In launching its third credential, APICS is not only filling a market niche and serving its members’ interests but also addressing a larger shift in American manufacturing.
Earlier this week, APICS, the professional association for supply chain management, announced the launch of its third credential: the APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD).
The aim of this new credential is to equip individuals with the essential knowledge they need to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and achieve recognition as a logistics expert.
This announcement comes nearly a year after the association merged with the American Society of Transportation & Logistics.
“Integrating AST&L into APICS allows us to fortify our supply chain education and certification offering with deeper content in the areas of transportation and logistics,” said APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi in a press release issued last July. “APICS continues to bolster our offerings to address two of the most important topics in the global economy today—developing supply chain talent and elevating supply chain performance.”
After the merger, “we did a tremendous amount of marketing research up front to determine what other types of education or certification might be out there,” said Bob Collins, APICS senior director of professional development. “And we actually felt a pretty big need for this type of certification.”
The new CLTD credential differs from APICS’ other credentials, including the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management, which focuses on the center of the supply chain, and the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional, which covers the entire supply chain, from the supplier to the consumer, Collins said.
The shift in American manufacturing has also carved out space for the CLTD credential. “American manufacturing is pretty small these days. Most of America’s manufacturers have developed into distributors,” Collins said.
So, these companies are no longer manufacturing the goods but figuring out the logistics of transporting and distributing them.
APICS Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Daniels echoed Collins’ remarks, citing everything from the rise of Amazon, to one-hour deliveries and driverless cars, to drones. Put another way, logistics, transportation, and distribution considerations are just about everywhere.
“People are going to have to have these skills,” she said.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the transportation and logistics industry as the second-largest employment sector in the United States, employing upwards of 6 million people. The Georgia Center for Innovation estimates that the industry will generate 270,000 new jobs each year through 2018.
“With this growth, the industry is struggling to find and train quality logistics, transportation, and distribution employees,” Eshkenazi said in a press release. “As a result, there is a market need and demand for a certification based on a single, universal body of knowledge. The APICS CLTD reflects the most important and current knowledge individuals need to pursue or advance a career in logistics, transportation, and distribution.”
“We feel that we’re in the right place at the right time,” Daniels said. “And we’ll be helping the market to keep up with the demand of the companies and also the individuals, who will be able to do their jobs better.”