What Do Procurement People Do All Day? ISM Wants to Know


Many parents might be familiar with Richard Scarry’s book “What do People Do All Day.” It’s a wonderful illustrated children’s book dealing with all of the various roles that people play in a small town. If there were a corporate edition, there'd likely be a procurement person in it, and if you wanted to help those procurement folks, you'd want to know what they do all day so that you could best help them. This is what ISM is asking its membership and the profession at large.  

As procurement actually becomes a portfolio of supply management processes rather than just a purchasing department, ISM is trying to fine-tune its talent models (e.g., the ISM Mastery Model) and service offerings to help the new supply professional. I’ve never seen an industry association actually do this level of a bottoms-up reality check to ensure that the profession’s actual activities and skills “on the ground” are actively reflected in the associated training and certification programs.

There's a short interest survey that will enroll you in the study when it is launched later this month. ISM says that if you complete the study, you will get a continuing education hour credit and also can win one of 20 $50 Amazon gift cards (not bad!). More important though, you'll be helping the "mother ship" industry association here in the U.S. better serve all of us.  

The survey will launch later this month and will run through the beginning of August. If you want to participate, please click fill out the interest form so that you can get a copy of the results.   What’s cool about the study is that ISM will perform some analysis to segment these granular procurement activities by years of experience and job position so that study participants can compare what they do relative to their peers with similar title or experience. I’m hoping they’ll also add in some salary survey analysis to see which activities and skills are actually paying off financially.

I'll check back with ISM in August and see if they found some interesting insights, but for practitioners, I’d recommend you check it out to do your own little personal procurement benchmark, of sorts.

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