In June 1972 18 persons of Senior Executive level in the field of Purchasing and Materials Management in Government Departments, Defence Services, State Corporation and leading Mercantile Firms met to discuss the establishment of an Institute to foster the professional development of the Purchasing and Supply Functions in Sri Lanka.
On 24th October 1972 the Institute of Supply and Materials Management was established, thus fulfilling a long felt need. The Institute was ceremonially inaugurated with a well attended seminar in early 1973 at the Auditorium of the Central Bank by the then Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade, Hon. T. B. Illangaratne.
It was registered as a company under section 19 of the Companies Ordinance in 1978 with the Registrar of Companies.
The Institute was admitted a Member of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka in 1976 and has its registered office in the OPA Building at No.275/75, Prof. Stanley Wijesundara Mawatha, Colombo 7. This Institute was incorporated by Parliament by Act No. 3 of 1981.
The ISMM affiliated to the International Federation of Purchasing & Supply Management (IFPSM), the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in USA, Association of Management Development Institutes of South Asia (AMDISA) and the Asian-Pacific Logistics Federation (APLF).
Presently the Institute consists, of 28 Fellow Members, 469 Corporate Members, 299 Associate Members with 12 Institutional Members making a total of 809 professionals spread over the Public and Private sector under-takings.
From the very inception the main thrust of the Institute's activities has been the training of supplies personnel at all levels. Training started at the grassroots level. Over 12,000 Stores personnel including Store Keepers and Stores Managers and over 840 Officers engaged in Shipping and Wharf work, Imports and Exports trade have successfully undergone training so far. In order to service the training needs of the higher echelons in the Purchasing and Materials Management field in public and private sector undertakings, industry and commerce, the Institute launched a fully fledged professional course leading to the award of the Diploma in Purchasing and Materials Management.
The demand for Institute's course is steadily increasing. The Institute regularly carries out Seminars, Workshops to familiarize members with the latest developments in techniques, skills and concepts in order to update their knowledge and upgrade their performance.
Purchasing and Materials Management is a fast developing field of Management having a major influence on economic development and trade both at domestic and international levels. The impact of P & MM will be felt in all activities and no institutions could carry on with its activities devoid of material resources. As a result the role of P & MM is assuming a strategic role for the progressive development of the country.
In recognition of the increasingly crucial role played by the P & MM profession the Department of Public Administration by its circular No. 46/90 (i) of 20.06.1994 has given full recognition to the Corporate Membership of ISMM which is recognized as equivalent to a 1st Class or 2nd Class Honors Degree relevant to the field of Supply and Materials Management awarded by a recognised university for Diplomates with three years experience at Executive Capacity in a reputed organisation.