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Big News in Supply Chain Organization Circles, as CSCMP and NASSTRAC Announce Partnership, Possibly First Step Towards Full Marriage


Behind Partnership, NASSTRAC becomes Independent Subsidiary of CSCMP

June 6, 2018
SCDigest Editorial Staff

The supply chain's leading professional organization, CSCMP, and the shipper focused NASSTRAC organization announced a new partnership last week that some believe will lead to CSCMP basically taking over NASSTRAC in coming years.

The press release on the formalization of the partnership stated that "Over the past few years, the groups have been working together on a variety of projects and discovered there are significant synergies between two associations and opportunities to complement one another and provide additional value to their members in very meaningful ways."

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Another source told SCDigest he believes it is critical that NASSTRAC keeps an independent identity within CSCMP even if more fully absorbed.

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It is not clearly stated in the official press release, but under the deal NASSTRAC will become an independent subsidiary of CSCMP.

Perhaps the most significant immediate impact under the agreement is that NASSTRAC will combine its annual conference – traditionally held in the Spring – to become an event basically underneath the CSCMP Edge annual conference, generally held in early Fall, starting with the 2019 Edge event.

Sources tell SCDigest that under the agreement, for example, there will be one registration fee for members of both groups for Edge. That will mean something of a bump in costs for NASSTRAC members, as fees for its conference were in the $800 range for the recent 2018 meeting, versus around $1900 for CSCMP's conference this year (various discounts and promotions can reduce both those costs).

However, NASSTRAC will still put on a smaller scale Spring event, most likely in Washington DC. This event will feature advocacy, education, and a potential visit to Capitol Hill, but no trade show and likely fewer attendees.

What more, the "trade show" aspects of the NASSTRAC conference will be folded into CSCMP's own Supply Chain Exchange trade show event. This may make the NASSTRAC exhibitors happy, as there are some 3000 CSCMP conference attendees versus a few hundred for NASSTRAC, with the costs far from proportionately as high for CSCMP.

What's more, sources in the know tell SCDigest NASSTRAC will manage the transportation track at the CSCMP conference.

"There is some feeling that the CSCMP conference lost some of its focus on transportation in recent years," a prominent supply chain figure told us, asking to remain anonymous. "This is a chance to build that back up.

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A letter to NASSTRAC members said the organization "will continue to provide its members with the content, advocacy, communications and education that enrich the relationship as a fully independent subsidiary of CSCMP."

Gail Rutkowski will remain as executive director of NASSTRAC, which for now will maintain its own budget.

CSCMP CEO Rick Blasgen told SCDigest that "We view this as really positive for the industry, will bring much needed consolidation, is a solid match given our respective strengths, and there is very little overlap of members."


NASSTRAC's advocacy for its shipper members, led by the organization's long time attorney John Cutler, brings an interesting dimension to this new partnership. CSCMP has stayed away for advocacy and lobbying efforts, whereas such activities are a core function of what NASSTRAC does for its members.

This difference is in part because in general CSCMP is a collection of individual members, while NASSTRAC – as with other organizations such NRF in retail – is made up of corporate members looking for someone to press their interests in Washington and state capitals.

So how this will play out will be interesting to see.

Another source told SCDigest he believes it is critical that NASSTRAC keeps an independent identity within CSCMP even if more fully absorbed. He pointed to the acquisition by the APICS organization – a CSCMP rival – of the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) in 2015, after which ASTL's identity was lost and seems to now be missing from the APICS portfolio.

Any reaction to the CSCMP and NASSTRAC "partnership? Good or bad for NASSTRAC members? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section (email) or button below.


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