A lack of understanding of end-to-end supply chain management is at the root of many service delivery problems experienced in South Africa and a big part of the solution lies in a commitment to supply chain training to supplement current qualifications.
In what appears to be a global first for the supply chain education sector, a young South African production planner has become an APICS CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) in record time. 26-year-old Kyle Eckstein, who has worked for SAB for the past three years, successfully passed all five examinations, each three hours long, during November 2014. Kyle has been an APICS member since June 2014, and had roughly 3 months to complete the CPIM.
According to SAPICS, through whom the APICS CPIM certification is offered in South Africa, most candidates take around 12 to 18 months to successfully complete all their examinations. Since 1973, more than 97,000 professionals worldwide have earned the APICS CPIM designation.
“The APICS CPIM is the strategic advantage that operations management professionals need in today's world, where the rate of organisational and technological change is accelerating exponentially,” says Jenny Froome, general manager of SAPICS, the South African association for supply chain management professionals.
“The in-depth approach taken to understanding and evaluating production and inventory activities within a company's global operations is why this certification is preferred by thousands of employer's worldwide,” she adds. “In the nearly 20 years I have been involved with SAPICS and APICS I have watched the professional and personal growth of many individuals flourish with the benefit of the APICS Body of Knowledge which is encapsulated in the APICS certifications.”
The CPIM covers essential terminology concepts and strategies related to demand management, procurement and supplier planning, material requirements, planning, capacity requirements planning, sales and operations planning, master scheduling, performance measurements, supplier relationships, quality control and continuous improvement. The certification is organised into five modules, each focusing on key areas that are integral to mastering production and inventory management principles.
Benefits of CPIM
According to SAPICS, the APICS CPIM helps candidates to improve the efficiency of their organisations’ supply chains, while streamlining operations through accurate forecasting. “You will also be able to predict outcomes more accurately and increase profitability by optimising your organisation’s inventory investment. This results in maximised return on investment on existing systems and technologies,” says Froome.
A qualified industrial engineer, Eckstein was enrolled in the course by his employer, SAB.
“The course opened my mind to the many different approaches to solving supply chain challenges,” he says. “It broadened my horizons, emphasising a practical, logical approach.”
In his opinion, Eckstein says more companies, whose offerings are underpinned by supply chain skills, need to market themselves to the younger generation in much the same way that accountancy and management consulting firms market themselves at tertiary level.
“In this way, more students will be made aware of this exciting field and companies will benefit from a larger pool of graduates from which to choose,” concludes Eckstein. “Given the fact that supply chain skills are essential to organisations in so many sectors, it would really make sense for them to work with bodies such as SAPICS and APICS to promote the field to students.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Cathlen Fourie, 082 222 9198, email@example.com, www.atthatpoint.co.za
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