Curkovic and alumni create new global industry standard


When global consulting firm COPC Inc. planned the development of standards for indirect procurement, industry executives responsible for organizations were asked to participate on the project. Many of those executives were Business Broncos. And, when COPC identified the need for academic leadership for the project, it tapped resources from the Center for Integrated Supply Management and Dr. Sime Curkovic, Valluzzo Faculty Fellow and professor of supply chain.

“Companies are only now starting to look at their indirect procurement from a strategic perspective. The COPC Indirect Procurement Standard not only meets academic rigor but satisfies real-life business needs for today’s procurement professionals,” says Curkovic.

COPC announced the publication of the Indirect Procurement Standard, a set of best practices and key metrics for any company seeking to manage its indirect spending strategically. The standard is a comprehensive system for managing procurement operations and covers five areas—leadership and planning; business processes; support processes; people processes; and performance. The goal is to help companies create efficient and high-performing procurement operations that provide indirect goods and services at an optimal value—balancing cost, quality and risk.

Indirect procurement, also called indirect spend, refers to the purchase of goods and services used internally at a company for effective operations. Examples of indirect procurement purchases include computer hardware and software, travel management, services from recruiting or training agencies, facilities management, utilities, and fleet management.

A variety of companies stepped in to help with the project, including Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intuit, Magna International, Perrigo, and Stryker. And, among the group of executives, a team of Business Broncos that included Christopher Flum, B.B.A.’86, founding member of the ISM executive council and director of purchasing, North America, Magna Exteriors.

“The standard was an essential step in ensuring companies can implement appropriate best practices and benefit from the latest knowledge in this evolving area,” says Flum.

Other influential WMU alumni participating in the project included Dave Drouillard, B.B.A.’84, of General Motors; Brad Roberts, B.B.A.’11, of Mann Hummel; Ryan Horn, B.B.A.’02, of Xylem; Justin Hallenbeck, B.B.A.’01, of EcoLab; and Jeff McInerney, B.S.’92, of Rolls Royce.

“The WMU ISM program is more than 20 years old, and we have several alumni who have become decision makers and change agents in their organizations,” says Curkovic, commenting on the large number of alumni involved with the project. “It speaks volumes that our faculty and alumni have such a major imprint on this indirect procurement standard. This network is a loyal, trend-setting and accomplished group that is committed to moving the supply chain field forward.” 

The WMU ISM curriculum was an academic leader in developing indirect procurement curriculum in response to industry needs. “Several years ago, I addressed the faculty at WMU regarding the lack of indirect procurement training in curricula,” says Flum. “The indirect space was developing into a strategic discipline that required a formal education where very little was offered. The ISM program responded by building indirect content that puts it at the forefront of the specialty.”

Since that time, the discipline has grown so much that industry was starting to demand a framework to guide their indirect processes.

The free standard can be downloaded at

About COPC

COPC Inc. is an innovative global leader that empowers organizations to manage complex customer journeys. The company provides consulting, training and certification for operations that support the customer experience. Founded in 1996, COPC Inc. began by helping call centers improve their performance. Today, the company works with leading brands worldwide to optimize key customer touchpoints and deliver a seamless experience across channels. COPC Inc. is privately held with headquarters in Winter Park, Fla., and has operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, India and Japan. To learn more about COPC Inc., visit