We asked you for your priorities and this is what we heard.

Over the last 12 months we’ve spent a lot of time engaging with you to understand your current priorities and what you need from ISM-Houston during the coming year. You told us that we must deliver high quality programs that give you and your organization greater understanding and capability in these six key areas:

  1. Cost Containment
  2. Process Improvement
  3. Supplier Relationship Management
  4. Business Partner Alignment
  5. Contract Compliance
  6. Skills Training and Development

How did we reach this conclusion?

During the third and fourth quarters of last year we engaged directly with small groups of our constituents to get feedback on how well we are meeting your needs and better understand your key priorities. We then surveyed all constituents using the list developed from the small group efforts to gain an understanding of the priorities of all our members. Our surveys were designed to capture not just the overall view of our members, but also to get a breakdown based on the needs of our four professional constituencies: Emerging Professionals, Experienced Professionals, Supply Chain Leaders, and Supply Chain Executives.

Each of the surveys asked our members to rank the following potential needs against their current priorities as an individual or organization?

  • Contract Compliance
  • Cost Containment
  • Create closer alignment with internal business partners
  • Increasing spend under management
  • Improving external supplier relationship management
  • Improving Risk considerations in decision making process
  • Process Improvement
  • Review of Performance Indicators and Dashboards
  • Shifting the organization’s Culture
  • Succession planning
  • System upgrades/enhancements
  • Training and Development

What were the priorities of each constituency?

Based on the surveys, these are the top five priorities for each of these constituent groups:

Emerging Professionals

Experienced Professionals


Supply Chain Leaders

Supply Chain Executives


  1. Business Partner Alignment
  2. Process Improvement
  3. Cost Containment
  4. Contract Compliance
  5. Training and Development
  1. Supplier Relationship Mgt
  2. Cost Containment
  3. Business Partner Alignment
  4. Contract Compliance
  5. Risk Management
  1. Cost Containment
  2. Business Partner Alignment
  3. Contract Compliance
  4. Process Improvement
  5. Risk Managemen
  1. Cost Containment
  2. Training and Development
  3. Process Improvement
  4. Organization Culture
  5. Supplier Relationship Mgt


As expected, there is significant overlap between the priorities of the four constituent areas. However, there were also some areas of difference. Ultimately, we chose to design a program for the coming year that addresses the top three priorities of each professional constituency. These six areas that fall into this requirement are Business Partner Alignment, Contract Compliance, Cost Containment, Supplier Relationship Management, and Training and Development.

Click here to see how our calendar covers these priorities