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APICS Study Material

Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), USA - formerly known as APICS, USA offers three globally renowned certifications in the field of Supply Chain, Production, Inventory, Warehousing, Procurement, Transportation, Logistics and Distribution. The following are the certifications:

    • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
    • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
    • Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)

When one prepares to attain any of the above globally renowned certifications from ASCM, I would recommend that they need to consider the following three questions.

  1. What is the right certification that will align with my qualification, experience and career?
  2. Do I have the right amount of quality time to prepare for the certification?
  3. What is the best Study Material that I can use to succeed in that certification examination?

The best way to prepare for the above certifications is to attend a classroom training and use the APICS Learning System. APICS annually publishes Learning Systems for CSCP, CPIM and CLTD certifications. International Channel Partners like Fhyzics Business Consultants provide both classroom training and APICS Learning Systems for all the three certifications. 

Supply Chain Management Professional Certification

Though there are several certifications in the market for Supply Chain, the leader is always Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) from APICS, USA. The leadership position of CSCP among the Supply Chain Certifications are coming from the following factors. 

  • The focus on industry best practices
  • Continual updation of the material
  • APICS Recognised Instructors with in-depth supply chain knowledge
  • The practical nature of the content
  • The vast network of the organisation
  • The frequency of events, webinars, seminars and conferences
  • The visibility of the organisation within the supply chain community
  • A good learning system with text books and online component
  • Flexibility in taking the examination anytime during the year etc.

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) consists of three modules.

Module-1: Supply Chain Design

Module-2: Supply Chain Planning and Execution

Module-3: Supply Chain Improvement and Best Practices

Anyone preparing for the CSCP certification, I would strongly recommend to attend CSCP Review Session and prepare using APICS Learning System. In my opinion, the typical time duration shall be somewhere between 4 and 6 months. 

Once the preparation is completed, one can take the CSCP examination in the Pearson VUE Test Centres. The examination contains 150 multiple choice questions and the duration is three-and-half hours. 

Supply Chain Analyst

The position of Supply Chain Analyst is of recent origin in India. Today we find most of the supply chain analyst positions in automotive companies, consulting firms and eCommerce companies. There are two types of supply chain analyst positions. First type, the supply chain analyst will be responsible for the end-to-end supply chain. Second type, the supply chain analyst will be assigned a specific area of the supply chain or a specific project is assigned to him or her. So, what is the role of a supply chain analyst? This role is all about identifying the supply chain problems and recommending the right solution and to continuously improve the supply chain. Supply chain analyst is the one who transforms the current state of the supply chain into a desired future state. 

Though there are only handful of companies in India that are taking advantage of this position. Soon this position will be in great demand, because of supply chain modernisation. Many companies will be automating their supply chains with the advent of block chain, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Business Analytics and Machine Learning. This demands well qualified, experienced, trained and certified supply chain professionals.

How to become a supply chain analyst? I would strongly recommend that APICS Certifications such as CPIM, CSCP and CLTD for those want to become a supply chain analyst. Among these certifications my first preference is CSCP certification. One of the reason I recommend CSCP for the supply chain analysts over the other certifications is that CSCP provides an end-to-end supply chain knowledge which is of great help. Also supply chain analysts have to develop a good domain knowledge to be more effective in solving the supply chain problems. The last but not the least that these professionals should have good analytical thinking, problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills to succeed as a supply chain analyst. 

MBA in Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain is one of the fastest growing field. Even many industrial associations and governments predict that it is going to be the new IT or the sun rise industry for India. But at the same time we know that there is a great demand for the supply chain skill set and organisations are constantly struggling to build their supply chain capability. 

The question here is how to build the supply chain capability? There are two ways one is to pursue Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification and the other is doing MBA in a leading institution such as IIMs. Both option comes with pros and cons. 

Pursuing CSCP Certification

CSCP is offered by ASCM, a global leader in supply chain body of knowledge. It is a general belief among the supply chain professionals that someone who has CSCP will never look back in their supply chain career. That is the popularity of the certification. The core strength of this certification is its body of knowledge. It is an end-to-end supply chain management certification and addresses all the aspects of supply chain as it is practiced in western countries. CSCP requires a serious study than an academic program. I would say there is no MBA in the world that is covering supply chain as intensive as CSCP certification. In my opinion the typical ROI for pursuing CSCP certification is about 3 to 6 months, when you get an upgrade in your position. 

Doing MBA

There are so many MBA programs available across the world. Ensure that you are getting into the right institution where they have experts available in SCM. Doing a generic MBA program may not be very helpful to launch yourself or to succeed in supply chain career. At the sometime, MBA focuses on several functions such as accounting, sales, marketing, organisational behaviour, economics etc. Hence you will acquire many skills in an MBA program, but at the sometime the focus on supply chain will be very little. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for an in-depth, end-to-end supply chain knowledge CSCP would be the best option. You will learn the global best practices in supply chain and will be upto speed to transform your organisations supply chain processes. 

CPIM

The Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification consists of two parts that is CPIM Part-1 and CPIM Part-2. One needs to complete both the parts to be certified in CPIM.

CPIM Part-1 covers Introduction to Supply Chain Management, Demand Management, Master Planning, Materials Requirement Planning, Capacity Management, Purchasing, Inventory Management, Execution and Control, Physical Distribution and Continuous Improvement.

CLTD

The Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) certification from APICS, USA is an excellent body of knowledge that need to be mastered by any downstream supply chain professional. CLTD bring the global best practices and principles in an organised manner. One need to be a graduate or have 3 years of professional experience in supply chain to appear for the CLTD Examination. The CLTD credential is a globally recognised one and going to have a tremendous demand in the coming years in the Indian subcontinent. One of the reason for its growing importance is that the Indian market is witnessing a great deal of transition in this industry from being unorganised to organised. This change demands well qualified professionals in logistics, transportation and distribution. Also there is an increasing pressure is felt both by the traditional and eCommerce companies to continuously increase the customer service, but at the same cost or even reduced cost. So we are waiting for a boom in demand for the logistics, transportation and distribution professionals in the coming years. 

The CLTD examination contains 150 questions and the duration is three-and-half hours. The examination is of multiple choice type and you have to select the most appropriate answer from the four options provided. There are no negative marks. Being a computer based examination, you will come to know of the result at the end of the examination itself. The CLTD examinations are conducted at the Pearson VUE test centres located across the world. 

Once you pass the examination, you can use the CLTD credential after your name. There is a requirement for certification maintenance. Once in every five years you need to submit 75 Professional Development Points to APICS to maintain your certification. 

RoHS in Supply Chain

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances

RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union on 2002 and restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market since July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.

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WEEE Directive in Supply Chain

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

The WEEE Directive is a legislation that in conjunction with RoHS, mandates for the collection, recovery and recycling of electronics, and component materials. The WEEE Directive was passed in the European Community (EC) in February 2003.

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Supply Chain Risk: Protect your Business with Risk Management

Supply Chain Risk is defined as the “Conclusions and campaign that have consequences that could negatively affect information or goes within a supply chain”. There was a survey conducted by APICS at its members and customers to analyze the practice of supply chain risk.

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2012 Sales and Operations Planning: Exploring Real-World S&OP Practices in Supply Chain and Operations Management

The technique of developing the tactical plans that provide ability to the management to strategically explicit its business to achieve the competitive advantage on a regular basis by amalgamating client-centralized marketing ideas for new and existing commodities with the administration of the supply chain is said to be S& OP.

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Association For Supply Chain Management (ASCM), USA