So we got you interested (or confused) in our Real World Take on APICS CSCP Module One piece.
Now let’s pile it on with Module 2 of the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional program.
Are forecasting and demand planning technically supply chain processes? Doesn’t really matter. The two things you need to realize are:
- Even if they aren’t, you still need to understand them
- APICS does include them in the CSCP program
The bullwhip effect describes a situation where small variations at the customer level get magnified into massive variability further up the supply chain. It goes something like this:
- Retailers experience a minor demand spike. They put an additional expedited order to the distributor in response.
- The distributor doesn’t want to take any chances. He doesn’t want to get caught sleeping if the spike happens again. He places his own additional order to the factory.
- The factory is concerned that this will be a trend across all distributors. Problem is he can’t just run an extra “half” manufacturing run. Just to be safe, he produces an additional full batch.
It must be obvious by now why they call it the bullwhip effect, ey? Each stage piles on their panic. And you end up swimming in inventory. Section A talks about this quite a bit.
CSCP also discusses forecasting a lot. Yes, we all know it’s the perfect science (not). That said, classic tools do exist. And we believe everyone should start with these tools before you layer in other qualitative approaches. CSCP discusses both of these.
The quantitative forecasting discussion does reference some formulas and calculations. But again, it’s mostly established tools and nothing too esoteric.
The section also discusses collaboration:
- Vendor managed inventory (VMI)
- Quick response (QR)
- Collaborative planning, forecasting & replenishment (CPFR)
- Continuous replenishment (CR)
A pretty short section. It’s all about how product and supply chain design are linked. Consider two examples to give you a sense for the content:
- Take Apple. It charges more than twice for its computers and devices. And it has no problem selling them. The design, manufacture and delivery of their products are tightly aligned. As such, the entire experience of dreaming, buying and using their products is special.
- Take Wal-Mart. Their infrastructure is sophisticated. From the retail stores, logistics, procurement, and IT. They choose to carry products that best leverage this infrastructure. Not the other way around.
You can look at the supply chain as:
- the physical infrastructure needed to supply goods
- the process that moves the goods from raw materials to finished products at the customer
- the planning activity that sits on top of all this
This section discusses that last bullet, planning. You’ll need to get familiar with fairly standard exercises:
- Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP)
- Master Production Scheduling (MPS)
- Material Requirements Planning (MRP)
- Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP)
- Capacity Planning
- Inventory Management
Yep, all your old friends. The discussion is a bit detailed, so you’ll be spending some time here.
Logistics is not supply chain. But you already knew that. Sadly, there are actually a lot of people that think transportation and warehousing is supply chain.
While we’re on our soapbox, why do people use logistics to describe things like ordering donuts and coffee for the Monday morning staff meeting? You know, like, “Who’s taking care of logistics for Monday’s meeting?”
Seems much easier to say, “Order donuts and coffee.” But we digress.
This is a long section. Nothing too technical, but a fairly detailed discussion. Be prepared to review:
- all types of transportation and warehousing
- global logistics
- import/export, including Incoterms
- reverse logistics
We actually like Module 2 a lot. It’s pretty nuts and bolts. And as you know, we here at Real World Supply Chain like that.
On to Module 3.
If you have more questions about any of the modules, feel free to contact us anytime. You’ll get a reply for sure.
APICS CSCP Hub
You can get our Real World take on all four modules at the APICS CSCP Hub. There you’ll also find other helpful resources on the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional program.
If you want to go to the other modules immediately, the quick path is below.
Module 2 – This is where you are now.
And finally, if you’re currently preparing for the CSCP exam, maybe you’d like to check out 1000 Certified Supply Chain Professional Questions. It’s a 294-page ebook containing over 1000 CSCP practice questions. In addition to the ebook, you also get access to the Real World Supply Chain team. This means that if you get stuck on any question or topic, you always have an instructor to help you out. Check it out now.