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Supply Management Month – March 2023

Supply Management Month is an annual event celebrated every March since 2014. The aim of celebrating this month is to appreciate the sophistication displayed by the procurement professionals in sourcing all the materials needed for manufacturing and consumption of goods and services we need. Hence, this month is here to raise awareness about the milestones achieved by the procurement professionals and how efficient they have made the entire supply chain. So, mark your calendars for March to celebrate the month of professionals in supply management.

History of Supply Management Month

Let’s start with the fact that the Silk Route is among the most ancient trading routes in the world. Pick a point, East of West, this route originated from Europe and went all the way from the Middle East into China. Where silk adorned by the Europeans was sourced from China, similarly, science traveled to China from Europe. Marco Polo, the most renowned traveler was a procurer of goods. Entire trade and voyages made in the world were to procure goods needed. America was discovered while searching for spice, so our beloved Columbus can also be called a procurer of supplies.

The point is, throughout our history, we have fought wars for two reasons: land and resources. Today, we do not wage wars for such reasons but instead, we sophisticate things and specialize in strategies that suit our interests. For such strategies and specializations, we have coined fancy terms for the same centuries-old phenomena. Today anyone who manages supplies and efficiently procures the raw materials for production would call himself a “procurement professional” and all the work that he would do, the methods he would use, and the execution of plans will become supply management.

Recognizing the impact such professionals have on our businesses, and governments, the idea emerged to celebrate a month dedicated entirely to acknowledging and awarding the accomplishments of our supply management professionals and to encourage others to choose this industry as their career choice. There is no confirmed source that we can pinpoint as the month’s origin but through most sources, the year 2014 is the inaugural year for Supply Management Month which was sponsored by the Institute of Supply Management (I.S.M.). The traditional way to celebrate this month is by hosting or organizing official events to review the supply management strategies and to award the ones that have performed well overall in this department.

Supply management month continues to be an important celebration for businesses to re-evaluate their procurement and sourcing strategies and how they can be improved to make businesses more efficient and profitable.

Supply Management Month timeline

Early 1700s
Quartermasters

Designated people are assigned to the British Army and their actual job is to procure supplies for the Army.

1915
The National Association of Purchasing Agents

The N.A.P.N, the oldest, largest supply management association, is founded.

2002 — 2004
Transformation to I.S.M.

The N.A.P.N. is first rebranded to N.A.P.M. and then finally, it is transformed into the Institute of Supply Management.

2014
The Inaugural Celebrations

The month is officially celebrated for the first time.

Supply Management Month FAQs

What is the key role of a supply management professional?

A supply management professional’s role is to figure out the best possible sources of goods the company needs and to procure the required goods at the most cost-effective rates.

Is procurement and purchasing the same?

Not at all. Procurement is sourcing and acquiring goods to deliver an end product or service to the customer. Purchasing is simply buying any product or service for a fixed amount.

Is supply management part of the entire supply chain management?

To be fair, supply management is concerned with the procurement end of the supply chain. At any given point, if there is a need to procure a product or service, then a supply management professional will be assigned to the task to make that operation possible. Hence, yes supply management is part of supply chain management.

Supply Management Month Activities

  1. Arrange a seminar

    The Institute of Supply Management is associated with many supply management-related organizations. A representative of any of these organizations can be called in to chair a seminar on supply management for an organization. The employees can learn a lot from this.

  2. Offer short courses

    This month is about supply management and how it can be improved. The best way to celebrate it would be by organizing workshops and short courses on supply management, which can be open to all.

  3. Share your thoughts on social media

    Share your thoughts about supply management and professionals on social media. Express how this field can be a great career choice for individuals aiming to pursue operations management.

5 Interesting Facts About Supply Management

  1. A great opportunity to become an entrepreneur

    People involved in supply management have a lot more opportunities to become entrepreneurs than anyone else from a different department.

  2. It opens new avenues

    By always searching for better procurement options, supply managers can open new avenues for a business to expand into.

  3. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry

    Being a part of the entire supply chain industry, it is a multi-billion dollar industry in itself.

  4. Survival of the fittest

    Well, this concept is wildly true for supply management as any company with a superior system or strategy will supersede its competitor.

  5. It’s not the same as purchasing

    Procurement i.e. a part of supply management is not at all similar to purchasing, they are two entirely different concepts.

Why We Love Supply Management Month

  1. To appreciate the works of these professionals

    Supply Management Professionals work exclusively hard to source and procure what is needed by their companies to compete with their competitors. This hard work calls for some solid appreciation from the management and co-employees for these professionals so that they can feel proud of the work they do and the impact they bring.

  2. We develop better strategies

    This entire month gives businesses a chance to contemplate and re-evaluate their business' supply management strategies. While reviewing the pros and cons of their existing strategy, businesses have data to compare it with that of their competitors and come up with a different and better strategy.

  3. We understand its importance

    By understanding the importance of this month, different activities can be planned and organized for the staff and professionals to further improve their knowledge of supply management. The more understanding they have, the better they will be able to strategize their sources, and at even better rates.

Supply Management Month dates

YearDateDay
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 1Sunday
2027March 1Monday
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