January 2011, Vol. 23, No. 1
for the volunteer leadership

Professional Credentials Issue

ISM Membership
December 1, 2010

Number of CPSM®s
November 30, 2010


Letter From the ISM Professional Credentials Committee Chair —

Our world is becoming flatter, boundaries are disappearing and, as a society, we have become more diverse. And yet, countries around the world still realize challenges with diversity. Brazil struggles with supporting suppliers that are Afro-Brazilian, Amerindians or individuals with physical disabilities. Canada works hard to include suppliers belonging to Canadian Aboriginals and visible minorities. The People's Republic of China strives to connect suppliers from 55 ethnic minorities to corporate buyers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities account for approximately 35 percent of the U.S. population and this number is increasing. Yet, according to Dr. Fred McKinney, president and CEO of the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, only 2 percent to 5 percent of a large corporation's annual spend is made with minority businesses.

How can this disparity exist? Many, if not the majority, of the companies we work for have a formal supplier diversity program. However, the reasons these programs exist are not the same. For some organizations, the program exists because minority suppliers are our own customer base. For others, it's a government requirement mandating that a specific amount of spend is placed with minority suppliers. Still other organizations promote supplier diversity because it's socially responsible.

Despite the reason given for supporting supplier diversity, simply stated, supplier diversity can be used as a strategy to create a supply base that is inclusive of all qualified suppliers and does not exclude or discriminate against suppliers based on race, gender, business size or geographic location in order to derive increased value. Working with a diverse supplier base increases competition, resulting in better pricing, increased operational expertise and better business decisions while giving back to and supporting the supplier community. Diverse suppliers are often mentored and developed by the majority corporations they work with, gaining market knowledge and insights, and improving their skills and experiences.

Supplier diversity enriches our supply chain, as this inclusion fosters different perspectives and brings in expertise that without it would not exist. Diverse suppliers tend to be underutilized by supply management. Focusing on supplier diversity reverses this trend and builds a sustainable supply chain that represents the diverse world in which we live and the customer base served by our employers.

ISM now offers us another way to show our support for supplier diversity through the Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™ (CPSD™) designation. Pursuing this designation enables you to increase your knowledge base and demonstrate your commitment to supplier diversity. The CPSD™ isn't just for those in supply management who are responsible for leading or managing supplier diversity programs. This is a designation for all supply management professionals who recognize the positive impact diverse suppliers bring to their supply base, the customers their employers serve and the community at large. Demonstrate to your peers, suppliers and customers that you support supplier diversity by adding the CPSD™ to your 2011 goals.

Karen Fedele, CPSM, C.P.M.
Chair, ISM Professional Credentials Committee

Letter From the Professional Credentials Vice President —

The past year has seen significant growth in the CPSM® program with more than twice as many of your peers now holding the CPSM® designation than at the beginning of 2010. There are currently more than 2,500 CPSM®s since its debut in May 2008.

This year begins an exciting new chapter for ISM Professional Credentials — the launch of a new designation focused on supplier diversity: the Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™ (CPSD™) designation.

Several years ago, ISM investigated developing a supplier diversity designation after multiple inquiries from a variety of industries. During that time, ISM was evaluating the C.P.M. credential and made a determination to focus efforts on developing the CPSM®.

Once again, more recently, there has been increasing interest from diversity professionals for ISM to take the lead in developing a supplier diversity designation. Because supplier diversity is one of the critical areas of supply management, developing the CPSD™ designation provides another way for ISM to further demonstrate the organization's commitment to leading supply management.

The primary target audiences for the new CPSD™ designation are supplier diversity professionals and supply management professionals with supplier diversity responsibilities. Obtaining the CPSD™ not only demonstrates your commitment to supplier diversity, but also helps you maintain that competitive edge in the marketplace.

Add value to your professional "package" by obtaining the CPSD™ and CPSM®.

Andrea Waas, A.P.P., APR
Vice President — Professional Credentials

In This Issue: