In 2012, APICS revised the CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) program.
If you plan on taking the test soon, here are a few general thoughts to help you understand the changes.
1. Most Concepts Unchanged
Structurally, CSCP 2012 is divided into three modules. In previous versions, there were four modules.
However, in terms of scope, not much has changed.
While the structure is different, the selection and discussion of supply chain concepts are fairly similar.
This shouldn’t be surprising of course. The fundamentals of supply chain management can’t just change overnight.
But while the concepts have not changed, some have been updated to more current terminology.
For example, some of the security concerns and mitigation steps associated with transportation are now categorized under “risk management”. Concepts like free trade zones and trading blocs are categorized under “globalization”.
The good news is that our previous posts giving you some free CSCP practice questions are still generally useful. (There are ten more practice questions here by the way.) Will there be some differences? Yes, of course. But they’re still worth practicing with as long as you know they’re not exactly designed for CSCP 2012.
2. Less Logistics Focus
Previous versions of CSCP were heavy on logistics. It was interesting to note that while the certification is called “Certified Supply Chain Professional”, there was so much coverage of traditional logistics.
Logistics remains an important of part of supply chain management and the CSCP 2012 certification. But the heavy details aren’t in the 2012 version like they were in previous years.
In CSCP 2012, there are still two sections on logistics. One focuses on higher level concepts like the role of logistics in the supply chain. And another focuses on details like warehousing, transportation and their associated trade-offs.
This is a good thing.
3. Less Technology Coverage
The details on technology are reduced. Previous years had an entire module dedicated to supply chain technology.
Technology is critical to supply chain management of course. Relational databases, fiber optic cable, and the Internet enabled corporations to manage a global supply chain from end-to-end. And APICS has not reduced the importance.
But the CSCP 2012 material focuses more on the role of IT in supply chain management. So it still discusses technologies like below, but simply emphasizes a different viewpoint.
- modules in an ERP system (like planning and optimization)
- warehouse management systems
- transportation systems
Another step in the right direction.
4. Focus on the Supply Chain Leader
In some ways, it has a little bit of an MBA’s point of view of supply chain management. Supply chain management strategy and design is discussed as it relates to:
- the corporation’s overall business strategy
- to the needs of its customers
- to the corporation’s financial performance (reflected in its balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows)
There is a larger focus on understanding the concepts and applying them to meet corporate objectives.
But then it does this while still emphasizing the value of mastering fundamental technical skills such as:
- supply planning
- inventory management
- supplier relationship management
- customer relationship management
- warehousing & transportation
- risk management
You’re first given an understanding of the importance of supply chain management. And then you’re immediately introduced to tools that can help you execute.
This is a good direction for the program. It starts to give you the total package of technical and leadership skills.
5. Establishing Terminology Still Emphasized
There is the concept and there is the term. In supply chain you often find different people describing the same concept but using different terms. This make discussions inefficient or unproductive altogether.
One of the key services that CSCP has provided to the community was to give the supply chain management profession a common vocabulary. It established working definitions for a lot of critical concepts. That hasn’t changed in CSCP 2012.
It’s a Start
Hopefully, this gives you a good start at understanding the key changes in CSCP 2012. Obviously, you will still need to get into the details in order to prepare well.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We’ll try our best to help where we can.
Practice Questions and Resources
If you’re currently preparing for the CSCP 2012 exam, maybe you’d like to download our free 100 CSCP Practice Questions ebook. (Did we mention it’s free?)
But if you’ve already downloaded that and still want more questions, we invite you to check out CSCP Review 2012. It’s a pair of ebooks that combined contain over 1100 CSCP practice questions. And they’re updated for CSCP 2012.
Even better, when you purchase any of the ebooks, you also get access to the same people that wrote the questions. This means that if you get stuck on any question or topic, you always have someone to help you out. Check it out now.