New program grooms supply chain management professionals.

Students in the first offering of the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Program, and their instructor, Michael Richardson, far right.

With businesses striving to gain an advantage, taking a global view of operations has emerged as a significant activity. Yet, understanding how each part of a company’s complex chain of relationships is connected—from suppliers through customers to every internal department—poses challenges.

The Association for Operations Management (APICS) has developed the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Program to enable those involved in these relationships to gain a fuller comprehension of their operations and of ways they can improve them. Recently, the College of Business Administration’s Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management and its office of Executive and Professional Education joined forces to offer this certification program—with many enhancements.

Ryder System, Inc., provides support and sees the benefits.

Ryder System, Inc., partially underwrote the course’s costs for the first group.

“The course’s rigor and the 360º view participants receive is a positive factor for us and for other employers.”

Hernan C. Vera (MBA ’90), Ryder System, Inc., group director, Supply Chain Solutions Marketing

“Our motivation is a little selfish,” said Hernan C. Vera (MBA ’90), the company’s group director, Supply Chain Solutions Marketing. “Within the industry, we have a shortage of qualified talent. The course’s rigor and the 360º view participants receive is a positive factor for us and for other employers.”

The five-and-a-half day program, which touches on every aspect of supply chain management, got underway in October with seventeen participants from across the spectrum of their companies’ functional areas. Michael Richardson (EMBA ’02), CSCP, CPIM, adjunct professor, Marketing Department; and director of wholesale planning, Bottoms Division, Perry Ellis International, is the instructor.

“We are supplementing the core APICS modules with case studies, videos, and readings to deepen students’ involvement,” he said. “We also provide opportunities for them to discuss their company’s operations. Participants have a wealth of knowledge, resulting in very lively exchanges about different approaches.”

Walfried Lassar, Ryder Professor and director, Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management, worked with Richardson to identify suitable public domain materials, including a case study from Supply Chain Forum, an international journal, to enrich the classes.

Though Ryder System has not played a role in shaping the program, the company sees it as an opportunity to “continue to build our relationship with the Ryder Center and to support the sharing of top-of-the-mind issues in the industry,” Vera said.

The college will offer the course again beginning in April, 2008. For a day-by-day breakout of the syllabus and information about how to register, visit:

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