W. Edwards Deming
Question: "But what if we train and educate our supply chain people and they leave?"
Answer: "Worse yet, what if we do not train and educate them and they stay?"
Spring is here, and as we enjoy the beautiful weather, we are reminded that summer is just around the corner. Many of us will be investing a little money on home improvements – perhaps a new deck, or some landscaping, or a new front walkway, or new shingles on the roof. Some such improvements come at a hefty price, others can cost very little. But most are meant to make life a little more pleasant, perhaps a little easier, or might add value to your home.
How about adding some major value to your resume, or improving your professional credentials? Are you employed in operations and supply chain management? Do you want to make a career move into this exciting and demanding profession? Why not earn more money, advance up the ladder, make a bigger contribution, get more recognition for your work, and find more satisfaction in your job? And why not promise yourself that you are going to start right away? Stop travelling along that gravel road. You can pave your career path with a professional designation in Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, or Logistics, such as CPIM or CSCP.
There are myriad high-quality providers of education and training in North America, and your area of focus ought to be governed by that aspect of SCM that appeals to you most. I tend to favour the APICS-conferred CPIM and CSCP designations, as my areas of professional interest are inventory and operations management. But those companies who focus on transportation might want their employees to pursue the CITT designation, equal in prestige to CPIM, but focused on Logistics and Physical Distribution. Professional purchasing agents gravitate to C.P.P. (Certified Professional Purchaser) offered by the PMAC. SCM Executives are well-advised to pursue PLog or CSCP designations. The opportunities are too broad to list here.
Since 1973, the CPIM program has educated more than 100,000 manufacturing professionals on essential terminology, concepts, and strategies related to demand management, procurement and supplier planning, material requirements planning, capacity requirements planning, sales and operations planning, master scheduling, performance measurements, supplier relationships, quality control, and continuous improvement.
Attaining the CPIM professional designation, or other equivalent designations, carry many tangible benefits.
My Top Five list is:
1. Increased salary potential: Recent studies published in MM&D, Transportation & Logistics and Purchasing b2b Magazines show that a professional designation such as CPIM increases reported salary levels by significant levels, often over 10%. The 2006 Salary Survey published in MM&D Magazine in October 2006 showed that those who claimed to have APICS Certification reported average salaries of $90,504 versus those with only a University undergraduate degree of $80,216, and compared to those with a Community College diploma of $72,597. It seems that the CPIM designation can easily pay for itself!
2. Increased potential for career advancement: The PMAC Salary Survey published in November 2009 showed that 73% of respondents listed their employers as being increasingly aware of supply chain professionals, that 71% of respondents agreed that the current recession has made their employers appreciate their skills more, and that 2 out of 3 employers actually pay for full certification programs! (A higher percentage will pay for relevant courses). In this same 2009 survey, 72% of respondents agreed with the statement “For me to get ahead in my job, I really should have a professional designation”. One respondent to the same question in a 2006 survey commented “I found that when I did not have my credentials, that I was overlooked for new roles and positions even though I was quite capable of performing the task.”
3. A Better Resume: For those who are “on the move” in their careers, or looking for greener pastures, the CPIM designation serves as a great tool to set you apart from the pack. The current labour market is heated, and participants need every advantage to differentiate themselves from their competitors. When highlighted on your resume, along with a University Degree or College Diploma, your application to work with a new firm has a much better chance at being put on the top of the pile. Further, employers will see that you are willing and driven to improve your skills through lifelong learning.
4. You will learn from the best!: APICS training and education is readily acknowledged and recognized as being World Class. The APICS Body of Knowledge is second to none. Very few organizations have the resources to develop and own such knowledge “in house” – it is not a core competency for most. At APICS, education is what we do, and why we exist! You can be confident that APICS-provided education is recognized and valued around the world.
5. You can make a better contribution: We all want to make a contribution to our employers and our companies. We want to feel appreciated and valued as an employee. We want our companies to succeed and prosper. By pursuing the CPIM designation, you will increase your functional knowledge of production and inventory management. You will be able to predict outcomes more accurately. You will be able to increase efficiency across the processes of your organization’s supply chain. And you will be able to increase profitability by optimizing your firm’s inventory investment.
You should, as an individual or as a company, start to enjoy the benefits of professional designations for yourself or your employees as soon as possible. The Durham APICS Chapter, for example, offers CPIM examination preparation courses on Saturdays throughout the year.
Don’t delay! Start a new beginning today!