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Most Frequently Asked Purchasing and Supply Management Related Questions

Frequently Asked Questions — Purchasing and Supply Management
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Benchmarking Data    CAPS Research conducts Benchmarking Reports on various industries, and also compiles a Cross-Industry Comparison of Standard Benchmarks.

The Benchmarking Network provides resources online, including a free benchmarking newsletter and links to industry- and process-focused benchmarking associations.

Consult ISM's "Measuring Performance / Benchmarking" Resource Guide for articles and resources on the topic. Resource Guides are FREE to members.


Bid Documents / Bid Specifications
(RFP, RFQ, etc.)
   ISM's Members-Only Bid Specifications Database holds thousands of sample bid documents, including RFPs, RFQs, and Invitations for Bid. Sample documents can be downloaded for personal use.

Many government agencies post bids online. Before using a sample bid, check with the state or city agency to see if their bids are available for public use.

Consult ISM's "Bidding Process" Resource Guide for articles and resources on the topic. Resource Guides are FREE to members.


Colleges / Schools    ISM publishes a listing of institutions offering educational programs in Supply Management.


Commodity Pricing Information    The Producer Price Index measures changes in selling price over time.


Company History    There is a wealth of information available online. For the basics, try looking at the company's Web site for a press release center or an "about us" section. Or, try a business search engine, such as Business.com

For detailed information, including financial reports, contacts, and competitors, good sources include Hoover's Online, Dun and Bradstreet, and Industry Watch.


Consultants    IT Toolbox publishes a list of Supply Chain consultants, arranged alphabetically.


Contract Samples / Contracting    For articles on the contracting process, members can search ISM's Articles Database. There are several helpful resources in the Database, including the following:

ISM InfoEdge: The Basics of Skillful Contract Writing

ISM InfoEdge: Effective Contract Administration

The ISM Resource Guides on "Contract Formation" and "Contract Management" also provide links to articles and resources. Resource Guides are free to ISM members.

Other resources include:
NCMA — The National Contract Management Association, provides resources and support for contract management.

Findlaw.com - For a list of sites where you will find contract forms.


Economic Indicators    ISM's Report On Business® (ROB) is published monthly and features important information for both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes economic information, including the Survey of Current Business.

For other useful economic resources, see ISM's list of Economic Resources


Employment / Resume Service / Career Opportunities    ISM's Career Center includes job listings from around the country, searchable by job title or region of the country. Refer to this section if you want to post your resume, post a job, or find other job hunting resources.


Ethics    ISM's Code of Ethics, the Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct, is available free.

Consult ISM's "Ethics in Purchasing" Resource Guide for articles and resources on the topic. Resource Guides are FREE to members.

International Business Ethics Institute offers professional services to organizations interested in implementing, expanding, or modifying business ethics and corporate responsibility programs.

Ethics Resource Center, Inc. a resource center for information, advice, and educational products and services, the Ethics Resource Center helps governments, companies, and associations establish standards of ethical conduct.

Business for Social Responsibility Group is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping organizations implement and improve corporate social responsibility policies and practices.

The Ethics Officer Association (EOA) is a professional association exclusively for managers of ethics compliance and business conduct programs.


General Information on Supply Management    ISM Resource Guides are an easy source for information on specific topics and are FREE to ISM members. Resource Guides feature articles and resources on the topic.

ISM's online Articles Database offers full-text articles from Inside Supply Management®, the Journal of Supply Chain Management, and the Annual International Conference Proceedings. Search by keyword.

Some supply management magazines offer articles online for free. Supply & Demand Chain Executive both have extensive online article databases.

ITtoolbox SCM Knowledge Base provides the latest community-generated content from the IT market. Share knowledge with your peers and work together to form experience-based decisions.


Job Descriptions    Sample job descriptions are available online, free to members.


Names of Purchasing Professionals / Names of ISM Members    ISM does not share or sell its membership list. However, members can communicate with other members through ISM's Special Interest Groups and Forums, local affiliates and through the online Discussion Forums.


Outsourcing    Consult ISM's "Outsourcing" Resource Guide for articles and resources on the topic. Resource Guides are FREE to members.

For articles on outsourcing, members can search ISM's Articles Database. There are several helpful resources there, including the following:

ISM InfoEdge: Getting Into Outsourcing

"The Outsourcing Decision"
Inside Supply Management®


Policy and Procedures   For articles on policy and procedures, members can search ISM's Articles Database. There are several helpful resources there, including the following:

"Creating Effective Procurement Policies" NAPM Insights

"Improving Procedures by Asking Simple Questions" NAPM Insights


Salary Information    ISM publishes an annual Salary Survey. The full report provides breakdowns of salary by job title, years of experience, education level, certification status, buying responsibility, state of residency and other factors.

Salary.com provides salary averages for purchasing-oriented job titles. Averages are calculated by zip code.


Suppliers    ISM offers an online Supplier Directory. You can search by keyword, category, or location.

Also, try a large company information registry such as the ThomasNet or Hoover's.


Uniform Commercial Code    The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a joint product of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Law Institute.

Copies of the Uniform Commercial Code, along with more information, can be found online.


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