Taking the decision to pursue an APICS certification can be a daunting task for professionals. Depending on your career goals, here are two of the most popular certifications in supply chain management: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).
Both of these certifications provide training for professionals working in a supply chain role, but there are some distinctions between them that need to be considered while deciding which one is right for you.
The CPIM program is focused on planning, production and inventory management operations within an organization. This certification exam requires thorough knowledge of logistics including purchasing materials, supply chain and logistics. This will also include control methods used for budgeting, planning inventory levels, setting up storage facilities, identifying areas where product quality or efficiency could be improved, properly utilizing IT systems related to production processes, and understanding global business trends that could affect the company’s competitive edge.
This certification also requires passing a multiple-choice questions examination covering the above topics. In contrast to the more operational focus of CPIM certification is the CSCP Certification. CSCP stands for Certified Supply Chain Professional. This program was developed by APICS too; however its purpose is different from CPIM. While CPIM focuses only on planning and inventory management functions, CSCP takes a comprehensive approach with a wider range of activities such as sourcing strategy development , supplier relationship management , process improvement , transportation optimization , risk mitigation strategies , customer service levels , global trade requirements , legal frameworks related to international supply chains, financial analysis of transactional data, etc. To pass the CSCP exam, all learners must develop a level of competency across all aspects of supply chain management than what will be required with CPIM Certification .
When its time to decide whether you should pursue a CPIM or CSCP certification, you must only focus on your career goals. For instance if you aspire to be at a managerial position related to planning. production or inventory control then taking the CPIM would be a more beneficial option than taking the CSCP. On the other hand if you aspire to become a versatile leader in the supply chain role then the CSCP certification would be the better choice for you.