The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Southwest Forum is an unusually complex
entity and that complexity can be traced to the founding vision of National Association of
Purchasing Agents (N.A.P.A.) almost 100 years ago, in 1915. Bringing together a
diverse group of individuals with a mission to improve and enhance the profession of
“Purchasing” was unprecedented at the time in American History.
Over the next 98
years, many changes were brought forth and incorporated which ensures today that
ISM, and its Groups, Forums, and Affiliates are “leading the way” in delivering quality
educational opportunities and bringing unparalleled “supply chain management” focus
to the membership and general public.
Today, the ISM Southwest Forum remains
unique among the Groups and Forums of ISM, as a distinguished entity that is entering
its’ 67th year of providing continuous educational opportunities, through the “Southwest
Forum Supply Management Conference”.
The 2013-2018 Strategic Plan presents our
mission and vision, and makes explicit the core values and enduring commitments of the
ISM Southwest Forum.
The ISM Southwest Forum is a special interest group of the Institute for Supply
The Southwest Forum’s mission is to provide the highest level of
educational development opportunities to every member of the Forum and make these
opportunities available to all purchasing and supply management professionals.
The ISM Southwest Forum shall insure the future growth of the Southwest Forum
Annual Conference (hereafter known as the Southwest Supply Management
Conference), provide members and other purchasing and supply management
professionals the opportunity to attend a quality educational conference, and shall
recognize innovative purchasing and supply individuals and organizations
demonstrating best practices and leadership in the supply management field.
The Strategic Plan is initiated and updated by a committee, consisting of all the Officers
and Directors of the ISM Southwest Forum. Conference calls and an annual meeting
held at the conclusion of the Southwest Supply Management Conference shall be used
as a basis for continually reviewing and updating the Strategic Plan. The committee is
charged with continually updating the plan to achieve strategic goals and direction.
To date, the following goals have been established:
- The Southwest Forum shall promote ISM’s certifications and supports member achievement of ISM credentials.
- The Southwest Forum shall develop a communication strategy that embraces social media.
- The Southwest Forum shall ensure that its actions provide value proposition of it’s’ membership through educational events.
- The Southwest Forum shall ensure that volunteer opportunities are provided to its membership.
- The Southwest Forum shall ensure that its financial decisions are based upon ISM policies, and that a budget is developed and submitted to ISM, which fully supports the educational goals.
Environmental Issues and Trends
The Southwest Forum has developed educational goals to enable members and other
supply management professionals to meet the challenges of the current economy and
to compete in today’s marketplace.
The main emphasis is and shall continue to be to
provide educational value to the members of the Southwest Forum.
Conference provides a diversified track of workshops at a very reasonable cost.
To insure the growth of the Conference, the Forum continues to market the advantages of
the conference and ISM membership, to other Groups, Forums and ISM members,
and a diverse group of supply management professionals.
Membership in the SWF is not
required to take advantage of the educational opportunities, but highly encouraged and
The changing world also presents significant resource challenges to both ISM and the
The most telling are financial. Rising costs to delivery training have
heavily increased over the past few years, coupled with decreases in funding for staff
training, results in an axis that is unbalanced.
The costs of education delivery continue
to grow well in excess of companies and individual’s ability to fund these opportunities.
The Southwest Forum enters the uncertain financial challenge and uncertainty with
important strengths and advantages, many of which have already been stated in the
mission, vision, and goals of the Forum.
The breadth and quality of the Southwest
Forums’ educational offerings provide a capacity to adapt in a strategic manner; the
Southwest Forum has maintained an impressive tradition of promoting educational
opportunities, and a very long history of success dating back 67 years; the volunteer
staff has a high level of commitment and tenure which leads to efficiencies and
continual cost reductions in training delivery; the creativity and dedication from the
speakers and lecturers to continually offer exceptional topics and discussions creates
an advantage over other educational programs; and the previous financial success
enjoyed by the Forum leads the way for others to follow.
Nonetheless, the Forum does
still face significant strategic challenges.
Strategy and Actions for the future
The strategic plan highlights the activities which are designed to provide educational
excellence and best practices for our membership and their companies. The Southwest
Forum supports its mission through actively planning and executing the activities
that support the stated goals.
The goals are met by sponsoring the Southwest Supply
Management Conference, and other educational activities directly enhancing the goals,
and constantly communicating through the website, social media, and other marketing channels.
The Southwest Forum operates through the direction of ISM, and the Forum’s Board of
ISM members within a ten state area consisting of Texas, Oklahoma,
Louisiana,New Mexico, Kansas, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado
comprise the Forum membership.
The Board of Directors includes elected officers,
each serving a two-year term.
The Chair of the Forum appoints committee chairs,
though support of the Board, to ensure that the goals and activities of the Forum are
The Conference educational content and supporting events are planned by
teleconference and face-to-face meetings.
The Conference planning generally takes
place during the 12 months following the current year Conference, except for naming a
location and facility which takes place 2-3 years prior to the Conference.
Conference is the culmination of the planning and the realization of the goals set by the
The following action items shall be reviewed, monitored for success, and addressed
by the Board Members of ISM Southwest Forum in completion of its stated goals:
- Provide continual information regarding the supply management profession to members and non-members through the website, social media, electronic notifications, educational settings, and personal contact.
- Continue to provide the highest level of educational development opportunities to every member of the Forum and make these also available to all purchasing and supply management professionals.
- Continue the long tradition of “leading the way” in delivering and promoting cost effective training, and further the professional development of supply management professionals
- Maintain and enhance efforts to recruit, nurture, and retain a diverse group of speakers, and lecturers who are outstanding in their respective fields, and an excellent, diverse staff of volunteers who provide outstanding support for the educational endeavors of the Forum.
- Continue to provide an effective website, with links to ISM, and member Affiliates of the Southwest Forum. Website link: www.ismswscf.org
- The Southwest Forum shall also provide website support to member affiliates as necessary.
- Through the interactions and events conducted at the annual conference, or other social networking media, the Southwest Forum shall continue to provide for the members and other supply management professionals the opportunity to discuss and exchange information and knowledge, and promote networking opportunities.
- To present a additional educational opportunities outside the yearly conference, either through direct presentations, or electronically delivered training and education.
- The Southwest Forum shall sponsor seminars and educational speakers for presentations at the International Conference of ISM.
- The Southwest Forum shall provide assistance to ISM for the Groups/Forums booth at the International Conference.
- The Southwest Forum shall provided updated information concerning supply management through its’ website, and social media.
- The Southwest Forum shall submit an article for each issue of ISM Spotlight.
- The Southwest Forum shall continuously recruit volunteers, mentor the volunteers by coaching and by involving them in various activities, and annually recognize individual achievements.
Meeting Financial Challenges and Opportunities
The Southwest Forum does not receive any membership fees or dues.
The source of
revenue is mainly generated from the annual Conference, supporting events including
registration, seminars, supplier exhibits, sponsorships and the golf tournament and
other educational offerings conducted by the Forum, which may be in partnership
with other ISM approved supply management organizations.
In addition to the Conference expenses, the Forum may also budgets for:
- Annual SWF Meeting held in conjunction with the Conference
- Additional educational opportunities
- Board of Directors meetings
- Outreach to member affiliates
- Recognition of Volunteer Service
- Funds anticipated for future SWSMC expenses required in the current fiscal year.
The Finance Chair shall present the annual budget that will be submitted to ISM,
after approval from the Chair and Board of the Forum.