Up until now, pretty much everything about the way inventory was managed in the retail supply chain could be described as non-standard. That's because for years, suppliers and retail supply chain management professionals have lacked a consistent way to forecast and plan their inventory needs. And they really had no place to turn. There was no certifying body that provided a cross-industry recognized training program, common standards or a certification process for these professionals.
But that's now changed. Earlier this year, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) joined forces with the consulting firm Accenture to introduce a new online education program that leads to a Retail Supply Chain Certification (RSCC). The program, developed for both retailers and their suppliers, is designed to create standards for the industry. Thus far, representatives from 65 companies have enrolled in the 50-hour course, including supply chain professionals from Kimberly-Clark, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee Branded Apparel and Wal-Mart.
Registrants have two opportunities over a 12-month period to take the certification exam and develop basic retail inventory management and forecasting skills in six areas: statistics, probability and spreadsheet simulations; supply chain fundamentals; inventory management; forecasting and planning; performance metrics; and process integration (CPFR) and knowledge application.
The complete RSCC program is priced at $1,500 per person for RILA members and $2,000 for non-members. For more information about the program, call Accenture's Jonathan Whitaker at (678) 657-6223. To ign up, visit www.retail-leaders.org/certification or contact Nikki Ducas at firstname.lastname@example.org.