ISM World 2023: Shipman Medalist ‘A Role Model We Can All Aspire to Be’

May 09, 2023
By Sue Doerfler

Given annually by Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®), the 2023 J. Shipman Gold Medal Award honors an individual who contributes to the advancement of procurement and supply management while providing assistance and guidance to other professionals. It is considered the most elite supply management honor.

The 2023 winner is John Blascovich, a partner in Kearney’s procurement practice with extensive industry experience in aerospace, consumer products, financial services and utilities — as well as expertise in strategic sourcing, procurement transformation and managing large, global projects.

Known for his thought leadership and contributions to the profession, he co-developed the concept of Return on Supply Management Assets (ROSMA) and has led Kearney’s Assessment of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) Study since 1999.

During his career, he has had the opportunity to work with or for about a dozen Shipman award winners, Blascovich commented, during the opening session Tuesday at the ISM World 2023 Annual Conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. “And I’ve learned something from each of them, whether it’s a leadership style or execution … I view it as a resource of knowledge and talent that’s really helped me in my career and I hope to pass that along to future winners.”

In presenting the award, Lisa Martin, CPSM, C.P.M., the 2013 Shipman Award winner, called Blascovich a “go-to expert in the field,” and said he “has had a “profound impact on how we do our business and is a role model we can all aspire to be.”

“(H)e helps transforms teams in a way that leaves a lasting impact,” said Martin, senior vice president and CPO at GSK. “In the more than 30 years of his supply chain and procurement career, he has been a selfless mentor and trusted adviser to hundreds of practitioners, from (R. Gene) Richter Scholars to CPOs. He recognizes that complacency is the first step to becoming irrelevant, and he has worked consistently to raise the thinking and analytics of the profession at all levels.”

Blascovich offered thoughts about the future of supply management:

  • “As I consider the profession today, we have finally emerged from three years of COVID-19 disruption,” Blascovich said, adding that “the situation required heroic efforts by many in this room,” he said. Still, many challenges still exist; these include inflation, geopolitical instability, supply chain regionalization and product customization.
  • “I do believe we’ve entered the golden age of supply chain,” he said. “It will become a competitive differentiator, a vehicle for social and environmental change, and a contributor to national security.”
  • The increasing development and availability of digital tools will free up procurement professionals to develop strategies strategy. “I see supply management organizations increasingly as part of the solution rather than the problem,” he said, adding, “We have the opportunity to lead the way for our companies and customers, and I, for one, look forward to doing that.”

About the Author

Sue Doerfler

About the Author

As Senior Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, I cover topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.