Supply chain management is a rewarding career that allows you to connect, learn, and grow in business. It involves various disciplines such as planning and procurement, logistics analysis, manufacturing, sales and operations, transportation, and distribution. These disciplines offer many job opportunities for skilled professionals.
If you want to create a competitive edge in the market and achieve higher growth and profits for your organization, you must have the technical and theoretical knowledge of supply chain management.
A certification in this field can help you demonstrate your expertise and advance your career. But which certification should you choose and why? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the benefits of supply chain management certification and how to get one.
But before we deep dive into the best supply chain management certifications, let’s first understand what the role of a supply chain manager is, how they work, what is their average salary, and much more.
What is a supply chain manager?
The role of a supply chain manager is to oversee the entire process of delivering a product from the supplier to the customer. They manage the logistics, coordinate with suppliers, negotiate prices, and ensure that products are delivered on time and in good condition.
A supply chain manager also monitors and mitigates supply chain risks and develops backup plans. Furthermore, a supply chain manager uses data analysis to optimize the supply chain, lower costs, and increase efficiency.
How a supply chain manager works?
Being a supply chain manager is an exciting and rewarding career that involves managing complex global logistics and coordinating with various stakeholders across different time zones and languages.
As a supply chain manager, you must build a vast network and learn about different cultures while honing your competitiveness and negotiation skills.
You also have a crucial role in ensuring cost efficiency and ethical standards in the supply chain, such as fair labor practices and environmental sustainability. You can make a positive difference in the world by promoting ethical and sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, making your work both meaningful and challenging.
As a successful supply chain manager, you can enjoy the following perks:
- There is a high demand for skilled supply chain managers in a wide range of industries across the globe.
- You can work with some global leaders and international business models.
- You can work with cutting-edge technology and software within an organization.
How to pursue a career as a supply chain manager?
If you want to manage the flow of goods and services from the source to the customer, consider becoming a supply chain manager. A supply chain manager is in charge of planning, coordinating, and executing the activities involved in a company’s supply chain, such as procurement, production, distribution, and customer service.
A supply chain manager also works with suppliers and vendors to establish and maintain good business relationships, develop and implement supply chain strategies, troubleshoot and resolve problems, negotiate contracts, train staff, and monitor performance.
To become a supply chain manager, you will need to have the following qualifications:
- A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business administration, supply chain management, logistics, or operations management. Some employers may prefer or require a master’s degree in these or related fields.
- 4-6 years of experience in supply chain-related roles, such as purchasing manager, materials manager, or operations manager. You must demonstrate your skills and knowledge in inventory management, quality control, transportation, warehousing, and analytics.
- A supply chain manager certification, such as the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM).
- A high school diploma or equivalent may be sufficient for some entry-level positions in supply chain management. Still, most employers will expect you to have at least some college education.
What does a supply chain manager do?
Getting, making, and delivering goods and services to customers involves many steps and people. A supply chain manager is a professional who is in charge of managing this process. They work with partners inside and outside the organization to ensure that the goods and services are quality, efficient, and affordable.
They also check and measure how well the partners are doing their jobs. Some of the things they need to know and do are technical skills, project skills, cost skills, and ethical skills.
However, these are the roles and responsibilities of a successful supply chain manager:
- Coordinate the SIOP process to ensure smooth customer deliveries and lower inventory levels.
- Lead the RFP process to select optimal partners.
- Establish and execute a process to keep accurate item master in the LAWSON procurement system.
- Secure funding, set up the PMO office & guide the cross-functional team to deliver a document management technology solution.
- Lead software implementation by defining requirements, developing strategy, and planning implementation; oversee integration with ERP system.
- Supervise production and warehouse teams ensuring compliance with DOD policies and corporate rules and regulations while meeting government nuclear facility audit standards.
- Create SQL queries using query+ to support SCM operations daily and investigations.
- Extract and analyze raw SQL data to enhance and support sales operations.
- Use SharePoint as a project document repository.
- Design and implement an MRP system to create visibility to purchasing requirements.
- Have a deep understanding of manufacturing and manufacturing systems, including MRP systems.
- Collect and allocate manufacturing and assembly KPIs at various stages of production life to improve profitability.
- Key steering committee members involved in improving, developing, and implementing ERP system modifications and enhancements.
- Analyze costs and market dynamics to maximize profit by providing operational solutions to senior management on logistics-related operations and inquiries.
- Coordinate activities of return warehouse operations as a collection and export center, under reverse logistics operations to HQ refurbish centers.
What skills are required to become a supply chain manager?
A supply chain manager is responsible for ensuring the smooth flow of products or services from the starting point to the endpoint. To do this, supply chain managers must have a range of soft and technical skills to implement in their daily tasks. However, here are the skills you will need as a supply chain manager:
Supply Chain (20%): Lead the supply chain consensus process for the department, enhancing change management and commercialization activities, optimizing fill rate, and minimizing excess inventory.
Logistics (9%): Evaluate costs and market dynamics to increase profit by offering operational solutions to senior management on logistics-related operations and inquiries.
Project Management (5%): Use dynamic strategic planning, prioritization, and project management skills to consistently meet critical deadlines while maintaining high-quality standards.
Customer Service (5%): Develop manufacturing plans at a global level aligned with customer service, inventory, and financial objectives using cutting-edge Red Pepper technology.
Chain Management (5%): Acquire hands-on experience in various aspects of supply-chain management: demand planning, material management, warehousing/transportation, and customer service.
Continuous Improvement (4%): Manage operations and inventory control for large-scale Chicago area property Security Company while ensuring continuous improvement of all logistical processes.
Risk management: The skill involves identifying and mitigating the risk of transportation delays, inventory shortages, and supply chain production interruptions. To identify and evaluate risk factors within an organization, supply chain managers use different tools, including checklists, reports, audits, and simulations, to make things right.
Decision making: The supply chain manager must often make quick and effective decisions with customers, vendors, and suppliers. To save resources and complete tasks successfully, they need decision-making skills.
Negotiation: As a supply chain manager, you need excellent negotiation skills to source quality materials and reliable logistics partners. Negotiation skills can also help you build strong professional relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
Time management: Time management is essential, no matter where you work. In fact, time management skills are pretty helpful in your personal life. When it comes to supply chain professionals, they must ensure they are on time and on-time deliveries.
Accounting skills: A supply chain operation requires accounting skills for financial documents like balance sheets, tax returns, profit-and-loss statements, and cash flow statements. Accounting skills are essential for understanding financial documents and making data-driven decisions.
Data analysis: A supply chain manager needs analytical skills to extract useful information from unstructured data, find the best shipping routes, and optimize budgets.
Analytical skills can make you more competitive and give you a proactive approach to daily work. With these skills, you can evaluate your business holistically and implement strategies to improve internal processes.
Communication: In supply chain management, you often need to work with external parties, such as vendors or suppliers, and internal teams --logistics and storage.
You must use written and oral communication skills to collaborate with customers, co-workers, and relevant stakeholders. Knowing more than one language can also be beneficial to connect with business partners in other countries and secure more opportunities for your organization.
Best supply chain management certifications
Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM)
The Certified in Planning and Inventory Management CPIM) certification demonstrates your ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory operations across the globe. This certification helps you master the skills of production planning, forecasting, master scheduling, material management, and supply chain integration.
The CPIM certification is widely recognized and valued by organizations in various sectors. It covers essential topics such as procurement management, sales, operation planning, performance measurement, etc. The CPIM certification suits professionals in manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, consulting, services, and other industries.
To earn the CPIM certification, you must pass two exams, CPIM Part 1 and CPIM Part 2, within three years. You must earn 75 professional development points every five years to maintain your certification.
APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
The APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification validates your supply chain management best practices expertise. It sets you apart as an industry leader with specialized, high-level knowledge and skills. The CSCP certification helps you learn the common language and frameworks for addressing supply chain challenges.
To qualify for this certification, you need to have either three years of relevant experience, a bachelor’s degree, or an active certification in one of the following: CPIM, CPIM-F, CIRM, SCOR-P, CPM, CPSM, CTL, or CLTD. To earn and maintain the CSCP certification, you must pass the CSCP exam and earn 75 professional development points every five years. You can earn these points by participating in supply chain activities in various sectors such as distribution, healthcare, defense, consulting, manufacturing, government, etc.
ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
The ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is a valuable credential for enhancing your supply management skills. The program is designed by experts to reflect the diverse functions and challenges of supply management across industries in the global and digital era. The CPSM certification is the global standard for supply chain management. It equips you with the skills to handle sustainability, strategic sourcing & forecasting, and risk/compliance issues in supply management.
To be eligible for the CPSM certification, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and three years of supply management experience in a non-clerical and non-support role. You also need to pass three exams. You must earn 60 hours of approved continuing education credits every four years to maintain your certification.
ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)
The ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD) certification demonstrates your ability and commitment to create positive supplier diversity outcomes. It is designed for professionals responsible for or interested in creating diverse opportunities in their industry and strategic initiatives. To qualify for the CPSD certification, you need either a bachelor’s degree and three years of supplier diversity or management experience or five years of relevant work experience.
You also need to pass two CPSD certification exams. You must earn 50 hours of approved continuing education credits every three years to keep your credential.
SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
The SCPro certification from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSMP) is a certification that proves your skills and knowledge of supply chain management. It consists of three levels of tests that challenge your abilities and help you identify the challenges faced by organizations in supply chain management.
To earn the SCPro certification, you need to meet some requirements, including:
- Level one: You need a bachelor’s degree or four years of professional experience in supply chain management.
- Level two: You need to have the level one certification and either a bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant professional experience or seven years of experience in supply chain management.
- Level three: You need to have the level two certification and either a bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant professional experience or nine years of experience in supply chain management.
SOLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)
The OLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) certification is offered by SOLE (The International Society of Logistics), demonstrating your logistics competence and expertise. The CPL certification is one of the well-known and widely-recognized certifications for professionals working in various sectors such as commerce, federal and local government agencies, defense, and education.
To earn the CPL certification, you need to pass an exam covering the ten logistics domains. You also need to meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
- Nine years of experience in teaching or practicing logistics and two years of experience in at least two fields of logistics
- A master’s degree and four years of experience
- A doctoral degree and three years of experience
- A bachelor’s degree and five years of experience
ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
The ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) certification needs no introduction. The CSSBB certification exam is offered by ISSP (International Society of Six Sigma Professionals), which proves your proficiency and leadership in the Six Sigma methodology. The CSSBB shows that you can apply the Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) model and the principles of lean management to improve business processes and outcomes.
The CSSBB certification will teach you how to use the support systems and tools essential for successfully implementing the DMAIC model. To earn the CSSBB certification, you must have either one completed Six Sigma project with a signed affidavit or two completed projects with signed affidavits. You must also have three years of professional experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge.
APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P)
The APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) certification verifies your knowledge and skills in the SCOR model. The SCOR model is a framework for managing and improving the performance of the global supply chain. It covers five core processes: plan, source, make, deliver, and return. The SCOR-P certification will help you apply the SCOR model to your organization and measure the impact of your supply chain improvements.
The APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) certification will also enhance your credibility and recognition as a supply chain professional. You must attend a three-day instructor-led training course or a corporate training program to earn the SCOR-P certification. After completing the training, you must pass a two-hour computer-based exam of 60 multiple-choice questions.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for a great career, you might want to consider supply chain management (SCM). It’s a growing and rewarding field, and most people who work in SCM love their job. In fact, a survey from the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) showed that 96% of SCM professionals were very happy with their careers, and they gave it an average rating of 8.4 out of 10.
But that’s not all. The survey also showed that certification in SCM can significantly affect your income. SCM professionals with at least one certification earn 19% more than those who don’t have any. And if you have two or three certifications, you can earn 39% and 50% more than the average salary.
In other words, the global supply chain is crucial for almost every business. The supply chain is how businesses get their products and services to their customers, and it involves a lot of planning, coordination, and problem-solving.
And with the help of IT, SCM professionals can use analytics and other data tools to make the supply chain more efficient and effective. This is why businesses—around the world—need SCM professionals with the skills and knowledge to handle the challenges of the supply chain.
If you want to take any of the listed-above certifications, click the chat button right side of your screen, and one of our consultants will contact you.