APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE -
February 28, 2014
Validating current standards and moving toward the future
SCM World announced January 31 its Top 25—the top 10 associations for training and certifying supply chain professionals and top 15 universities for training practitioners of the future. Of course, I am thrilled APICS topped the list for associations.
Kevin O'Marah says, in his accompanying blog post, that two takeaways should dominate the discussion: first is the fact that business wants cross-functional supply chain knowledge rather than narrow technical skills; and the second is that the scramble to provide this knowledge is suddenly heating up.
For this ranking, SCM World used data gathered from 331 respondents to the organization’s Chief Supply Chain Officer Survey. The rank ordering of associations and universities was accomplished via simple weighting. The leaders at SCM World admit that the rankings are not exactly scientific. O’Marah calls them “a simple beauty contest. And beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. The beholder in this case though is the employer.”
While APICS ranks first for associations, O’Marah does have some criticisms for us. Mainly, he questions whether the content and exams related to the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designations are as current as they could be.
It’s no secret O’Marah used to serve as an APICS director at large. He acknowledges this fact in his blog and then goes on to explain how his opinions are left out of the ranking process. I did take the opportunity to acknowledge and address O’Marah’s criticisms of APICS—first, directly to him and, then, here.
At one point, it was true that APICS CPIM was out of date. However, in 2011, the association and an army of volunteers completed an extensive update to its CPIM products, and we have continued to revise the materials every year since. Further, both the APICS CPIM and CSCP programs are grounded in regular job task analysis studies that are completed every three years. Because of this comprehensive process, I am confident the APICS body of knowledge for both exams reflects current practice standards. These programs are not cutting edge; they are not intended to be. Instead, these are psychometrically validated credentials based on industry standards.
O’Marah’s comments do point to an opportunity—actually a responsibility—APICS has to contribute to supply chain and operations management thought leadership. Just last year, APICS announced renewed corporate support for APICS Foundation in order to advance supply chain management through research, education, and collaboration with partners such as Michigan State University (MSU).
APICS Foundation and MSU have partnered for a major research and education project, “Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon.” The study will identify and examine the capabilities necessary for strategic supply chain success, thus redefining the future of global supply chain management.
APICS continues to offer top-notch certifications and education. Now, through the innovative work of APICS Foundation, we are examining what supply chain will look like in the years to come. It’s an exciting time to check out what APICS and APICS Foundation have to offer. Visit apics.org
to learn more.