CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 14, 2017
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CSCMP: Your best supply chain resource, bar none

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Rick Blasgen, President and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, talks about the value CSCMP provides and invites supply chain professionals worldwide to join the organization.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) is your home for all things supply chain management. Headquartered in Lombard, Illinois, USA, CSCMP is the preeminent worldwide professional association dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and research about supply chain management. With over 8,500 individual members and 115 corporate members representing nearly all industry sectors, governments, and academic institutions from 67 countries, CSCMP members are the leading practitioners and authorities in the fields of logistics and supply chain management.

Simply put, CSCMP is about "connecting, developing, and educating the world's logistics and supply chain management professionals."

CSCMP operates on a not-for-profit, self-supporting basis. An organization "by the discipline, for the discipline," we're volunteer-driven on many fronts. The organization is led by an elected group of officers, and our board of directors and committees are made up of dedicated professionals who willingly give of their time, their expertise, and their resources to help drive our community forward in countless ways. They, along with our staff, produce unbiased research and a plethora of publications and timely content, design and deliver our online and face-to-face educational and certification programs, develop and produce our conferences, and keep the organization current and relevant.

Many industry groups have advocacy arms and conduct lobbying efforts to support their agenda. We at CSCMP do not lobby; rather, we serve the community at large. We do not take political positions, yet we fight hard to influence both public and private opinion about the value of our field and what it does to elevate the world's standard of living. For example, I chair the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness for the U.S. Department of Commerce. CSCMP also publishes the annual "State of Logistics Report," the definitive and widely read study of logistics costs and trends in the United States.

Person to person
CSCMP offers many other valuable programs and resources, and you can learn about them at cscmp.org. But I'd like to talk now about some of the other ways the organization provides value to you, your team, your company, or your institution.

As befits a global organization, CSCMP is open to all and serves individuals representing a wide variety of geographic, experiential, and educational backgrounds. We work hard to ensure that the organization develops the diversity of its members, and that both the organization and its members benefit from that diversity. Our goal is an enthusiastic membership that views interactions with CSCMP as a true partnership that is professionally and personally fulfilling.

One of CSCMP's primary "value propositions," if you will, is that our members come together to share insights into the latest supply chain management trends, best practices, opportunities, and challenges. There are so many ways we, as a professional society, are able to connect members who can help each other. For example, I recall receiving a request from a member in Europe who needed some information about rail freight activity. He asked if I knew of anyone who might help. I connected him with another of our members who had the exact expertise needed. The European member later called to tell me that the connection had played out perfectly: He had not only gotten valuable information from the discussion, but his company also had hired the rail expert.

We have many similar examples of how our organization connects people who can share knowledge and information. I'm proud of our members' willingness and commitment to take a call, provide advice or feedback, deliver a solution to a problem, or make an introduction to another CSCMP member. The unwavering attention given by busy people to those in need in our community is remarkable and worthy of applause.

Today it's easy to use the Internet to conduct research and to use social media like LinkedIn to connect with people. I understand the value that social media provides. But when you need more than a name and a job history on a website, when you need a referral to a fellow member with the right knowledge and experience who is willing to advise you or a vetted connection through a trusted colleague, that's when our association's broad and deep resources can make all the difference. We know who can help and how to bring you together.

We recognize that for logistics and supply chain professionals, resources like time and money for professional development and education are increasingly limited. But we encourage you—and your company—to view membership in CSCMP not just as something that provides benefits for an individual (although it certainly does that) but also as a long-term investment in developing critical knowledge within the discipline, supporting academic programs, encouraging students' interest in the field, producing valuable research and publications, and bringing supply chain knowledge into the boardroom. Companies that support the organization financially and by giving their employees the resources to participate on committees and to attend the annual conference and local roundtable meetings will reap great benefits for themselves while supporting the development of the discipline. Supply chain excellence is firmly established as a critical competitive advantage, so supporting the development of supply chain leaders makes good business sense.

It's our responsibility to ensure that our members and prospective members know we're working hard for them and delivering value for their hard-earned membership dollars. In fact, the proceeds from memberships, conference registrations, and fees for certifications, educational programs, and publications all make it possible for CSCMP to continue to connect, develop, and educate the world's current and future logistics and supply chain professionals.

We hope you will consider becoming a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and supporting this dedicated group of logistics and supply chain professionals. Membership and contact information as well as details about our many programs and services are available at cscmp.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Blasgen is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

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