Traditionally, supply chain functions were siloed and reactive to business decisions. As a result, supply chain professional development was also siloed and predominantly focused on functional employee training. Now, however, a shift is taking place in how businesses view and value supply chain within their organizations. Supply chain professionals have to be ready to embrace this opportunity, and the right training is essential.
Supply chain used to be seen only as a way to impact the bottom line, but a growing number of organizations are starting to see the incredible advantage that can be gained through strategic supply chain management and leadership from a holistic, end-to-end perspective.
The accelerating rate of technological and digital advances, widening talent gap, consumer demands and sustainability standards are driving today’s supply chain professionals to stay ahead of the curve, through maintaining a big-picture perspective and pursuing continued education. After surveying more than 2,600 supply chain professionals about their careers, APICS found that approximately half of all respondents have earned at least one supply chain management certification, and 15 percent have earned more than one certification. Supply chain professionals are gaining new skills, identifying efficiencies from the ground-up and finding leadership success as a result — and it’s these savvy professionals that are moving out of their organizational silos and into the C-suite.
Once there, these chief supply chain officers (CSCO) and other c-suite members are looking for single resources that offer both corporate and individual development programs that benefit the organizations as a whole, versus looking to niche sources for individual assets.
In response to this industry shift, the new Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) has introduced fresh products, services and collaborations, enabling companies to further optimize their supply chains, secure their competitive advantage and positively impact their bottom lines. This is not only through individual learning and development, but with larger corporate transformation in mind as well.
To this end, ASCM has built and will continue growing a global network of alliances with one goal: making it as easy as possible for organizations to find the resources they need to invest in their supply chains on a broad scale. Our global alliance network includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), Accenture, Deloitte and PwC. Through these collaborations, ASCM can deliver a portfolio of products and services to our members and customers worldwide, including cross-functional training, benchmarking, performance reporting, research, education and certifications.
Of particular interest to the CSCO is ASCM’s new SCOR-Enterprise Designation, which is the first of its kind and aims to empower organizations to reach goals, improve results and be more competitive in today’s global business world. Its framework consists of three dimensions that represent ethical, economic and ecological aspects of an organization’s supply chain. This new designation addresses a need within supply chain and will be available for corporate leadership this year.
For additional supply chain investment opportunities, check out the ASCM Supply Chain Learning Center, which is a centralized hub for education and professional development.
Throughout this year, we are excited to see the rise of the CSCO, for organizations to continue weaving supply chain strategies into their day-to-day holistic systems, and for ASCM to keep strengthening its global alliance network by creating efficiencies and new opportunities for the benefit of businesses around the world.
Abe Eshkenazi is CEO of the Association of Supply Chain Management.
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