Associations are key providers of market and industry information. They provide opportunities to network with like-minded professionals and are the entities that develop and enforce industry standards, produce certification programs, and report on key legislative and policy issues. Here is a listing of influential procurement and supply chain professional associations and organizations.
American Council of Sourcing and Procurement Executives (ACSPE)
The American Council of Sourcing and Procurement Executives (ACSPE) was founded in 2013 by Michael Shaw and can be accessed via LinkedIn. ACSPE focuses on the future of procurement and supply chain in terms of people, process, and technology, with a heavy emphasis on technology. Intended for senior executives, this Council differentiates itself from generalized procurement groups by having a more narrow objective that incorporates disruptive thinking to address and prepare for inevitable changes.
The American Purchasing Society is a professional association of buyers and purchasing managers, and was the first organization to establish a certification program for buyers and purchasing professionals. The Society’s certification programs are: Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW), and Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC). Members receive Professional Purchasing monthly, the Annual Salary Report of Purchasing Professions, the Annual Benchmarking Report of Purchasing Operations, in addition to access to online courses and seminars.
The American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) is a nonprofit organization that provides business benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management research. It started in 1977 as the American Productivity Center. The supply chain management (SCM) membership provides access to resources that cover supply chain planning, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and product development. Also offered are Supply Chain Planning Industry spotlights.
Association For Supply Chain Management (ASCM)
The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) focuses on supply chain organizational transformation, innovation, and leadership. As the largest non-profit association for supply chain, ASCM is built on a foundation of APICS certification and training spanning 60 years. APICS CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management), CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional), CLTD (Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution), and Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional (SCOR-P) programs are now part of the ASCM. The ASCM Supply Chain Learning Center is a centralized hub for education and professional development content.
Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Programs (APTAC)
APTAC is the professional organization of and for DLA-funded (Defense Logistics Agency) Procurement Technical Assistance Programs (PTACs). APTAC supports the PTACs by providing them important information, professional networking, comprehensive training opportunities and a voice in national government contracting assistance and policy arenas. PTACs – with over 300 local offices – form a nationwide network of dedicated procurement professionals working to help local businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace.
Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA)
Founded in August 2017, the Blockchain In Transport Alliance (BiTA), has grown into the largest commercial blockchain alliance in the world. BiTA’s members are primarily from the freight, transportation, logistics and affiliated industries. BiTA develops industry standards, educates members and others on blockchain applications/solutions and distributed ledger technology (DLT) and encourages the use and adoption of new solutions.
The Buying Legal Council supports professionals tasked with sourcing legal services and managing legal services supplier relationships through advocacy, networking, research, and information. The Council offers the industry’s first certification program for buyers of legal services: Certificate Fundamentals Legal Procurement. Their Market Intelligence Report gives a comprehensive market overview and explains the trends in buying legal services. An impressive collection of useful resources can be found in the Toolbox.
CAPS (Center for Advanced Procurement Strategy) is a B2B nonprofit research center, established in 1986 at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in partnership with Institute for Supply Management, serving Fortune 1000 companies. CAPS inspires leaders and shapes the future of supply management with practitioner-focused primary research, benchmarking and best practices, exclusive executive events, and space for candid conversations. CAPS advances supply management groups with breakout reports, metrics dashboards, tools and templates, metric indexes, maturity models, and more. Members stay connected with regular webinars, newsletters, and infographics.
CASME is a global membership of corporate procurement enterprises with members that are hands-on category and sourcing managers. CASME membership offers access to best practice sourcing insights and an extensive archive of procurement guides, benchmarking surveys and data, events and networking opportunities with peers. CASME is headquartered in the UK with offices in the USA, Asia and Australasia. Members of CIPS, ISM and PASIA who are also CASME corporate subscribers can gain CPD or CEH hours for every CASME event attended,
Association of Technology Acquisition Professionals – CAUCUS
The Association of Technology Acquisition Professionals – CAUCUS serves the specialized needs of the technology acquisition professional, who is the person responsible for negotiating and managing contracts with suppliers of technology products and services. Membership features include CAUCUS Education Center, resource library, vendor free discussion forum and online (live) meetings. Certification programs include Certified Technology Procurement Executive (CPTE) and Certified Technology Procurement Specialist (CTPS).
Canadian Blockchain Supply Chain Association (CBSCA)
The Canadian Blockchain Supply Chain Association (CBSCA) provides the Supply Chain community with a global platform to develop the Canadian Data Standards, promotes industry acceptance and to drive the adoption of emerging technology forward and serves as a resource for the industry. They provide the forum for individuals to collaborate and network with industry professionals during their virtual meetings, webinars, conferences, and workshops as they educate members on blockchain applications, solutions, and distributed ledger technology.
Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)
As an influential professional body, the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) promotes and maintains high standards of professional skill, ability and integrity among procurement and supply chain professionals. CIPS offers various qualifications to support professional development in procurement and supply. There are three routes for applying for full membership of CIPS to use the designatory letters, MCIPS. CIPS Knowledge includes resources on procurement topics and skills, commodities and categories, and tools and templates, in addition to the CIPS official magazine, Supply Management. CIPS provides performance, capability, and compliance offerings. Best practice tools include, but are not limited to, The Purchasing Manger’s Index, ROSMA Performance Check, and CIPS Risk Index, and market intelligence offerings include research from CASME, Beroe, and Spend Matters.
The Coalition for Government Procurement
The Coalition for Government Procurement is a voice for commercial service and product companies selling in the federal market. For more than 35 years, the Coalition has brought together public and private sector procurement leaders to work towards the mutual goal of common sense acquisition. Members have access to the latest federal compliance and policy information that is critical to a successful Federal business.
Core is Canada’s leading non-partisan, member-driven association dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and capabilities of managing sourcing and service arrangements, including Everything-as-a-Service. Membership is held by corporate entities. CORE offers AOP certification, which signifies that an individual has comprehensive knowledge and experience with all aspects of sourcing and service provider management. Member organization employees have access to attendance at discussion forums and conferences, and access to Core’s Research Centre and white papers.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), started in 1963, is a professional association dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of research and knowledge on supply chain management. Members receive practical solutions on the industry’s hot topics via publications, professional education, networking opportunities, and cutting-edge research. CSCMP is a prolific publisher of research reports, books, surveys and serials. Examples of key publications include Case Studies, Core Guide series, State of Logistics Report, Journal of Business Logistics, Supply Chain Quarterly, and the Logistics Manager’s Index. SCPro is the three-level certification program offered by CSCMP.
Foundation for Strategic Sourcing (F4SS)
The Foundation for Supply Chain Solutions (F4SS) is a non-profit organization representing the food, beverage and personal care industry and customers that use external contract manufacturing and/or co-packaging partners. F4SS was formed on five core values: Trust. Collaboration. Inclusion. Continuous Improvement. Openness. Members can participate in various initiative teams that offer opportunities to engage and collaborate with industry experts. Industry tools offered include SGS Academy, PACT (Partnership Alignment & Collaboration Tool), and Business Mediation Network Program.
Global Sourcing Association (GSA)
The Global Sourcing Association, located in the UK, started 30 years ago and currently has corporate members that represent these categories: buyers, suppliers and support service companies. The Knowledge Centre offers a collection of reports, industry research and best practice guides, as well as the Global Sourcing Standard, which provides detailed information on sourcing strategies. GSA’s training program offers training courses for all levels of experience for outsourcing professionals.
International Institute for Advanced Purchasing & Supply (IIAPS)
The International Institute for Advanced Purchasing & Supply (IIAPS) is a not- for-profit organization founded in 2009 and is dedicated to raising international standards in purchasing and supply management. Candidates, to attain full professional membership, must successfully complete the Institute’s International Green, Red, and Black Belts in Advanced Purchasing and Supply. The ICA Index allows for assessing and benchmarking individual competencies in purchasing and supply chain management. The PSCM Index provides a comparative assessment and benchmark of the current performance of organizational processes and systems in purchasing and supply chain management.
Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
Founded in 1915, the highly influential and respected Institute for Supply Management (ISM) was the first supply management institute in the world. ISM executes and extends its mission through education, research, standards of excellence, and information dissemination. Key publications include ISM Report on Business, and Inside Supply Management. Members have access to an extensive database of information, articles, tools, and resources. ISM offers two certification programs: Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD). Also offered is the ISM Mastery Model which customizes a combination of programs and training choices to meet proficiency gaps. CAPS Research offers research and benchmark studies. In addition to the national association, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, there are many active local ISM chapters located in major cities.
National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP)
Started in the 1920’s, NAEP is a non-profit professional association primarily dedicated to serving higher education purchasing officers in the U.S. and Canada, with over 1,000 colleges and universities as members. The RFP Library allows you to review over 600 RFPs over a variety of commodities submitted by schools from across the country. Their recently launched education portal, FUSION, lets you watch live and recorded webinars on a variety of procurement topics like how to earn your certification, to best practices in spend management, to managing your travel and expense program, and much more. Publications include Educational Procurement Journal and NAEP Pulse.
National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO)
NASPO is made up of the directors of the central purchasing offices in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States. It provides members access to best practices, education, professional development, research and innovative strategies. NASPO was a founding partner of the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), which awards the Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and the Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) designations.
National Contract Management Association (NCMA)
The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) is a leading professional resource for those in the field of contract management, both in the private and public sectors, and in the buying and selling worlds. Members have access to Contract Management magazine, Journal of Contract Management, Contract Management News, professional certification programs, webinars, e-courses, and networking opportunities. Certifications awarded by NCMA are: Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM), Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM), and Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CCCM).
The Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP)
Started in 1944, the NIGP supports the public procurement profession through educational and research programs, professional support, technical services, and advocacy initiatives. Resources include the NIGP library, sourcing and management tools, principles and practices of public procurement, peer networks, publications and more. Government Procurement is NIGP’s official magazine and is a leading resource for the public procurement community. NIGP offers the Certified Procurement Professional Certification program, in addition to the Pathways certificates program, which offers a learning and recognition structure that visually shows your advancement and professional growth.
NLPA (Next Level Purchasing Association) was founded by Charles Dominick in 2000 and helps clients establish and utilize procurement best practices. Organizations from more than 100 countries have enrolled their purchasing professionals in the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Program and online procurement training. Next Level Purchasing is the provider of the SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3, and SPSM Level 4 certifications. The NLPA Library provides access to authoritative tools, templates, scorecards, checklists, and procurement reports. News and innovative content in original articles discuss industry trends, procurement best practices, negotiation, sourcing, ethics, cost savings, and other insightful topics.
Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia (PASIA)
Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia is the largest association for supply chain, procurement, and logistics headquartered in Asia operating globally. PASIA delivers world-class training, certifications, conferences & events, research, membership, and corporate partnerships. PASIA is a certification partner of APICS (now ASCM). PASIA and BuyerQuest launched a B2B Procurement eMarketplace Nationwide and the ASEAN Region in 2020.
Sedex is a collaborative platform that shares supply chain data for the purpose of analyzing ethical assessments, action plans and corrective actions, and to track progress over time. For buyers, their tools make it simple to collect data from suppliers about their site conditions. Buyers can verify information with the audit methodology tool, SMETA, and monitor risks in global supply chains using the risk tool, Radar.
SIG (Sourcing Industry Group) was founded in 1991 and provides thought leadership, training and networking opportunities to executives in sourcing, procurement, outsourcing, shared services and global business services from Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies. SIG blends practitioners, service providers and advisory firms together to share best practices and thought leadership. The Resource Center provides a set of professional templates, thought leadership, process matrices and methodologies from member companies. A large number of networking events and training opportunities are offered including, but not limited to, SIG Global Summits, which are 3-day events, one day SIGnature Events, and SIG University, which is a flexible online certification curriculum for those looking to increase their sourcing skills and knowledge. Future of Sourcing is the flagship publication.
Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council
The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council launched in July 2013 and develops programs that simplify and standardize sustainable purchasing efforts by large organizations. SPLC’s Strategic Program Planning Process (SP3) assists members with developing a strategic approach to sustainable purchasing. SPLC provides excellent market research on Supplier Sustainability Ratings and indicates which third-party suppliers are best for evaluating supplier sustainability across an entire supply base. SPLC’s Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing is a comprehensive handbook that helps organizations understand and optimize the environmental, social, and economic performance of its purchasing.
Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC)
The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) is an independent entity formed to govern and administer the Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) certification programs. To date, the UPPCC has certified over 10,000 professionals primarily within the US and Canada, but in other nations around the globe. The UPPCC programs are designed specifically for government procurement professionals and only those individuals who have government specific procurement experience are eligible.
World Commerce and Contracting, formerly IACCM, provides advisory, research and benchmarking services, and worldwide training for contracts, commercial and relationship management professionals. Commercial and Contract Management (CCM) and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) certification programs are offered. Resources include tools, templates, articles, news, and discussions relating to the entire contract lifecycle. Publications include the news-focused Contracting Excellence Journal, the Commitment Matters blog, and the academic Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation (JSCAN). The Resource Library provides access to Benchmarking, Most Negotiated Terms, Commercial, and Industry specific reports, to name a few.
Note: there are many areas of practice associated with supply chain management, such as logistics and transportation, with each having multiple representative associations. These are not included on this list. For a selected listing of key market intelligence resources for logistics, transportation, and trade, please see the Logistics, Transportation and Trade section of ProcureSearch.
Photo by Rowen Smith on Unsplash