized supply management skills, professionals must continue to improve their capabilities as their roles increase in strategic importance.

Published as a white paper entitled, Supply Management's Evolution: Key Skill Sets for the Supply Manager of the Future, the study was developed from a series of focus groups with executives from across the United States. The objective of the study was to construct theoretical relationships with which to gauge the evolution of supply management skills.

Findings indicate that demand for upper-level supply management skills is on the rise, and managers are now and will increasingly assume a more strategic role within organizations. Strong trends underlying this movement include the need for "building strategic relationships, focusing on total cost and strategic cost reduction, and the ability to collaborate with suppliers." Results also point to the need for supply managers to acquire strategic skills that add value and enable effective alignment with key business functions at the senior management level.

Another research study published in 2004 by CAPS Research supports these conclusions. The study, Purchasing Education and Training II, describes the dramatic changes that have occurred within the profession since 1993 (the year of the first Purchasing, Education and Training Research study):

  • A change to more strategic supplier relationships and alliance, as firms look to optimize expertise and resources through the chain
  • The growth and expanded use of the Internet to facilitate e-sourcing, e-procurement and other business activities
  • Reductions in purchasing staffs
  • A focus on strategic goals related to cost and value
  • The evolution of supply chain management as an integrated competitive business strategy, and the increased contribution of purchasing to this strategy
  • A shift from basic, tactical purchasing to more strategic supply management

Qualified Professionals

Most companies view their ability to effectively attract qualified professionals as a strategic priority, according to a two-part survey in The McKinsey Quarterly. The survey, entitled The War for Talent (part 1 and 2), 1997, 2001, found that the need for qualified professionals is steadily increasing. In 2001, nearly 90 percent of HR managers thought it was more difficult to attract qualified professionals than it was three years earlier. In addition, the total amount of qualified professionals in the U.S. workforce continues to decrease. By 2015, professionals between the ages of 35 and 44 will decline by 15 percent, further increasing the need to attract qualified professionals from a shrinking talent pool.

Additionally, an August 2006 survey conducted by Manpower Inc. of more than 30,000 employers across 26 countries reports that 45 percent of employers would have hired more permanent professional staff over the past six months if they could have found more candidates with the right skills. Thirty-eight percent of employers said that "talent shortages have caused their organizations to pay higher salaries/compensation for professional positions as compared to a year ago."

Back to Top

CPSM Program Survey 1

A survey to gather feedback on certification, CPSM educational materials and bridging

Take ISM's CPSM Program Survey 1. It's quick, simple and best of all, you'll be able to see the results of the survey in the next edition of Supply Line 2055. See what your peers and colleagues are saying about the CPSM program. The CPSM qualification debuts in 2008.

To take this survey, go to

Back to Top

CPSM Exam and Bridging Exam Specifications Now Online

Exam and Bridging Exam specifications for ISM's new Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) qualification are now available on ISM's Web site. Click here to view both documents.

Back to Top

Download the Certification Programs Presentation, Fall 2006

A PowerPoint presentation discussing critical dates, program requirements and general information regarding ISM's new Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is now available on ISM's Web site. Intended as a valuable tool to help professionals understand the changes taking place within the profession and ISM, the presentation also focuses on credentialing changes related to the C.P.M. program. To refer others to this presentation, tell them to go to:

Back to Top

Want to Be Involved in the CPSM Development Process?

ISM is looking for potential volunteers for two specific areas related to the development of the CSPM qualification. Volunteers are needed in the areas of CPSM courseware development and item writing for the CPSM Exams. Volunteers are required to be current members of ISM and in good standing.

Volunteers for CPSM courseware development would be current C.P.M. instructors who would also like to hold CPSM Review Courses when the qualification becomes available in 2008. If you would like to volunteer in either of these areas, e-mail ISM Certification at with a letter of interest. Be sure to put CPSM Review Course Volunteer or CPSM Item Writing Volunteer in the subject line.

Back to Top

ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit

May 6-9, 2007
Bally's Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
The Future of Supply Management — Continuity of Supply
Registration opens December 2006

Back to Top

Check Out ISM's Career Center

If you are seeking employment, or you are looking for qualified supply management professionals, visit ISM's Career Center. ISM's Career Center helps link job seekers and employers. Both members and nonmembers can use this service. To check out ISM's Career Center, click here.

Back to Top

Take Charge of Your Career With ISM's Conference Career Center

ISM's Conference Career Center is your opening to a new future. This face-to-face forum is exclusively for registrants of ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit, May 6-9, 2007 in Las Vegas. It's a great opportunity to submit your résumé and meet with recruiters during your conference activities. Recruiting organizations know that the ISM Annual International Supply Management Conference attracts the best in the field. Make sure you take charge of your career and participate in this exclusive event.

Job Seekers: If you have any questions on the specifics of this service, please feel free to contact Sue Roswurm, Manager, ISM Human Resources, or 800/888-6276, extension 3138.

Recruiters: If you are looking for some good employees and would like to participate as a recruiter, please contact Antoinette "Toni" Caserta, ISM Development Services, or 800/888-6276, extension 3095.

Back to Top

Save Money While Earning Your Certification — Take the C.P.M. Exam at Half Price!

Register for ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit, May 6-9, 2007 in Las Vegas, or a 2- or 3-day pre-Conference seminar and take one, two or up to three certification exam modules for half-price*. Modules are offered on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. Register early; Seating is limited.

  Check-In Exam Time — 5/09/07
Modules 1 - 3 A  7:00 am - 7:45 am 8:00 am - 9:45 am
  B  10:00 am - 10:45 am 11:30 am - 1:15 pm
  C  1:45 pm - 2:30 pm 2:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Module 4 A  7:00 am - 7:30 am 7:45 am - 9:55 am
  B  10:15 am - 10:45 am 11:00 am - 1:10 pm
  C  1:30 pm - 2:00 pm 2:15 pm - 4:25 pm

This half-price offer is great news for supply managers wishing to complete their C.P.M. certification and bridge to the CPSM qualification. If you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, have five years or more of fulltime professional supply management experience and have received your C.P.M., you will immediately be able to bridge to the CPSM when it becomes available in 2008. The Bridge Exam streamlines the certification process by reducing the requirements from three exams to just one, positioning supply managers on the fast track toward achieving their career goals.

Don't miss this great opportunity. Save money on your C.P.M. Exams as you work toward your certification. For additional information, call ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 401, or visit us online at

*This offer pertains only to the written exam presented on May 9, 2007, in Las Vegas during ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit. Space is limited.

Back to Top

You Still Have Time to Complete Your A.P.P. Accreditation

Secure your professional value and take the next step toward a successful career. Plan now to get your Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) accreditation.

Supply managers who are new to the profession and/or those who have not received a professional credential have a final opportunity to complete and apply for their A.P.P. by February 28, 2007.

The Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) designation is specifically designed for entry-level supply management professionals, or those primarily engaged in the operational side of the supply function. Accreditation secures your value within your organization and shows management that you are serious about your career.

February 28, 2007 is the postmark deadline for all Original and Original Lifetime A.P.P. applications.
See detailed information on the A.P.P. program.

Even after February 28, 2007, the A.P.P. will continue to be recognized and valued within the supply management profession. In addition, all professionals may continue to reaccredit their A.P.P. indefinitely.

What Do I Have to Do?

  • Pass C.P.M. Modules 1 and 2.
  • Possess two years of fulltime professional (nonclerical, nonsupport) work experience, where supply management experience is a component of the candidate's responsibilities or have at minimum an associate's degree from an accredited institution and one year of fulltime professional work experience, where supply management experience is a component of the candidate's responsibilities.
  • Postmark your completed application by February 28, 2007.

Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) Program and Exam FAQs

For more information on the A.P.P. and C.P.M. programs and requirements, visit, or contact ISM Certification at

Back to Top

C.P.M. Exam Fees Increase in 2007

Beginning January 1, 2007 all C.P.M. Exam registration prices will increase by $10. The last price increase was in January 2005.

Exam Registration Fees — as of Jan 2007:

ISM Member — Domestic* $130
Nonmember — Domestic* $190
ISM Member — International $175
Nonmember — International $230

*Domestic = U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. C.P.M. and A.P.P. application fees will remain the same for 2007.

Back to Top

Power Negotiations Self-Study Workbook Available in February 2007

Power Negotiations: Unlock Your Powers of Influence and Persuasion provides a self-paced program for those individuals interested in learning the basic concepts of negotiation, the steps involved and the skills needed to become proficient and successful. The program includes a multitude of topics — from elementary to intermediate. It also includes pre- and post-tests which allow you to gauge your increased knowledge. Once your final post-test has been evaluated by ISM, you may be awarded 14 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) that you may apply toward Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) recertification.

Back to Top

C.P.M. Online Self-Study Courses

As a participant in ISM's C.P.M. self-study courses, you can determine how often you access the content of each self-paced course, and complete them on your own time and your schedule. All four courses focus on preparing individuals to take the C.P.M. Exam. Earn 10 CEHs for each C.P.M. and A.P.P. self-study course. The following online self-study C.P.M. courses are currently available:

C.P.M. Module 1 Online Exam Review — Purchasing Process — Course # 3936
This course focuses on the 20 tasks contained in Module 1, and includes sections on identifying requirements, preparation of solicitations, supplier analysis, and contract execution, implementation and administration.
C.P.M. Module 2 Online Exam Review — Supply Environment — Course # 3937
This course focuses on the 17 tasks contained in Module 2, and includes sections on negotiations, information technology, quality issues, internal relationships and external relationships.
C.P.M. Module 3 Online Exam Review — Value Enhancement Strategies — Course # 3938
This course focuses on the 16 tasks contained in Module 3, and includes sections on sourcing analysis, supply and inventory management, value-enhancing methods and forecasting strategies.
C.P.M. Module 4 Online Exam Review — Management — Course # 3939
This course focuses on the 14 tasks contained in Module 4, and includes sections on management and organization, and human resources management.

Each course is also available in hardcopy format. Contact ISM's Customer Service Department for more information on the C.P.M. program and these self-study courses, or to request a catalog that details each course and its benefits. You may also obtain information by visiting the ISM Web site at or the Knowledge Center Web site at

Back to Top

ISM Expands Online Course Offerings

ISM designed the Knowledge Center to give you access to a comprehensive curriculum that addresses all areas of the supply chain. Visit the Knowledge Center today and gain access to ISM's expanded class offerings which now include Accenture's Supply Chain Academy (SCA) courses. Whether you're looking to improve your skills or want to expand the capabilities of your organization, ISM is your total education resource for achieving your goals. And, we understand that everyone has a unique learning style. These expanded offerings provide you with a multitude of delivery formats and more continuing education opportunities. Enroll today and earn Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

To access the Online Course Guide, go to To register for a course, visit the Knowledge Center at For more information, contact ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 401.

Back to Top

15 Vital Reasons to Support Certification and Membership in ISM

1. Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) qualification
Your supply managers can be certified at the highest level of their profession. They will have the capabilities to make a significant impact.

The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is slated to be the qualification that supply management professionals strive to obtain. The CPSM will be relevant internationally and reflect the expanded education, skills and experience needed to be successful as a supply management professional. The CPSM debuts in 2008.

2. Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation
Professionals gain the ability to make better decisions and have the skills to save your organization money.

The Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation is the most globally recognized designation for supply management professionals. The program is designed for experienced supply managers and focuses on managerial and leadership skills, plus a variety of specialized functions designed to enhance the value of the profession.

3. Professional Development Resources
Organizational support keeps your supply managers on the "cutting edge."

All programs are designed to heighten your acumen in a variety of subjects, including global sourcing, negotiations, legal issues and supply management. Publications include textbooks, workbooks, materials specifically designed for C.P.M. Exam preparation and much more. Study materials for ISM's new CPSM qualification are currently in development and will be available beginning in the summer of 2007. The CPSM and CPSM Bridge Study Guides are scheduled to be available in June, quickly followed by the ISM three-book Knowledge Series in September.

4. Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit
Networking is a valuable tool for professionals in supply management. Your support enables them to work with peers across the globe.

Earn up to 16 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) when you network with more than 2,000 other professionals at the only international conference devoted exclusively to purchasing and supply management. Examine emerging trends and challenges during comprehensive workshops conducted by your peers. Workshop presenters are selected as a result of ISM's "Call for Presentations." The Conference attracts distinguished speakers to discuss current national and international issues and features several sessions highlighted by prominent corporate leaders. Members receive significant savings on registration fees.

5. Unlimited Access to ISM's Web Site
Supply managers have a permanent information hub for improvement and involvement.

Unlock the possibilities of this valuable research tool. Members can search an extensive database for information and articles on supply management issues, take part in professional forums, contact their local affiliates or other related organizations, and learn about ISM's assortment of educational products and services.

6. ISM Knowledge Center
Supply managers have access to the latest information, seminars and courses.

With a recently expanded curriculum, ISM members can take one of the growing numbers of self-directed online courses and earn Continuing Education Hours toward recertification. More than 90 percent of ISM's online students recommend or strongly recommend a Knowledge Center course!

Knowledge Center courses are:

  • Convenient — Access anytime.
  • Cost-effective — Eliminates travel.
  • Efficient — You control the pace.
  • Fast — Instant feedback.
  • Easy — On your desktop.
  • Effective — Basic and advanced courses, interactive scenarios and case studies.
  • Successful — Apply what you learn.
  • Beneficial — Earn Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

7. ISM's Career Center
Job seekers and employers have a professional forum to meet.

Search the database for the top employment listings in supply from across the country. Post your resume for organizations to see or take advantage of other career-enhancing tools. If you are seeking employment, or you are looking for qualified supply management professionals, visit ISM's Career Center, where we help link job seekers to employers.

8. ISM's Conference Career Center (event)
Exclusively for registrants of ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit, May 6-9, 2007 in Las Vegas, this face-to-face forum offers a great opportunity to submit your résumé and meet with recruiters during your conference activities.

Job Seekers: If you have any questions on the specifics of this service, please feel free to contact Sue Roswurm, Manager, ISM Human Resources, or 800/888-6276, extension 3138.
Recruiters: If you are looking for some good employees and would like to participate as a recruiter, please contact Antoinette "Toni" Caserta, ISM Development Services, or 800/888-6276, extension 3095.

9. Commodity Tracking via
Supply managers can increase their negotiation power.

Hone your negotiating skills with this unique service that sends you personalized, up-to-the-minute information on the commodities of your choice. ISM members receive a free, 60-day trial period and a $300 discount on regular enrollment fees.

10. Inside Supply Management®
Professionals stay up-to-date.

Inside Supply Management® magazine delivers thought-provoking discussion and information on the topics most relevant to today's forward-thinking, strategic supply managers. The editorial concentrates on trends, current issues, and the vision of thought leaders and executives in supply management.

11. Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® (ROB)
Supply managers have the best and most current business information.

Published in Inside Supply Management®, our monthly survey of purchasing statistics is the first of its kind. It's considered by many economists to be the most reliable, near-term economic barometer available today.

12. Recognition and Awards
Supply professionals are recognized for their accomplishments.

Each year, ISM recognizes those supply management professionals who show exemplary service to ISM and/or the profession at large.

13. CAPS Research
Supply managers have access to the best academic research.

ISM members receive supply management-related research studies and benchmarks free from CAPS Research, the only national not-for-profit research center in purchasing and materials management. CAPS sponsors three international roundtables throughout the year in North America, Europe and Asia. Participants include more than one hundred Fortune 500 companies.

14. Affiliates
Professionals can network with peers.

Take C.P.M. Exam review courses through your local ISM affiliate and gain valuable contacts within your community during monthly meetings and educational functions. Keep on top of local industry changes and commodity trends. ISM's 170-plus affiliated organizations give you the opportunity to gain valuable contacts within your community. Be a vital part of the world's largest and most respected supply management institute.

15. Groups and Forums
Supply managers have a stake in the profession.

Gain a deeper understanding of your supply management focus and develop valuable connections across the U.S. when you join an ISM special interest group or forum. ISM has groups with interests ranging from materials management to healthcare providers to federal acquisitions. Only through ISM can you participate in the ISM special interest groups or forums.

Back to Top