Online procurement resources for 2012

Managing your career is an ongoing challenge, more so in these difficult economic times where downsizing and outsourcing are more than buzzwords. One way of keeping ahead of the pack and up-to-date with what is happening in the world of purchasing and supply is to read widely and absorb the important news and trends, Elaine Porteous, independent procurement and HR consultant, advises in this month’s SmartProcurement.

However, the pure volume of information can be overwhelming and the quality is often patchy. Wading through rehashed articles of old-and-tired topics and listening to the ranting of those with limited intellect is time consuming and not very efficient.

Right now, with social networks and other tools on the Internet…. 500 million people have a way to say what they’re thinking and have their voice be heardMark Zuckerberg,

Porteous lists her top five global websites that can keep you reliably informed:


This monthly website journal Inside Supply Management® is the publication of the USA based Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM). It is the largest supply management association in the world as well as one of the most respected. It is also independent and run as a not-for-profit organization. ISM’s membership base includes more than 40 000 supply management professionals. You will find articles indexes, lists of most viewed articles and lots of information about the future of purchasing and supply.


Supply Management Magazine is the official journal of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and has the latest global purchasing and supply news. Although UK-based, it has a Southern African specific area of focus, covered in both in the on-line and print versions. Members of CIPS receive a free printed copy. There is a wealth of resource material: white papers, how-to guides and articles categorized by topic. You can subscribe to their daily newsletter if you have the time. Many of their contributors are open to comments from readers through their blogs, via Twitter and LinkedIn.


CPO Agenda is an international business review, published quarterly, mainly aimed at senior purchasing and supply chain executives in large organisations. It covers the key strategic business issues facing procurement leaders in an in-depth, thought-provoking and practical way. Focus is on strategy, performance and leadership issues. All users can search the archive, read selected articles and sign up for their free monthly e-newsletter, but full access is restricted to CPO Agenda subscribers.


Next Level Purchasing is primarily an organization that offers training and education in the procurement field. However, they publish a lot of free stuff: articles, special subject reports and even a section called Procurement Pre-School for you to catch up on the areas that you are a bit fuzzy about. You can sign up for their free newsletter and their blog at, but be prepared for receiving regular promotional material as well.


The Procurement Leaders Network is a membership-led community where leading international procurement, sourcing and supply chain management executives discuss procurement issues of the day. Of particular interest are their Knowledge Groups that delve into detail on key areas and trends in supply chain with commentary.

Remember that SmartProcurement keeps you in the picture with the Southern African procurement landscape. Don’t forget that social networking sites have their uses too. Linkedin has 1,811 groups that talk about procurement issues all the time. Join the conversation.

Elaine is an independent procurement and HR consultant, writer and editor based in South Africa. You can contact her at

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