Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

For my first post, I'd like to take up the kind of blog effort described as "highlighting a relevant website or research." Whenever I am exposed for the first time to a new area of professional or academic intrigue, I initially perform a search using Google, Academic Search Complete, EBSCO Host, and Weddle's Directory to compile a list of the major sources of activity within. This exercise provides me with a global understanding of the topic and its practitioners or researchers as a network of academic programs and journals, websites, magazines and other regular publications, thought leaders, professional associations, and so on. This has the benefit of helping me understand the topic from someone on the inside - despite my admitted lack of initiation - and provides sources of both classic and novel information concerning what is going on within that field socially, as well as the newest research and insights make the rounds of the "initiated."

Given that we are at the very outset of the course, it seemed appropriate and fitting that I would share this kind of practice and a favorite search result I came across. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) is the largest and most established professional association of supply chain managers in the world, boasting roughly 8,500 members and a rich 50-year history being celebrated in 2014. Their membership is composed of both supply chain managers across most all sectors and industries as well as researchers and academics dedicated to the analysis of the craft.

Why should you care about this group? Well, this very question is addressed on their "We are CSCMP" page (essentially and About Us kiosk), but the answer they give is something we already heard in the first lecture and in the first week of readings. Going beyond what we already know, the vast and varied webpage of CSCMP presents an exciting opportunity for us to become exposed to a great breadth of information for our learning experience continued learning experience after this mini.

Although these kinds of groups and their websites are intended primarily for an audience that is much more engaged in the field than most of us will ever be, CSCMP is an opportunity for us to hawk-eye over their shoulders and "keep an ear to the ground" within the field. Membership and its expense ($295 annually with reductions for Young Professional as well as Students) gives you access to Case Studies, their award winning magazine Supply Chain Quarterly, hot-off-the-presses white papers and reports from their ample amalgamation of cutting edge research, industry leadership perspectives through up-to-date surveys, and special-interest spotlights such as "Women in Logistics."

As Prof. Zak has mentioned, we may not be direct professionals within the field, but we may be managers or consultants that have to interface extensively with and within it. Membership in professional associations such as the CSCMP does not distinguish between member types, so membership has its benefits for people in our positions as well. This gold mine should prove to offer us all deeper and continued access to field knowledge for years to come after the completion of this course.

Luke D. Taylor

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