SCM Certification: Why, What & How?

Posted by Dharani M on

When we think about a professional certification in Supply Chain Management, the one that immediately comes to our mind is "Certified Supply Chain Professional" (CSCP) offered by APICS, USA. Today, CSCP is considered as the gold standard credential for the supply chain professionals. The CSCP program helps you to demonstrate your knowledge and organizational skills for developing more streamlined operations. Since its launch in 2006, more than 24,000 professionals in 100 countries have earned the CSCP credentials. As an APICS Recognised Trainer, I come across the following three questions from the CSCP aspirants, which I would like to address through this post. 

  1.       1. Why I need to be certified as a CSCP?
  2.       2. What is covered in CSCP curriculum?
  3.       3. How to attain this global credential?



Reasons why a supply chain professional need to be certified as a CSCP.

  • It is almost next to impossible to get an end-to-end knowledge in supply chain through work experience even if someone dedicates his or her entire life span, because today's supply chains are too vast, dynamic and highly complex in nature. But at the same time, we SCM professionals are expected to efficiently and effectively manage the supply chains. Then how does one gain this end-to-end SCM knowledge. The answer is by going through the CSCP body of knowledge. It guarantees you an end-to-end SCM knowledge, which is practical and exposes an individual to the global best practices and can be readily applied to take your organisation's supply chain to the next level.

  • In any economy, supply chain is one of the leading contributors to the GDP, hence we have hundreds and thousands of professionals working in this field. Many became SCM professional by experience or by title, but what about the qualification? CSCP is here to help you to differentiate from the rest.
For more details about CSCP Program, please visit
  • National boundaries no longer restrict the supply chains. Today's supply chains both upstream and downstream sides are wide spread and operate in numerous countries across the world. We all agree that as SCM professionals we need to work locally with a global perspective. As the CSCP certificate is being respected globally across the world and among all the verticals, you will speak a common language of supply chain professionals while doing international business.
  • Last but not but the least with the CSCP certification one can be assured of career progression. (1) When you have CSCP in your resume, someone recruiting for a SCM position cannot afford to ignore your resume. (2) After having prepared for a vast body of knowledge and passed one of the rigorous examinations, you will gain the confidence and knowledge to analyse and solve almost anything and everything in the supply chain domain (3) The immense practical knowledge you have gained will not let you just be a spectator of inefficiencies in your supply chain, rather you will provide one with a potent weapon to spearhead the process improvement opportunities in your organisation and help the organisation to gain its supply chain advantage.


    As indicated earlier, CSCP is an end-to-end supply chain body of knowledge which contains the following three modules.

    Module-1: Supply Chain Design

    Supply chains determine the ability of the firms included in them to compete in the marketplace. How supply chains are designed will affect their ability to compete. A firm that is attempting to compete in a market where low cost determines who gets the business will have difficulty if it includes high cost suppliers in its supply chain. The characteristics of the end-market in which a firm is competing must be considered when designing supply chains. Supply chain design is an integral part of enabling an organization to compete and be profitable in today’s dynamic business environment. The supply chain strategy should align with the organization’s business strategy and plan, support the value proposition, and leverage core capabilities.

    A. Develop the Supply Chain Strategy: The supply chain strategy for companies with high performing supply chains should closely align with and enable the overall business strategy of the company. Achieving appropriate alignment requires an understanding of the forms of competitive advantage being pursued. It also requires an understanding of the organizational strategy, priorities and capabilities.

    B. Design the Supply Chain: Supply Chain Design involves making decisions on how to structure the supply chain that supports and aligns with the organization’s business strategy. This involves: making decisions on suppliers; location and capacity of plant, warehouses and distribution centers; and, distribution channels to move products to customers. How information and data are managed, communicated, and the technology employed is also planned. Sound project management and effective communication is required.

    Module-2: Supply Chain Planning and Execution

    Supply chain planning (SCP) is the forward-looking process of coordinating assets to optimize the delivery of goods, services and information from supplier to customer, balancing supply and demand. An SCP suite sits on top of a transactional system to provide planning, what-if scenario analysis capabilities and real-time demand commitments, considering constraints. Supply Chain Planning is the set of processes related to the estimation of future client demand and its balance with capacity and supply, both from production and from suppliers. This planning can encompass one or several trading partners, from the end consumer to the raw material producer, including reverse logistics. Supply chain execution (SCE) is the process of managing a supply chain, in essence, getting supply chain items where they need to go.

    A. Procure and Deliver Goods and Services: Procurement and delivery of goods and/or services operationalizes the supply chain design through the development and deployment of coordinated long-term and short-term planning for sourcing, acquisition, controlling, delivery, invoicing, and payment of goods and/or services.

    B. Manage the Relationship with Supply Chain Partners: Understanding the market and the critical roles played by both the upstream and downstream supply chain partners are important to the success of the Supply Chain. Tailoring, aligning and managing the relationships with the supply chain partners will enhance the performance of the entire supply chain.

    C. Manage Reverse Logistics including Return, Recall, and End to Life: Managing reverse logistics and reverse supply chains involves understanding that product returns, repair, remanufacturing, end of life, and related topics are organic elements in the overall supply chain management execution process. It is also important to understand how reverse supply chains allow opportunities for cost avoidance and revenue generation while enabling compliance with regulations regarding waste and hazardous materials.

    Module-3: Supply Chain Improvement and Best Practices

    Changing market requirements, new technologies, geopolitical shifts, weather-related factors, and changes in availability of resources require supply chains to be constantly evolving. Supply chains must be continually improving by gathering key performance data, analyzing current performance, and creating and implementing improvement plans. The supply chain should ensure compliance with existing standards, regulations, and apply sustainable best practices. Instead of only reacting to risk events, companies need to model, anticipate, and prevent risk.

    A. Measure, Analyze, and Improve the Supply Chain: Enhancing the competitiveness of a supply chain requires an understanding of the techniques and tools of continuous improvement and the appropriate application of each. It also requires an understanding of how to measure the performance and capabilities of the supply chain and how the communication of these findings can contribute to performance improvement.

    B. Comply with Standards, Regulations, and Sustainable Best Practices: Managing globally dispersed sources of supply and demand requires an understanding of the standards and regulations of the jurisdictions in which goods and funds flow. In addition, designing and operating a supply chain requires an understanding of the concepts of sustainable business practices and how to adapt and apply them to a specific supply chain.

    C. Manage Risk in the Supply Chain: Risk is inherent in supply chains, and companies may go out of business due to a major risk event. Instead of only responding to risk events, companies must be able to model, anticipate, and prevent risk events. An understanding of the techniques to identify, mitigate, and manage risks is important for supply chain management and overall business success.


    Fhyzics - an International Channel Partner of APICS, USA offers end-to-end support for the prospective candidates to attain this global credential. Our team will help you to navigate all the 8 stages of the CSCP certification with ease.

    1. 1. APICS Membership
    2. 2. Learning System
    3. 3. Faculty Led, 5-Day Classroom Training Program
    4. 4. Examination Preparation
    5. 5. Examination Credit
    6. 6. Appear for the Examination in Pearson Vue Centre
    7. 7. Get CSCP Certified!
    8. 8. Certification Maintenance
    Download Fhyzics' CSCP Program Guide for free at
    For more details about the program, please speak to our Customer Executives at +91-900-305-9000 or email us at

    About Author
    Venkadesh Narayanan is the Principal Consultant at Fhyzics Business Consultants Pvt. Ltd. with over 25 years’ experience in business consulting, business analysis, process improvement, supply chain and new product development. He is a mechanical engineer and an MBA worked for several organizations in India, USA and Canada prior to joining Fhyzics. He is a former Indian Civil Servant [IRAS 2000 Batch] and served in Ministry of Railways, Government of India. You can find some of the videos of Venkadesh Narayanan on various topics in our YouTube Channel Business Analysis Digest and also feel free to connect with him through LinkedIn.

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    Keyword: Supply Chain Management, Certified Supply Chain Professional, Professional, SCM knowledge, Economy, Supply Chains, Business, Modules, Suppliers, Dynamic Business Environment, Supply Chain Strategy, Priorities, Supply Chain Design, Sound Project Management, Making Decisions, Warehouses, Distribution, Supply Chain Planning, Supply Chain Execution, Procurement, 



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