5 Supply Chain Certifications to Advance Your Career

Updated January 27, 2023

Pursuing professional certifications is often an effective way to develop new skills and establish your expertise. Whether you're starting out in the industry or want to advance your current career, earning a supply chain certification can help your resume gain the attention of hiring managers. Understanding the various certifications available for this industry and the requirements of each can help you determine which is the right one for you. In this article, we explain why it's beneficial to pursue supply chain certifications, review what professionals in this field do, list five certification options, describe skills that can help you gain a certificate, and state the average salary of supply chain managers.

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Why pursue supply chain certifications?

Supply chain certifications can help you expand your knowledge and advance your expertise in supply chain management. You can learn new techniques, stay updated on the latest issues and trends, and grow your professional skills with certification training. It can increase your earning potential and demonstrate to employers that you're qualified for higher positions. While there are some employers that prefer that candidates have professional certifications, these credentials are usually optional.

Related: 40 Interview Questions for a Supply Chain Manager Role

What does a supply chain manager do?

A supply chain manager oversees the life cycle of a product or service, from the sourcing of raw materials to delivering the item to the end user. They supervise the manufacturing budget to ensure low operational costs while maintaining high efficiency and quality of the product or service. These professionals work closely with other departments to develop effective strategies to achieve maximum productivity. An essential part of their job is tracking a product's components throughout the development life cycle and through various locations.

Here are the responsibilities of a supply chain manager:

  • Developing and implementing supply chain strategies

  • Evaluating and adjusting strategies for improvement

  • Identifying process challenges

  • Liaising with distributors and vendors

  • Training supply chain team members

  • Determining key performance indicators (KPIs)

Read more: How to Become a Supply Chain Manager

5 supply chain certifications

Here's a list of supply chain certifications and designations that can help you advance your career:

1. Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP)

The SCMP designation is Canada's principal designation in supply chain management and can help you distinguish yourself in the field. Supply Chain Canada offers the certification program through various partnerships with provincial and territorial educational institutions. With the SCMP or Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (CSCMP) designation on your resume, you can show employers you're knowledgeable about the current strategies, concepts, and technology in supply management.

The program comprises eight modules on strategic supply chain management knowledge, six interactive workshops on high-level business skills, a residency program, and a final examination. Designation applicants are required to be a member of Supply Chain Canada, be proficient in English or French, and hold a degree or diploma in a business-related field. Further, it's required for applicants to have a minimum of five years of work or military experience in supply chain management.

2. Supply Chain Fraud Certification

The supply chain fraud certification is a post-SCMP designation certification that supply chain managers can pursue to further their knowledge in identifying and understanding fraud-related risks impacting the supply chain. The program teaches the varieties of fraud that affect supply chains and the processes of prevention to help protect an organization from such activity. Participants can access the program online to complete the webinar, seminar, and take the certification test.

The program prepares participants to function in an industry that values high-efficiency production and borderless commerce. Participants learn how to protect integrity at every level of the supply chain. As the certification is an extension of the SCMP designation, it's also offered by Supply Chain Canada and requires membership status.

3. Health care Supply Chain Certification

The health care supply chain certification is part of a joint venture between Supply Chain Canada and the Health Care Supply Chain Network (HSCN). Professionals in the health care supply chain profession can take this certification to practice tools to enhance their skills to help them deliver value to their organization. The program comprises three modules of two webinars and one in-person seminar that are available to both members and non-members of Supply Chain Canada.

The first module provides the basic framework to assist in the understanding and managing of strategic sourcing initiatives, including competitive and non-competitive sourcing, contract management, and supplier relationship management. The second module provides participants with an in-depth look at advanced aspects of the supply chain. This includes value analysis to support fiscal sustainability, matching service levels with performance metrics, identifying and evaluating procurement risks, and contract negotiation. The final module focuses on process re-engineering to increase value for the organization. The course explores how changes in business processes can impact cash flow, service delivery, and customer satisfaction.

4. Supply Management Training (SMT)

Offered by Supply Chain Canada, the SMT program is for individuals who work outside supply management but handle some procurement, logistics, transportation, or operations duties. Participants who complete all 13 technical courses, three soft skills development seminars, and three business management knowledge seminars may be eligible for a diploma or certificate in Supply Management. Course topics include procurement, logistics, transportation, operations, management, accounting and finance, marketing, contract management, negotiation skills, and business planning.

The SMT program is ideal for junior buyers, purchasing assistants, production planners, logistics administrators, warehouse clerks, material handlers, associates, analysts, and specialists. The program helps shape, strengthen, and guide future careers in the industry for early- to mid-career professionals. Various provincial and territorial institutes associated with Supply Chain Canada deliver the SMT program, with admission requirements varying by the institute. Within the program, there's an option to pursue advanced standing and exemption courses.

5. CITT-Certified Logistics Professional (CCLP)

The Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (CITT) offers the CCLP designation for individuals looking to access management positions in supply chain logistics organizations. The CITT is Canada's logistics association and a non-profit organization that offers career path development options for those working with or in supply chain logistics. Successful participants complete five specialized logistic courses and five business management courses. If you already have a degree or diploma in a business discipline, you may skip the business management courses and apply for advanced standing in the CCLP program.

Participants of the CCLP program develop skills in supply chain logistics and business management with real-world expertise. To hold the designation, individuals are required to have at least three years of experience working in a supply chain or logistics function. You may gain this experience during your study, or you might consider the Challenge On-Ramp option of obtaining the CCLP designation if you already have experience. The Challenge On-Ramp is an alternative way to become a CCLP, which involves an exam and practical interview. This route is ideal for professionals with diverse experience in supply chain logistics management.

Supply chain manager skills

There are several essential skills that can help you find success in a career as a supply chain manager and can help you complete a supply chain certification. Here are the skills:

  • Computer skills: To help manage various logistical details, keep track of supplies, and review budgets, supply chain managers use a wide variety of computer applications. It's important to be proficient in computer literacy and know how to use standard programs, such as spreadsheets, word processors, and presentation software.

  • Project management abilities: It's essential for supply chain managers to handle various projects, initiatives, and processes efficiently. Strong project management skills can help managers to implement new programs and monitor processes throughout an organization.

  • Critical thinking and analytical skills: Supply chain managers require critical thinking and analytics skills to evaluate processes and metrics to determine opportunities for improvement. These skills can help managers with identifying and solving problems as they arise or resolving conflicts with vendors, clients, and distributors.

  • Flexibility and adaptability: There are various external factors that can affect every aspect of the supply chain. It's essential for managers to be flexible to market, industry, and economic changes and to adapt to current situations.

  • Leadership and management skills: An effective manager uses leadership and management skills to support their team members and direct their department. These skills are essential for leading a team towards a common goal and building a high-performing team.

  • Financial literacy: It's important for supply chain professionals to analyze and understand financial statements, set budgets, and evaluate economic factors that may affect various aspects of the supply chain. These individuals have a strong comprehension of basic financial principles and best practices to optimize budgets, materials, and operational costs.

Related: 9 Supply Chain Management Degree Jobs (With Salaries)

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Average salary for a supply chain manager

The national average salary for a supply chain manager is $64,583 per year. Depending on your experience, designations, employer, and location, there's an opportunity to earn more. The three highest-paying cities for supply chain managers include Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌ Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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