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Inside Supply Management® — Writers' Guidelines for Article Submission

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Institute for Supply Management™ Mission Statement:

ISM's Mission is to lead supply management.

Three main points underscore the Mission. These include:

  1. Expand supply management's sphere of influence.
  2. Align Institute for Supply Management's organization with its Mission.
  3. Enhance Institute's revenue generation to ensure the resources necessary to support the Mission.

About ISM


Publication Department's Mission Statement

As an industry leader, the publication team is committed to maintaining the highest standards of excellence in promoting and distributing accurate, pertinent, and timely information relating to the supply management profession. The team assists ISM and its membership with continual growth and recognition as a world-class authority in supply management research and education.


Inside Supply Management® Mission Statement

Inside Supply Management® is the authoritative resource for supply management executives delivering thought leadership, trends, and current issues.


Objectives — in priority order
  • To establish ISM as the leader in supply management.
  • To enlighten Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) members and executives about thought provoking and timely supply management concepts.
  • To communicate ISM's positions and initiatives.
  • To provide a forum for leading edge ideas and real world best practices.
  • To highlight the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® as early indicators for assessing the state of the U.S. economy.


Editorial Submissions

The Institute for Supply Management™ has many audiences and offers a variety of products and services to serve them. The focus for Inside Supply Management®, however, is to support ISM's mission to lead supply management by targeting those professionals positioned to first experience changes, trends and critical issues in the field. These individuals are concerned with strategy, broad business issues, how supply management fits into larger enterprise goals and insights on new "hot" topics.

In order to best support ISM's mission to lead supply management, the magazine must deliver thought-provoking discussion and information on those topics most relevant to today's forward-thinking, strategic supply managers. The editorial content concentrates on trends, current issues, and visions of thought leaders and supply management executives.

The magazine presents a first glimpse of topics, as they come onto the executive's radar screen. In addition, it's important to present thoughts and critical issues that should be on the executive's agenda, even if there are no clear-cut answers. The magazine presents examples from audience-comparable firms.

Inside Supply Management® does accept editorial submission for select portions of the magazine. The most appropriate submissions are from forward-thinking supply management executives willing to provide fresh insights, lessons learned and strategic perspectives on relevant topics. Inside Supply Management® does not typically accept submissions from the supplier community, nor does it have a forum in the publication to feature specific products, suppliers or services available in the marketplace.

The following sections of the magazine are authored by outside volunteer authors. Note the description and format of each section and the approximate length.


Career ROI Column

This column is designed to impart powerful career advice from high-level supply chain management executives to those aspiring to long-term careers in supply management. Authors of this column can speak directly about specific experiences and examples that have moved their careers forward from a supply management perspective. Like the Critical Skills column, we want to ensure readers have some takeaways when they read a Career ROI piece. With that in mind, you can try to balance your article to follow this general breakdown: 10 percent should be about the "what"; 10 percent can be about the "why"; and 10 percent should answer "what is the ROI"… but 70 percent of the article's content should focus on "HOW."

Potential topics might include:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Mentoring Must-Dos (tips for success)
  • Take the consultant perspective
  • Personnel issues
  • Skills to transition outside procurement
  • Successful overseas assignments and ex-pat challenges


Critical Skills Column

This column covers specific talents and skills necessary for success in a supply chain management career. All are important issues geared toward a range of supply management professionals — especially at the entry level and those aspiring to climb the career ladder to become leaders in their organizations. Many topics can be covered. Contributing authors are invited to share personal experiences and advice within the context of the topic, as long as the article maintains a "news you can use" tone. We want to ensure readers have some takeaways from the Critical Skills columns. With that in mind, you can try to balance your article to follow this general breakdown: 10 percent should be about the "what"; 10 percent can be about the "why"; and 10 percent should answer "what is the ROI"... but 70 percent of the article's content should focus on "HOW."

Examples of potential column ideas:

  • Impacts of business on supply management and how to manage them
  • How to develop a flexible contract for certain situations
  • Understanding the importance of organizational structure in making changes
  • Financial issues/costs: how to make recommendations to senior leaders
  • Speaking to suppliers: taking the soft approach, rather than coming down hard on them
  • How to engineer a "win-win" dialogue
  • The challenge of getting suppliers to understand 'the rules' ... especially international suppliers
  • Inventory management
  • Project management in supplier relationships
  • Emotional control and observational skills when negotiating


Beyond Borders Column

The Beyond Borders column is devoted to timely global supply chain and business topics that impact supply management organizations. The column, written by supply chain practitioners, business-matter experts or academics, examines a variety of global issues, including compliance, global ethics, trade pacts and talent. The column offers readers insights into how supply chain organizations in various industries are handling the global issues impacting the business world today.

Examples of potential column ideas include:

  • How to keep abreast of geopolitical issues that could impact supply chains
  • Immigration/visa issues that affect hiring international workers
  • Understanding cross-cultural negotiations
  • Impact of shifting global labor costs


Tapping Into Column

This column offers a high-level perspective on a critical aspect of supply chain management or a broader business issue that directly affects supply management. Authors are leading supply management practitioners, professors or other thought-leaders in the given topic. The column gives readers insights that can spark a new way of thinking about the topic, make a connection among multiple angles or offer first-hand knowledge and/or experience. Readers also are given practical information in an effort to view the topic in a new light.

Examples of potential column ideas include:

  • Best practices for successful internship programs
  • Trends in reverse logistics
  • Impacts of technology in supply management
  • Trends/best practices for category management


Short Features

On occasion, a volunteer author may be asked to write a feature article on a particular topic. These short features allow us to quickly report and keep readers abreast of new supply management developments. Examples include: risk management, lead-free initiative, how-to buy a certain category, specifics about sourcing in a particular region, etc.

In addition to the articles listed above, each issue of Inside Supply Management® will contain several feature articles. These are typically authored by staff writers, but there are ample opportunities to participate via interviews. One of the easiest ways to get involved with the magazine is to let the editorial staff know your areas of expertise and whether you're interested in writing or being interviewed.

Stop: Before writing an article, contact the editor.

Why e-mail or telephone first? By explaining your idea your idea in a concise paragraph or conversation, the editor can tell you if it's something the magazine has already covered. It is much easier to discuss and assess a topic if it is summarized in a brief abstract. Often, the editor can help you to refine your idea based on current magazine needs. Article ideas are shared with an internal review board before they are approved.

E-Mail: Dan Zeiger
Telephone: 480-752-6276, extension 3091


Editorial Content and Review

Inside Supply Management® focuses on purchasing/supply management operations/practices, business practices, forecasts, new technology, research, the environment, the law, and other topics that influence the supply management profession.

All articles will be reviewed by members of the Editorial Review Board for a variety of factors, including timeliness, depth of knowledge, relevance to profession, accuracy and clarity. ISM cannot guarantee when, or if, a submitted article will be published. The ultimate suitability of articles for publication is determined by ISM in its best judgment, and ISM has no obligation to publish the article if ISM determines, in its sole discretion, that the article is unsuitable for publication. In the event that the article is published, the author will receive full and prominent credit for the work.


Earn CPSM or C.P.M. Continuing Education Hours

Supply management professionals tracking their CPSM or C.P.M. continuing education hours can earn additional hours by becoming authors.

Published articles in Inside Supply Management® will earn the contributor one CPSM or C.P.M. point (equal to seven continuing education hours). Articles must be at least one page in length (each must be substantive, well developed, and research based). This corresponds with the certification requirements that articles earning points be published in an established supply management or trade magazine with an editorial review board identified in the magazine. Members are responsible for documenting their contribution for CPSM or C.P.M. points as they would for any other publication.


Submission of Unsolicited Articles

Articles will be accepted at all times; however, as a guideline, a Theme Schedule can be found here (Exhibit 1). A suggested minimum lead time is five months from publication date.

ISM will request articles from the membership or the general public in return for a byline. The quid pro quo is an author's credit including title, organization name, and location of organization, and two complimentary copies of the published issue of the magazine.


Format for Submission of Articles

Articles should be submitted via e-mail in Microsoft Word. Most other word processing formats can be translated. If you are using Microsoft Word, you can e-mail Dan Zeiger and send your article as an attachment.

Author's name, title, address, daytime telephone number, and ISM affiliation (if applicable) must be included with the article.

Copy must be clean and accurate. Article length can vary — approximately 700-800 words for a one-page article, 1,200-1,400 words for a two-page article, and 2,200-2,500 words for a three-page article. Using double-spacing and one-inch margins, one page equals approximately 250 words. Therefore, a 1,200-word article would be about five pages in length.

For voluntary submissions, the author warrants that the article will be an original creation and that, in its current format, at least 60 percent has not been previously published.

ISM editorial staff reserve the right to make last-minute copy changes to articles even after final review and sign-off. This editorial authority is required to maintain flexibility and meet space or style requirements.

ISM uses The Associated Press Stylebook for punctuation, grammar and usage. An ISM Style Guide is available here. A "Write Well" document is also available (Exhibit 2) to assist authors with style issues.


Rights of Author and Editor

ISM requires copyright for articles submitted.

The writer/author and/or ISM have the right to reprint copies of the article with written acknowledgment of action to ISM and author. This may include the right to reproduce the work in any vehicle whether paper or electronic.

ISM affiliates may reprint articles in their newsletters and magazines with credit given to Inside Supply Management® and the author, unless noted otherwise with article. Requests for reprints by nonaffiliates must be approved by ISM.

The authors of the articles published in Inside Supply Management® are solely responsible for their accuracy and content. Opinions expressed in the articles and materials published do not reflect the opinions of ISM unless it is expressly stated that such opinions have been formally adopted.


Commissioned/Freelance Work

ISM will commission articles on a solicited basis from non trade-related individuals. Commissioned articles will be completed on a contractual basis that will stipulate the specifics of the agreement.

For commissioned articles, ISM requires sole rights to the material. That is, ISM retains all rights for use of the article. Articles submitted must be original work and the author maintains that no part of the submitted article has been published previously, except such parts that have been taken from the public domain.



See Exhibit 1 for current listing.



All query letters and articles can be submitted to:

Dan Zeiger
Inside Supply Management® ISM
309 W Elliot Rd
Tempe, AZ 85284

For advertising information contact:

Kelly Rich
Institute for Supply Management™
309 W Elliot Rd
Tempe, AZ 85284
480-752-6276, extension 3061