The supply management function of an organization is responsible for various
aspects of acquiring goods and services for the organization. In many
organizations, acquisition or buying of services is called
contracting, while that of goods is called
Tasks associated with supply management include:
Obtaining and evaluating quotes from suppliers
Managing supplier performance
Implementing technologies, processes, policies, and procedures to
support the purchasing process (Supplier Relationship Management or
SRM) - There are several companies have the software to implement SRM.
Take a look at these SAP links:
Economic theories of supply and demand
Supply management is generally regarded as a systematic business process that
includes more functions than traditional buying, such as coordinating inbound
and internal pre-production logistics and managing inventory.
Supply management deals primarily with the oversight and management of
materials and services inputs, management of the suppliers who provide those
inputs, and support of the process of acquiring those inputs. The performance of
supply management departments and supply management professionals is commonly
measured in terms of amount of money saved for the organization. However,
managing risk is one of the other critical aspects of supply management;
especially the risk of non-availability at the required time of quality goods
and services critical for an organization's survival and growth.
The increased importance of supply management in today’s dynamic global
business environment has brought a need for higher levels of skill and expertise
on the part of supply management professionals. Throughout the years, many
professional organizations have been formed to address these needs and improve
the field of supply management. One of the largest of these associations is the
Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM).
Founded in the U.S. in 1915, ISM’s membership base includes more than 40,000
supply management professionals with a network of domestic and international
affiliated associations. ISM is a not-for-profit association whose mission is to
lead the supply management profession through its standards of excellence,
research, promotional activities, and education. It is affiliated with the
International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM)
, a union of local and national purchasing associations worldwide which
encompasses approximately 200,000 members.
For companies seeking to fulfill diversity supplier spend commitments, the
National Minority Supplier Development Council
 with 39 affiliated nation-wide councils, was established in 1972 to
assist in promoting supplier diversity, and also provides management training
and access to viable minority business enterprises.
Many certification programs are relevant to the supply managment profession.
Some are offered through non-profit associations, such as the Certified
Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.), and Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
through the Institute for Supply Management. There are also for-profit companies
who offer certification programs, such as Next Level Purchasing, Inc. who offers
the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification.