Which certification is right for you?
APICS certifications increase your personal knowledge and skills. But SCOR-P endorsement is a supply chain management (SCM) framework and implementation methodology for SCM excellence in an organization. Certifications are good for everyone; however, SCOR-P endorsement is good for consultants and internal project core team members of a SCM realignment project of an organization.
Between three APICS certifications, CPIM and CLTD are operating level certifications and cover fundamentals, whereas CSCP is more strategic and advanced (the futuristic SCM). You will use the knowledge of CPIM and CLTD immediately and every day and immediately improve your job performance. The third certification, CSCP, is the only true SCM certification available in the world (most abuse the term “SCM” to name anything that they do or offer). With CSCP you will develop your strategic vision but you will take time to put your knowledge to use and that too if you get an appropriate opportunity. However, in this confused world where different people have different understanding of the term “Supply Chain Management”, CSCP professionals are in a totally different league. As CSCP has a more glamorous and marketable title, lot of professionals are highly attracted to CSCP. Please note that all ERP systems use APICS body of knowledge and APICS terminologies (from APICS Dictionary of SCM terminologies). There is also some overlap between three certification programs as each certification program is required to be complete in itself.
As the name suggests, Certified in Production and Inventory Management or CPIM covers forecasting, demand management, sales and operations planning, master production scheduling, material requirements planning, capacity requirements planning, inventory management, shop floor control and purchasing. In SAP parlance, CPIM covers MM, PP and respective management body of knowledge. In SCOR terminology, it covers Plan, Source and Make, that is from raw materials to finished goods. So CPIM is appropriate for all levels of professionals in demand management, production, production planning & control, purchasing, inventory / materials management, cost controllers, etc., and all students, consultants, trainers, and IT professionals related to above areas. You need to pass two exams for CPIM.
As the name suggests, Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution or CLTD covers logistics management, sales order management, distribution requirements planning, warehouse management, transportation management, organization’s logistics network design and reverse logistics (new sustainability initiative). In SAP parlance, CLTD covers SD, LE, WM, TMS, DRP and respective management body of knowledge. In SCOR terminology, it covers Deliver and Return, that is from finished goods to customer delivery and returns. So, CLTD is appropriate for all levels of professionals in logistics management, order management, warehouse management, distribution management, demand management, transportation management, inventory / materials management, etc., and all students, consultants, trainers, and IT professionals related to above areas. You need to pass only one exam for CLTD.
Certified Supply Chain Professional or CSCP is very advanced and it is the only true SCM certification available in the world. Some people call purchasing as supply chain management, some call logistics as supply chain management, some call raw materials to finished goods management as supply chain management, etc. However, SCM is about managing the chain (or more appropriately, the web) by a channel master organization (also called nucleus firm) from mother nature to consumer (or end-customer) and back to mother nature (reverse SCM) that is only possible through trust, data sharing, connected IT systems and being truly demand driven based on real time data sharing of end-user demand between all supply chain partners that are acting on a collaborative fashion. Between three modules: supply chain design, supply chain planning and execution, and supply chain improvement, CSCP covers globalization, supply chain strategy, global supply chain design, collaborative supply chain planning, risk management, customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), reverse supply chain management, sustainability, international standards and compliance, corporate social responsibility, etc. In SAP parlance, CSCP covers APO, CRM, SRM, PLM and respective management body of knowledge. In SCOR terminology, it focuses on collaboration that makes supply chain planning, execution and management happen. So, CSCP is appropriate for senior level professionals who want to understand what true supply chain management is and want to put their efforts in creating futuristic collaboration step-by-step among all SCM partners in the world, and all students, consultants, trainers, and IT professionals related to above areas. You need to pass only one exam for CSCP.
Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional or SCOR-P covers SCOR Framework and SCOR project methodology. SCOR Framework has four major sections and also fifth one that is evolving. The four sections are (1) Performance, (metrics or supply chain analytics) with standard formulae to make measurement values comparable (benchmark-able) across different organizations, (2) Processes, that is a framework or guideline to enable “as-is” and “to-be” process analysis, documentation and design, which otherwise consultants and project core team members end up reinventing the whole wheel every time, (3) Practices, where all standard practices, best practices and evolving practices in supply chain management are listed for an organization to consider to implement or not to implement, and (4) People, where all supply chain management skills required are listed down. All four sections are cross referenced with each other. For example each process will cross reference appropriate performance, practices and people skills. The fifth evolving section covers sustainable or green SCM. SCOR-P endorsement is good for internal project core team members of SCM realignment project of an organization, and all students, consultants, trainers, and IT professionals related to above areas. You need to attend a mandatory three-day training program and pass one exam to earn SCOR-P endorsement.
Finally, you must choose a certification program depending on how certification should benefit you:
- If your goal is to grow in your career in the same function that you are in, then select a certification that matches your current role
- If you want to change your profile, be clear what you want your new profile to be, and then according select a certification program
- If you want to fill gaps in your knowledge required to perform your current role better, then select a certification that matches your current role
- If you want to acquire knowledge in a new area, then according select a certification program
- If you want to have knowledge in every aspect of supply chain management, then do all certifications one by one staring from CPIM, CLTD, CSCP and then finally SCOR-P endorsement
- If you want to strengthen your CV for better salaries and have 3-4 years’ work experience in SCM field, then select CSCP as it puts you in a different league
- If you think that you have all the knowledge but looking for recognition of your knowledge, then select a certification that you are knowledgeable in
- If you are in IT or consulting field, then do all certifications one by one staring from CPIM, CLTD, CSCP and then finally SCOR-P endorsement