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Manufacturing Industry: Certification

Whether you wish to advance in inventory, operations, or lean method manufacturing, a number of professional paths are available in today’s industry.

Lean (Enterprise) Manufacturing Certification: This certification is a product of an alliance of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence and the American Society for Quality (ASQ). As such, it is considered the benchmark for achievements and professional development in Lean. The Lean Certification requires familiarity with the Lean Body of Knowledge, including Cultural Enablers, Continuous Process Improvements, Consistent Lean Enterprise Culture, and Business Results. Candidates must take applicable courses, pass an examination, and submit a portfolio documenting the completion of required education and experience credentials.

(Advanced) Supervisory Skills Certificate: This certification is usually based on the laws and principles governing today's workforce. Often found as an extended education option at universities, Advanced Supervisory Skills courses teach management professionals how to use people skills to direct and even motivate staff members. Topics might include subjects such as effective hiring and firing methods, business ethics, constructive communication, conflict resolution, running an effective meeting, managing time productively, delegating, leading a team, establishing good customer service and more.

Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) : This certificate, offered through the Association of Operations Management (APICS), indicates that the holder possesses extensive knowledge in demand management, procurement and supplier planning, material requirements planning, capacity requirements planning, sales and operations planning, master scheduling, performance measurements, supplier relationships, quality control and continuous improvement.

The CPIM is geared toward professionals in supply chain management, operations, production and inventory management, procurement, materials management and purchasing.

CPIM is designed with a number of goals in mind: each a benefit to the certificate recipient. These are:

  • Greater understanding of production and inventory management
  • Bolstered efficiency across the processes of a business's supply chain
  • The ability to more accurately forecast, leading to streamlined operations
  • The ability to predict outcomes more accurately
  • Increase chances of establishing "Just-in-Time" delivery, maximizing client satisfaction
  • The ability to optimize a manufacturing operation's inventory investment

Those looking to pursue a CPIM will be required to pass exams in Basic Supply Chain Management, Master Planning of Resources, Detailed Scheduling and Planning, Execution and Control of Operations, and Strategic Management of Resources. These exams are offered on-line in North America.

The Association offers information and scheduling on exam preparation courses and workshops on their website.

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) : This designation, also offered through the Association of Operations Management, indicates the holder possesses master knowledge of the components and inner workings of the supply chain as a whole. According to the Association, certification denotes the holder's expertise about supply chains not only within their own company's walls, but globally. The organization notes that holders of the CSCP credential generally are promoted, hired and paid more.

Candidates for this certification must satisfy the applicable business experience and education degree requirements and pass an examination. AOM offers information and scheduling on exam preparation courses and workshops on their website.

The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: This credential, offered through the American Society for Quality (ASQ), defines a professional who leads and succeeds at process-improvement initiatives.

This certification, ideal for those running small businesses, midsize firms or multinational corporations, indicates that the holder obtains superior skills for establishing and monitoring customer/supplier relations. Moreover, the holder understands strategic planning and deployment initiatives, and is capable of developing measurement systems to determine organizational improvement.

According to the ASQ, the certificate holder should be able to motivate and evaluate staff, manage projects and human resources, analyze financial situations, determine and evaluate risk and employ knowledge management tools and techniques in resolving organizational challenges.

SCOR Professional Certification , a program of APICS, provides in-depth knowledge the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR®) model. Widely recognized as the global model for supply chain efficiency, the course addresses the SCOR model’s framework, how to interpret SCOR, and methodology of a typical SCOR project.

In addition, ASQ offers more than 14 certificates in manufacturing-related fields. One of the leading designations in the industry, ASQ certification can lead to promotion, hiring and higher salary.