How has the purchasing and supply management evolved in recent years?
The evolution of purchasing and supply chain management has grown radically over the past 164 years. The evolution and development of purchasing and supply management is easier explained by breaking the last 160 years into seven periods/eras.
The first period: “The Early Years” (1850-1900)
People speculated that the early years of purchasing history began after 1850. The first book explicitly addressing the purchasing process was The Handling of Railway Supplies—Their Purchase and Disposition, written in 1887 by Marshall M. Kirkman, the comptroller of the Chicago and Northwester Railroad. The purchasing function was such a major contributor to the performance of the organization that the chief purchasing manager had top managerial status.3
The second period: “Growth of Purchasing Fundamentals” (1900-1939)
In the early twentieth century multiple publications were made reviewing the purchasing process and making changes to practices tailored to specific industries in technical trade publications. In 1915 The National Association of Purchasing agents was founded. This organization evolved and was founded as The National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM), which later became The Institute for Supply Management (ISM), which is still active to this day. In 1917 Harvard offered its first educational purchasing course. This academic course eventually led to the printing of the first college textbook, authored by Howard T. Lewis in 1933
The third period: “The War Years” (1940-1946)
During World War II the need for limited materials generated a demand for change in the purchasing process. As of 1933, only nine colleges offered purchasing classes, which incre...
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...Theory and Practice, 29: 555–576. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2005.00098.x
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