A somewhat stunning but not all that unexpected announcement is breaking today that will certainly capture the attention of our Supply Chain Matters readership. That announcement is that two premiere professional membership organizations focused on supply chain management are about to come together. 

Both the Supply Chain Council (SCC) and APICS are today each communicating with their various internal communities that the boards of directors of both organizations have approved an agreement under which Supply Chain Council will merge with APICS subject to ratification by SCC member vote. A formal press announcement is expected sometime tomorrow which Supply Chain Matters has obtained. That announcement will outline a combined organizational structure where Abe Eshkenazi will remain as CEO of APICS, and Joseph Francis, the current Executive Director of Supply Chain Council will serve in a new role as Executive Director of the APICS Foundation. The announcement will also outline an expanded transitional Board of Directors involving both organizations. A resource web page explaining the intent of this merger can be accessed at this SCC web site.

This combination unites two prominent certification brands, both individual and corporate in focus.  The APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and the more prominent Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designations are directed at individual skill certification for supply chain management professionals across the globe. The SCC SCOR Framework Model and SCOR-P certifications are corporate process focused, where organizations adopt framework certification to improve supply chain capabilities. The combination has the potential to provide cross-selling opportunities for both focused training and certification programs.

The combination of these two organizations further opens opportunities for added operational efficiencies in membership support and educational programming.

According to email communication from SCC, voting members of record will receive an email on May 19th asking them to participate in the voting process, and the voting period will extend until May 30th.

Obviously, this combination is a powerful one that unites two well respected and globally focused supply chain management organizations.  A closer association among these two organizations began in 2009 when both organizations agreed to provide uniform member-discount access to each other’s training and certification programs.

Last month, this author had the distinct pleasure to interview Abe Eshkenazi, the CEO of APICS which was shared in a Supply Chain Matters commentary. While there was absolutely no hint of today’s announcement, a statement from that interview now has much more meaning: “The final pillar described was being a globally-driven organization, extending both educational and certification programs across broader geographic regions across the globe.  Today’s supply chains extend to Asia, Latin America and other countries and the need for skilled supply chain talent is just as important. “APICS certifications need to be relevant across the globe” according to the CEO.” 

Relevancy of certification and global branding is indeed our interpretation of primary strategy takeaway for this announcement.

Those of us who have been involved in supply chain management are well aware that there are many creeping overlaps among the current array of professional organizations that focus on the various functional areas of supply chain management.  As supply chain business processes have evolved to a much broader functional umbrella, each of these individual organizations now compete for mind share. Sponsored training programs, membership meetings and annual conferences seem to overlap in content. By our lens, this announcement concerning SCC and APICS will provide added pressures for additional clarity and perspective.

We will share more details regarding this major announcement as further details and developments emerge.

Stay tuned.

Bob Ferrari

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