IMP Group. The work of the IMP Group began in the mid- to late 1970s and brought together researchers from Europe and the United States of America who shared a common interest in business-to-business marketing, social networks, and, to a lesser extent, industrial purchasing. The Group remains today a loose collective rather than a formal organization, involving multiple collaborative projects and programmes and an annual conference. Undoubtedly on sheer volume of published output alone the IMP Group has had a major impact on our understanding of business markets. Furthermore, developing expertise in specific areas of their field (such as supply strategy and strategic account management), researchers have contributed to many aspects of supply chain management developments.
IMVP Programme. The International Motor Vehicle Programme, in contrast to the IMP Group, is a formal, funded global research group. Their first contribution was through the best-selling book The Machine that Changed the World (Womack, Jones, and Roos 1990) which introduced the lean operations concepts. Subsequently, various research units (notably Cardiff's Lean Enterprise Research Centre) and developments in supply chain thought (Lamming 1993; Womack and Jones 1996; Hines et al. 2000) have expounded on the lean concept. Undoubtedly the adoption of just in time or lean practices by many organizations has been remarkable and indicates the thirst for supply chain improvements that exists across global industries.
IPSERA. IPSERA was founded in 1990 by a group of academics financially supported by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) in the UK. It has over 200 members from fourteen different countries and is still growing rapidly. From its first conference in 1992 in Glasgow IPSERA has hosted an annual conference and provides regular workshops organized and hosted by local university centres/departments affiliated with IPSERA in most European countries. Other activities include a newsletter on a regular basis that keeps members informed of future events and provides feedback on events already run. It also provides a forum of exchange between members and presents relevant news items and information. Examination of the content and quality of conference proceedings since the first international conference provides a remarkable insight into the development of theoretical and empirical research in the field during the last decade.
CAPS. The Centre for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) is an independent, non-profit organization, affiliated with the US's National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) and the Arizona State University. It was founded in 1986 by NAPM and its mission is 'to help organisations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research and benchmarking information to support the evolution of strategic purchasing and supply management'. Over the past decade, the development of the CAPS has run parallel to a fundamental shift in the perceived role of the purchasing profession. CAPS (CAPS 1996) has provided these same professionals with the critical research data necessary to provide a solid basis for their recommendations.
As an independent research organization, CAPS provides companies and purchasing professionals with research and data from a perspective outside the normal business realm. This information is made available to companies as well as to their suppliers.
By making this information available to all, CAPS believes that this research will benefit the widest audience over the long run. By distributing this information widely, CAPS enables organizations to avoid duplicating research activities across the profession.
ASU—Supply Chain Management. Arizona State University was one of the first universities to establish a substantial supply chain management department. Professor Joseph Carter, current director of the department, states that 'The name Supply Chain Management was selected in 1996 to reflect the development of graduate and undergraduate curricula with a clear inter-firm, integrated approach to managing the supply chain'. The department has over thirty academic members of faculty and provides a wide range of degree and executive programmes (including a B.Sc. programme) in Supply Chain Management. The Department is also affiliated with CAPS and CLM.
MSU Marketing and Supply Chain Management. The Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University was the result of the merger of the operations management and procurement faculty (formerly located in the Department of Management) with the faculty of the Department of Marketing and Logistics. Since 1980, these two faculties had cooperated in an inter-departmental programme, the Materials and Logistics Management Program, which integrated procurement, manufacturing, and logistics. Over the intervening years, this programme has achieved a dominant national reputation and strong demand for its products—knowledge, employees, and executive training.
Supply Chain Council (SCC). The Supply Chain Council is a professional organization formed in 1997 by a number of practitioners' initiative representing big multinational companies. It consists of many of the leading industrial companies, logistics, and distribution companies, and supply chain application software companies. It is in its mission statement that standard terminology, best practice models and benchmark metrics should be used for communicating supply chain management practices across companies in a model called the 'Supply Chain Operations Reference-model' (SCOR).
European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management. The European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management published its first issue in 1995. It is published quarterly by Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann. It is one of the few specialized journals on issues regarding supply chain management and has acheived great success within Europe. The journal covers every aspect of the purchasing of goods and services in all sectors.