MRO Magazine

Today’s Competitive Business Environment Demands Mastery of Supply Chain Management

March 30, 2015
By Business Wire News


The supply chain management function is rapidly moving to the spotlight as a key driver of profitability and performance for successful enterprises. In today’s hypercompetitive business environment, having visionary leaders and great products isn’t enough to ensure success. As a result, Thomas W. Derry, Chief Executive Officer of Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) emphasizes the need for professional global standards of excellence that will support the increasing relevance of supply chain.

Today, Derry called attention to the important contribution of this industry to businesses’ health and vitality. “In a low-growth global economy, companies’ competitive advantage often comes down to the speed and agility of their supply chains,” he noted. “Supply chain managers’ level of professional mastery has a direct bearing on the contributions they make to their constituencies.”

Over the last twenty years, companies have dramatically increased their spending on external suppliers and products as a percentage of their total costs. One big driver is innovation; whether consumers are buying cars or smartphones, they want the latest features and are willing to pay for them. That has businesses, in turn, developing networks of trusted partners to help them deliver what their customers want. “These suppliers are at the intersection of how companies are choosing to compete,” said Derry.

Even Wall Street has taken notice of this spending shift and its implications. “Financial analysts are scrutinizing companies’ earnings for insights into how effectively they’re managing their supply chains,” he added.

“With so much at stake, today’s supply chain management professionals have the opportunity to make a profound difference to their organizations. The more they become masters of their craft, the larger the contribution they can make. We feel so strongly about this that ISM is now publishing global standards of excellence for the industry,” said Derry.

The new standards are published as competencies and sub-competencies of the ISM Mastery Model™, which is detailed on ISM’s new website, This Mastery Model aligns with ISM’s existing educational and certification programs, enabling professionals to seek out their personal areas of improvement and work to fill in these knowledge gaps through ISM’s educational offerings. ISM is also encouraging supply chain professionals and managers to attend their Centennial conference, ISM2015, May 3-6, 2015, at the Phoenix (Arizona) Convention Center, where they can take advantage of more professional training and learn more about the ISM Mastery Model. For information, see

About Institute for Supply Management®

Founded in 1915 as the first supply management institute in the world, Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) is committed to advancing the practice of supply chain management to drive value and competitive advantage for its members, contributing to a prosperous and sustainable world. This year, ISM celebrates 100 years of leading, innovating and guiding the profession through the renowned ISM Report On Business®, highly regarded certification programs, and the newly launched ISM Mastery Model™. This personalized learning program encourages professionals to become experts in their field by filling in knowledge gaps in areas of supply chain management through competency-based training. ISM is a not-for-profit organization with global influence, serving supply chain professionals in more than 90 countries. For more information, please visit:

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