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Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Picking the Best Supply Chain Trade Organizations

 

With a plethora of options out there, here is our list of top supply chain trade organizations to consider.

Supply chain trade organizations Welcome to the world of distribution…or is it supply chain….or maybe logistics? Whatever you call it, your objective is to get something from one place to another. There are hundreds of thousands of people just like you working to get things from one place to another. And while their specifics may differ, their means and methods look a lot like yours. Wouldn't it be great if you could find those people who do what you do, and learn from them? Well, you're in luck because the distribution world is ripe with trade organizations that allow you to do just that: connect with the rest of the distribution world! But all this ripeness may lead to some confusion. What’s the right trade organization for you? What trade organizations should you look for in a potential employer? Gathered below are the cream of the crop when it comes to organizations that focus on supply chain and distribution. This list is not exhaustive, and it certainly does not cover organizations that serve a very specific niche (I'm looking at you Toy Shippers Association).

Institute for Supply Management (ISM)

What they say about themselves: "ISM’s mission is to lead the supply management profession through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities, and education. With over 40,000 members, ISM is a not-for-profit association that provides opportunities for the promotion of the profession and the expansion of professional skills and knowledge." Membership: Annual professional membership is $120 the first year, $190 subsequent years. Educator/Student and corporate memberships available. Events: ISM 2018 -- May 6-9, 2018 Who should join: As one of the most established and reputable organizations out there, you can't go wrong with a membership to ISM. If you are in any aspect of the distribution world, this is for you. With your membership, you can apply to ISM's Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), a solid resume booster. Check out ISM's membership benefits.

Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC)

What they say about themselves: "Founded in 1977, WERC exists to lead the warehousing industry, advance warehousing science and develop competitive advantage for both individuals and corporation. This is accomplished through national, regional, local and online educational events, performance metrics for benchmarking, practical research and expert insights. WERC is the only professional organization focused on logistics management, and its role in the supply chain. The organization is led by a volunteer Board of Directors of professionals in warehousing and distribution." Membership: Annual professional membership is $275. Educator/student and corporate memberships available. Events: 2018 WERC Conference -- May 6-9, 2018 Who should join: If you are majoring in a supply chain field, teaching in a supply chain field, or a working professional in warehousing/distribution/supply chain, this is another great fit for you. Where WERC shines brightest is researching, developing, and publishing industry standards for warehousing and distribution. Check out WERC's membership benefits.

American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)

What they say about themselves: "APICS is the association for supply chain management. We're the leading provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience. Since 1957, individuals and companies have relied on APICS for its superior training, internationally recognized certifications, comprehensive resources, and worldwide network of accomplished industry professionals." Membership: CORE Membership $180, PLUS Membership $220. Corporate memberships available. Events: APICS 2018 -- September 30-October 2, 2018 Who should join: Don’t let the name fool you, APICS is much more than production and inventory control. In the years since its founding, APICS has expanded to encompass the world of distribution operations management. APICS membership gives you the opportunity to complete the many certifications that APICS offers; the PLUS membership offers free and discounted material for certification. Check out APICS' membership benefits.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

What they say about themselves: "CSCMP is the leading global association for supply chain management professionals. They have been helping their members, their careers and their companies, since 1963. Nine thousand members worldwide receive unparalleled networking opportunities, cutting-edge research, and online and on-site professional educational opportunities." Membership: Annual Professional Membership $325; Annual Young Professional Membership (under 30 years old) $175. Student/Educator, international, and corporate memberships available. Events: EDGE 2018 (Annual Conference) -- September 30-October 3, 2018 Who should join: The vast majority of CSCMP members are key decisions makers at the executive level, and while not a requirement, it's a good indicator of who should join. Check out CSCMP's membership benefits.

International Warehouse Logistics Association

What they say about themselves: "IWLA is the unified voice of the value-added warehousing and logistics industry, representing third-party logistics (3PL) and warehousing service providers. Our nearly 500 member companies provide timely and cost-effective 3PL solutions for their customers. IWLA’s members are committed to warehousing and protecting the free flow of products across international borders." Membership: Membership is open to warehousing logistics providers as well as vendors to 3PLs. This is not an individual-based membership. Events: IWLA Convention & Expo -- March 11-13, 2018 Who should join: Companies that provide warehousing logistics services and vendors who supply those companies should join. Since this is not an individual membership, industry professionals cannot attain membership, but they can work within their organization to encourage membership. Check out IWLA's membership benefits.

Material Handling Institute (MHI)

What they say about themselves: "MHI is the nation's largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association. MHI offers education, networking and solution sourcing for members, their customers and the industry as a whole through programming and events. They provide an unbiased, collaborative environment that fosters stakeholder best practices by facilitating industry groups, education, events and market intelligence through innovative direct programming or in partnership with other industry providers." Membership: Membership is open to companies in material handling, supply chain, and logistics. Events: MODEX Show - April 9-12, 2018 ProMat - April 8-11, 2019 Who should join: Companies in material handling, supply chain, and logistics are wise to join MHI. Not just because membership gives them a front seat to MODEX and ProMat, but also because of the peer groups available to discuss best practices in niche areas such as AGVs, ASRS, racking, conveyor, etc. Professionals looking for career opportunities in material handling and distribution would benefit from seeking out companies that are MHI members. MHI is a leader in the rapidly advancing work of warehouse automation. Check out MHI's membership benefits.

Author: Margie Schramke

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