The Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation from the Association for Operations Management (APICS), designed for supply chain professionals and those working with enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems, follows new US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guidelines that require strengthening physical security for shipments and verification that supply chain partners are practicing the same security measures.
"The APICS CSCP designation validates a unique skill set and reflects the expanding role supply chain management plays in today's increasingly competitive global marketplace," said APICS president Thomas J. Krupka.
"In the past, companies focused primarily on manufacturing and quality improvements within their four walls to gain a competitive advantage. World-class supply chain management drives a broader view, extending efforts to encompass the entire network of companies throughout the supply chain that work together to meet customer demands.
"The APICS CSCP designation will equip today's professionals with the credentials to improve their company's competitive success and their own professional advancement and earning potential."
Foreign suppliers need to know, for example, that the CBP is urging US importers, terminal operators and foreign manufacturers to enrol in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) programme.
The government claims that C-TPAT importers are six times less likely to undergo a security-related cargo examination and are four times less likely to be subject to a trade-related examination than non-C-TPAT companies. The implementation of new minimum security criteria comes into effect this month.
By 26 May, importers must meet criteria for container security involving seals, inspections, and storage to protect against unauthorised introduction of material and physical security, including cargo handling and storage facilities in domestic and foreign locations with barriers and deterrents, must guard against unauthorised access.
By 26 July C-TPAT member importers will address internal or procedural security elements including personnel security, and by 26 September, importers must address the business partner requirements. They must have written and verifiable processes for the selection of business partners including manufacturers, product suppliers, and vendors, and documentation substantiating that business partners throughout their supply chain are meeting C-TPAT security criteria.
CBP is now working toward establishing a higher level of C-TPAT certification that will include requirements for tamper-proof seals and smart containers. "C-TPAT Plus will offer shippers immediate turnaround with no inspection upon arrival in exchange for implementing more stringent requirements" claims ABI Research.
APICS' new certification programme should therefore equip foreign manufacturers with the necessary knowledge to better navigate the global supply chain network - especially when it comes to dealing with complex new US regulations.
The association currently administers two internationally recognised certification programmes - Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM). Since 1974, 80,000 professionals have earned the CPIM designation and more than 4,000 have earned the CIRM designation.
With the addition of the CSCP designation, APICS enhances its validation of the disciplines within operations management, specifically production, inventory, enterprise, and supply chain management.
The CSCP program will be launched in conjunction with the 2005 APICS International Conference and Exposition, 16 to 18 October in New Orleans, US.