US purchasing institute names award winners

10 May 2012


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10 May 2012 |  Rebecca Ellinor in Baltimore, US


Buyers at Cisco Systems, IBM, T-Mobile USA and the American Red Cross were victorious in the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Michigan State University Awards for Excellence in Supply Management.


The winners were respectively recognised for process, technology, sustainability, and structure, in a closed ceremony on Sunday night and announced to all delegates during a lunch at ISM’s 97th annual conference, in Baltimore in the US on Monday.


A goal to reduce waste resulted in sustainability category winner T-Mobile USA savings millions of dollars and increasing efficiency. Several years ago the company realised that refurbishing the nearly 130 million mobile phones Americans discard each year would cut waste and benefit ITS bottom line. Its work to boost repairs and improve supplier management increased cash flow by $110 million (£68 million) and cut costs by 40 per cent.


By creating a centralised risk management team to ensure business continuity for its global supply chain in 2008 and 2009, process winner Cisco Systems was better prepared than most to mitigate and avoid disruption when the earthquake struck Japan in March 2011. By proactively examining four key areas – product resiliency, supply chain resiliency, business continuity planning and supply chain incident management – the company minimised disruption to customer orders and avoided a huge potential revenue risk following one of the worst natural disasters in history.


Technology winner IBM put a critical parts management tool in place to give it real time visibility throughout its supply chain. The tool enables IBM and its partners to assure the supply plan of the top tier is consistent with market forecast demands, ensure the availability of committed parts to the next level down and confirm committed parts at the following two levels down.


In late 2009, The American Red Cross which picked up the organisation/structure prize, was faced with a $209 million (£129 million) deficit and slowing donations. It set about a transformation designed around three principles, simplicity, synergy and savings, which resulted in more than $40 million £25 million) savings in the first two years of operation. Centralising procurement was a major part of that change and it has led to huge improvements to purchasing for both the organisations biomedical and disaster relief efforts.

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