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Why Get More Qualified?

When faced with an economic downturn, companies usually keep their best-qualified people. And when the economy recovers, your professional credentials will help you to differentiate yourself, gain more personal opportunity and contribute to a higher level of professionalism within the industry. Here a compelling case for the value of earning a professional designation in the supply chain field.

By Fraser Hansen

In the past, achieving a degree could help your start in the workplace, by shortening the lengthy process of learning on the job. Now, a degree gives you a more complete overview of a field, allowing you to get ahead sooner. But today’s degrees offer more. With the supply chain world encompassing a larger number of business functions across all functional disciplines, logisticians, can contribute much more to the overall business goals of the entity when they are prepared with a greater understanding of all aspects of the supply chain.

In pursuing a transportation and supply chain career, you now need to know and excel at all the facets of supply chain. If you waited to hold all the positions that you need to gain the skills and knowledge and to know all aspects of the field, it would likely take until retirement to learn everything you need to know.

Some designations give you both breadth of knowledge and practical experience that is applicable to your career development goals. Learning side by side with experienced practitioners effectively helps your company, and you, to beneficially impact the business and maximize your supply chain contribution.

When selecting a particular designation, consider the options. Some are very time-flexible and provide different levels of study, practical experience and development of skills you have yet to master. Many courses are offered through correspondence and the Internet, allowing you the flexibility to fit your studies into a busy schedule.

Illustration of student crossing canyon with degree When faced with an economic downturn, companies usually keep their best qualified people. And when the economy recovers, your professional credentials will help you to differentiate yourself, gain more personal opportunity and contribute to a higher level of professionalism within the industry.

As a Ryder employee with over 15 years’ experience, my designations have aided me in many ways—the first and foremost being the breadth of knowledge I have acquired. Working for a 3PL as director of business development, I help customers develop and design efficient, economical, tractable, reportable end-to-end supply chains. We do business with all types of companies, from high tech to packaged goods—and with all the key to success is flexibility, and understanding the customer’s needs. The CITT designation gives me the foundation I need to know about all aspects of the supply chain, and in conjunction with experience, it is a winning combination. As an example, Ryder’s extensive experience in supporting inbound supply chains for automotive OEM assembly operations has led us to the development of our Plan, Procure and Execute strategy. Utilizing detailed historical data to create an optimal flow plan, assembling plans into biddable routes and volumes, securing carrier commitments, consolidating orders into loads and assigning carriers are some of the basic functions of each strategy component. The basics entail:

  • Plan: Utilize detailed historical data to create an optimal material flow plan, considering mode, frequency, inventory carrying costs and other shipper/product attributes.
  • Procure: Assemble plans into biddable routes, volumes and secure carrier commitments based on rate and service standard expectations.
  • Execute: Electronically consolidate orders into loads and transmit to assigned carriers. Electronically tender loads to carriers and provide real-time Web visibility to all shipments.

Although primarily developed to support JIT manufacturing environments, Ryder has applied the Plan, Procure and Execute strategy to a wide variety of industry verticals including aerospace, consumer products and high tech. In Canada, our application of Ryder’s Plan, Procure and Execute strategy led to the complete re-invention and design of the supply chain, supporting a major consumer products company that conducts over 5,000 daily retail store deliveries. Complex supply chain re-engineering of this nature requires solid logistics fundamentals to articulate both the vision and value these transformations can realize.

In the Ryder supply chain enterprise, we have used both learned practical experience combined with CITT training and knowledge, which together allows us to bring dynamic, innovative, effective solutions to our customer partners. We find every customer’s challenges to be different, which means we draw on the breadth of our knowledge across many disciplines and functions. A look at the CITT courses available clearly indicates they cover the full range of learning and industry practices, from design, process management and financial impact to legal considerations, risk management, and organizational behavior, to name just a few.

This diversity facilitates our ability to provide ongoing re-design as customer needs change and grow. This continuous improvement process, as part of end-to-end consulting, allows for a strong, ongoing, value-add relationship between supplier and customer.

The supply chain industry provides a vibrant, ever-challenging and rewarding career. The right training and tools to excel make it even more worthwhile. In these uncertain economic times, good companies have to retain their top performers, and it is a great time for those people to reinvest in their further career development with more professional training. Take a fresh look at what a designation can provide: you’re worth it.

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