Supply Chain Management Certificate/Course USA/CANADA

Posted on July 4, 2008


As an adjunct to today’s Talent Attraction & Retention posting I thought it would be worthwhile to share with you the following Procurement Insights Question and Answer segment.

Network Member Question:

I’d like to get information about Supply Chain Management Certificate/Course in USA/CANADA. Preferred top Universities.

Andre Caliman, Sales and Marketing Executive, Brazil

My Answer:

The question regarding the real-world viability of the various programs being offered by institutions and associations at times conjurs up images of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning.The greatest challenge that is faced is how the business community views these designations. And in this regard, many programs continue to overlook some critical facts.

A 2007 survey of CFOs produced these startling results:

73% of the total average annual savings claimed by an organization’s purchasing department, are rejected by CFOs as being invalid.  They do not impact the bottom line, and as a result minimize the perceived value of purchasing to the organization.  (Note: cost avoidance is one of the many savings myths that continue to be championed in course materials as a viable objective that is worthy of pursuit.)

This “absence of value” was further emphasized in the same study, which found that more than 80% of all CFOs interviewed do not believe that the CPO and his/her department make any meaningful contribution to the organization as a whole.

Finally, in a CPO Agenda Roundtable, senior executives expressed the opinion that purchasing departments are best run by individuals who do not have (or come from) a purchasing background.

As an international speaker these as well as other findings continue to resonate with my audiences as purchasing professionals strive to carve out their place in the emerging global marketplace.

With the focus of most association certification programs just now beginning to shift to a platform that will eventually (and hopefully) elevate the professional designation to a level that is seen as being on a par with that of a CA or CPA, the real issues we face is not how we view the programs as a profession, but how other professions within the corporate heirarchy view us and the corresponding value we bring to the table.

Once again, and given the growing recognition of the importance of looking outside of the realm of traditional “educational thinking”, it is through this filter of real-world understanding that you should evaluate the veracity of any curriculum.

Specifically, take prospective course materials to individuals from other departments within your own organization, such as finance and IT.  Ask them their thougths concerning the value of the curriculum and how it meshes with their objectives from both an individual department and enterprise wide standpoint.