Earning the CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) certification is no longer just for homeboys. Beginning in March, supply chain professionals in all parts of the world will be able to log on to their PCs and begin the coursework required for certification.
Fueled by growing international demand for supply chain management training, APICS, the 60,000-member educational organization that sponsors the CPIM certification program, has teamed up with Accenture, an international consulting firm, to develop online courses to support the certification process. The APICS courses, which will include both core and premium offerings, will be part of Accenture's Supply Chain Academy.
APICS says the CPIM courses available through the academy will cover basics of supply chain management, master planning of resources, detailed scheduling and planning, execution and control of operations, and strategic management of resources—all required topics of study for anyone pursuing the CPIM. The course content will be provided by APICS but tailored for the existing infrastructure developed by Accenture for the Supply Chain Academy. The online courses will have both video and audio components.
The program will also include links to resources that complement CPIM education, including lists of recommended references and access to the APICS Dictionary. APICS says these resources enable organizations to establish consistency in terminology and enhance collaboration throughout the supply chain.
Pricing for the courses had not been established at press time, but Mahnaz Zeinali, leader of APICS' global strategic alliances and associate director of marketing for the group, says that taking the courses online will be cheaper than taking them in person. The fee structure for businesses will be based on the number of employees who enroll in the program.
The Supply Chain Academy program is part of APICS' broader educational efforts. The organization also conducts 60-minute webinars during the year. Topics for 2004 include 5S and kaizen, lean manufacturing, logistics and supply chain distribution. Another certification program, Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM), trains company managers on techniques for aligning business across functional areas.
For additional information on any of the APICS educational programs, visit www.apics.org. Information on the Supply Chain Academy can be found on Accenture's Web site, www.accenture.com, or at www.supplychainacademy.com.