What Is CPIM Certification?

by Andra Picincu - Updated July 16, 2018
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The demand for supply chain professionals is steadily increasing. More and more companies are seeking experts who know the ins and outs of the logistics planning process. Their role is to help organizations become more productive and efficient, which in turn, leads to higher revenue. The CPIM, or Certified in Production and Inventory Management program, helps you develop and hone your skills in supply chain management. Upon completion, you will have the expertise needed to streamline operations and optimize your company’s inventory investment.

Tips

  • A CPIM inventory management certification appeals to supply chain professionals who wish to improve their skills in production and inventory management.

Why Is the CPIM Certification Important?

The CPIM certification is offered by APICS, an industry-leading association for supply chain and operations management. More than 107,000 professionals have completed this training program since 1973. The CPIM is recognized globally and opens up a world of opportunities for those looking to build a career in this field.

The APICS learning system includes three certifications: Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Certified in Production and Inventory Control (CPIM) and Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD). CPIM certification is required for a large number of jobs, such as supply chain manager, materials manager, production planner, operations manager and procurement specialist. In fact, many organizations prefer to hire supply chain specialists that have CPIM certification, rather than an MBA.

The Benefits of Completing the CPIM Program

Those who work in supply chain management must be able to find creative solutions, analyze data and identify problems as they develop. They also generate reports and build relationships with distributors, suppliers and other third parties. Developing these skills takes years; it's an ongoing process that requires continuous education and training.

The CPIM program is designed to improve your knowledge of production and inventory management. You will learn about the basics of the supply chain, the execution and control of operations, resource planning and much more. By the time you complete the APICS learning system, you will know how to increase the efficiency, productivity and performance of an organization by optimizing its production and inventory management.

According to APICS, professionals who complete the CPIM program see a 27 percent increase in their salaries. Also, this certification can improve your hiring potential by as much as 65 percent. The skills and knowledge acquired during training can enable you to reduce your company's costs and maximize its return on investment.

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How to Get an Inventory Management Certification

The CPIM program has two modules. After you complete them, you will take a test. The modules cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Demand planning and forecasting.
  • Prioritizing and sequencing work.
  • Master planning initiatives.
  • Strategic management of resources.
  • Aggregate and item inventory management.

To enroll in the training program, access the APICS.org website, select Credentials and Education and then click CPIM. Next, click Get Started Today and download the exam content manual preview or purchase the full version. Another option is to search for an APICS classroom in your area. The organization has 200 offices in North America and 100 outside North America.

After you read the materials, prepare to take the APICS CPIM exam. Depending on your preferences, you can enroll in the APICS CPIM Learning System and study at your own pace, attend local classroom courses and study with the help of an instructor or take webinar-enabled courses. The organization's website also provides free demos and practice questions to help you.

When you feel ready, visit apics.org/att to schedule and purchase the APICS exam. Take the time to read the exam handbook. Bring two forms of valid identification to the test center. Ideally, arrive there no later than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Candidates are not allowed to bring books or papers of any kind, including the APICS Dictionary. Also, you may not bring food, beverages, electronic devices, rulers, compasses or stencils.

At the end of the exam, you will receive a report that includes your name, exam title and results. If you pass the test, you will receive an email with instructions on how to obtain your CPIM certificate. In case you fail the exam, you can try again after 14 days.

About the Author

Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over nine years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness.

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