Why did you decide to pursue the APICS CSCP certification?
Despite being a Finance Manager by training, I always knew that a full understanding and appreciation of the total supply chain enables finance people to be more effective. As a finance professional, I acknowledge that in any discipline it is vital for a practitioner to be appropriately certified. Certification is a badge of 'can do' - confirming full theoretical and practical understanding. Certification represents professionalism and 'hands of safety' - after all, like in any other profession, one prefers to be advised by a practitioner that has an internationally-renowned certification. Therefore, if I was going to make any difference to the financials of our business, I needed to fully understand supply chain - not just from a practical perspective, but I also needed to garner more knowledge on supply chain principles and theory. Of course, the gold standard in supply chain is always an accreditation from APICS. I chose the CSCP as it is more strategically inclined.
How did you prepare for the APICS CSCP exam?
I used the self-read APICS study packs. It was written very well and suited my learning style. I also chose the self-study route because I did not have sufficient time to attend any certification classes. I read the packs repeatedly, but due to the in-depth information therein, on each read, I learned something new. I failed my first CSCP exam by just 1 point. This was a serious jolt! But, I realized that the exam that I had just failed was an esteemed qualification and it was that solid level of knowledge (required), which added to the esteem of the accreditation. I booked another exam and passed comfortably on the second attempt—scoring 80 and above in 2 of the 3 sections. As strange as it seems, passing the exam on the second attempt made the obtaining of the accreditation that much sweeter.
What was your biggest takeaway from APICS CSCP training?
My biggest takeaway from the training was the litany of principles and calculation that I learned - which enabled me to implement productivity initiatives at work. These initiatives centered around total supply chain, incorporating planning and operations management.
How has an APICS certification impacted your career or organization?
The APICS CSCP certification has given me the confidence to run financial scenarios around total supply chain activities and has enabled me to use the 'lingo' with other supply chain professionals.
Have you implemented a supply chain or logistics initiative at your organization as a result of your APICS certification training?
I have implemented various productivity initiatives after obtaining my APICS certification. Most of these initiatives were focused on factory planning and highlighting capacity usages.
What are other benefits of APICS certification?
Besides giving me a sense of professionalism and insight, the CSCP certification makes me confident enough to cross over into supply chain. I truly appreciate my finance background, but the addition of a CSCP accreditation has made me more of a total business person. The CSCP has greatly boosted my prospects of landing a general management role.