The Professional, September 2011

PMAC will represent Canada at the 2012 IFPSM World Summit

October 25, 2011
by Cheryl Paradowski

Purchasingb2b: September 2011

As I write this column I am preparing to attend the World Summit of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM), which is a union of 48 national and regional purchasing and supply chain management associations worldwide, of which PMAC is an active member.

Our National Board chair, Keith Carruthers, will join me at the IFPSM World Summit in Stockholm, Sweden. We are looking forward to not only learning best practices in the more formal conference context of the summit, but we are also arriving in advance for bilateral meetings with two strong European associations. They are: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Inkoopmanagement (NEVI) in the Netherlands and Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik (BME) in Germany. This represents a great opportunity for PMAC to get out of the “Canadian box” and potentially take advantage of best practices from right around the world.

This will be my first IFPSM World Summit, which is held every other year, so I am very excited to be attending. This conference is different than typical SCM events as it is really designed as a conference for association staff and boards rather than practitioners, as the focus is on how to be a better supply chain management association for your members. PMAC is always looking for ways to increase the value that members receive from their membership so I am excited to learn what other organizations are doing to add to the value proposition for their members. I’m also eager to share with others so that they might learn from us regarding the types of things that PMAC is doing to engage and add value for our members. I will, in fact, be presenting two sessions on the launch of our SSCMLP program and the lessons learned.

The IFPSM also holds council meetings every other year. It is at these meetings where all the international association members decide on the priorities that the IFPSM will focus on and provide guidance to its board, as well as report on activities. The next council meeting in 2012 is especially important to PMAC as it will be held in Canada. We are looking forward to welcoming the international associations to our great country!

I feel our involvement in the IFPSM is important to enhancing the reputation of PMAC and its members. It is a curious thing that, in Canada, national credibility is often linked to international recognition. Particularly if we are trying to convince multi-national companies to support Canadian employees in joining PMAC and pursuing the SCMP, having those international connections and the increased visibility can be really valuable—the designation reciprocity agreements that PMAC has in place with ISM in the US and CIPS in the UK are concrete examples of this. I also think it’s valuable for practitioners in Canada to have some insights into how the field of practice is the same, and different, in other countries; that’s a perspective that we can gain through involvement in IFPSM as well. This view is also echoed by the director general of the IFPSM, Charles Holden, who noted, “Through IFPSM, PMAC is able to bring its members an international perspective that they might not otherwise have which enables them to benchmark against performers in other countries, and enables them to see things that might be applicable to the way things are done in Canada, which haven’t already been applied in Canada. It opens up a whole new window into a wider marketplace.”

Some of the topics we will be exploring at the summit include: capacity building, internationalism versus nationalism, a new global standard for designation programs, and meeting the needs of both SMEs and multi-nationals.

In addition to news from the monthly IFPSM e-zine, which members of PMAC receive as a benefit of membership, I would like to inform members that the IFPSM has recently redesigned their website. Visitors will find the new site is full of information and easier to navigate. Members will find listings of upcoming international SCM events, valuable information in the new knowledge bank and a new searchable job board of international SCM postings among other useful resources.

PMAC has had a long history of participation in IFPSM. Our involvement ensures that Canada’s voice is heard, as we are the only Canadian SCM association represented in this prestigious group, and that Canadian SCM professionals continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge of their international peers, and vice-versa.                              b2b