Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC's Modular Learning System in Supply Chain Management: Global Professional Training and Certification for Greater Competitiveness

Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC's Modular Learning System in Supply Chain Management: Global Professional Training and Certification for Greater Competitiveness

Article excerpt

In a market where customers are more demanding than ever and resources are scarce, achieving excellence in the supply chain is increasingly challenging. With the mandate to provide technical cooperation in the area of international trade promotion and development, ITC has developed a Modular Learning System in Supply Chain Management (MLS-SCM[R]). The [R] symbol signifies the power of purchasing which is one key element of this programme. The programme is aimed specifically at staff responsible for managing purchasing and supply chain operations in enterprises.

The MLS-SCM[R] includes a series of 18 high-quality and up-to-date training packs covering all stages of supply chain management to help companies achieve greater competitiveness. A global professional certification programme with exams managed by ITC is also offered. The programme was launched in 2000 and, so far, more than 25,000 professionals in 61 countries have benefited from the training offered by a network of more than 1,500 trainers attached to 120 institutions. The programme has also paid dividends for the companies whose employees have attended training with savings of more than US$ 51.5 million made in 2009 and 2010.

The MLS-SCM[R] programme has been singled out as a model for sustainable training capacity development. It offers an interesting business model for local institutions where these institutions are given access to internationally validated materials, to trainers trained in modern training techniques and to an internationally recognized professional certification programme which these institutions can offer to their local markets.

The importance of optimizing entry processes

While many companies have worked hard to develop internal processes, marketing and sales, the purchasing, logistics and supply chain 'aspects have often been neglected. For the most part, the search for ways to optimize these processes is only now gaining importance. Companies need to find new ways to deal with suppliers and customers through focusing on more strategic approaches, long-term thinking and an investment in training to allow managers and staff to implement best practice business processes.

For example, a company that invests an average of 60% of total sales in raw materials and supplies (including production, administrative costs and utilities representing 40% of sales), a saving of 10% in the total acquisition costs could result in a 60% increase in profits. …

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