CPIM vs CSCP – which certification to choose?

Jill Hays CPIM, CSCP - Executive VP & VP of Programs

Published on 3/6/2018

This is a question we answer often. My opinion on the matter may or may not line up with the general APICS population, but if you were to ask me this question – I’d ask you two in return.

“Where are you at in your career?” If you are in your first 3 years of your supply chain career, CPIM is the way to go. Otherwise, the big question becomes “What are you hoping to get out of certification?” CPIM is the execution and detailed certification for the supply chain. It provides a common platform for individuals on the in-depth measures and actions required within demand planning, inventory management, procurement, transportation, warehousing, supply management, materials management, master scheduling, production planning, forecasting, and quality improvement within the confines of the supply chain.

In my career, I’ve found that CPIM covered the tactical execution of the supply chain, and that it is more than just manufacturing. For both manufacturing and distribution based roles, the knowledge within CPIM enabled me to add value in enhancing the supply chain.

CPIM is also the most recognized of the certifications for qualifications on job descriptions. Take a minute and look in your preferred online tool that lists open positions. Type in CPIM and see what comes up.

CSCP is the certification for the strategic view of the supply chain. As a supply chain professional, this certification is all about how the supply chain flows, how each piece works within and with the other components of the supply chain.

This broader view of the supply chain extends the APICS CPIM knowledge outside the internal operations to encompass all of the steps throughout the supply chain—from suppliers through the company to the end consumer—and how to effectively manage the integration of these activities to maximize a company's value chain.

For CSCP, I found that the strategic view of the supply chain allows me to collaborate across the supply chain successfully. Whether I’m working with Procurement, Transpiration, Warehousing, Planning, etc., CSCP has enabled strategic discussions, successful projects, and more in my career.

So – which certification? Both! But start with CPIM as you launch your career and set yourself up for success!