We often get this question for two reasons:
1. People are trying to peg where our company's training offering is focused
2. People are often overwhelmed by the marketing material of plethora of marketing companies trying to sell supply chain training.
It is normal to feel the overwhelm due to the sheer number of options in supply chain training today.
We will try and answer you question by defining a clear two step process to clarify the confusion.
We will also add which type of trainings are suitable for which type of supply chain personnel. That will also give you an idea where do our training offerings focus.
Step 1 - Define Supply chain training level That you need
Firstly, it is important to be cognisant that the training needs for Vice-President level is not the same as the training need for the forklift driver level.
They play a very different role in the supply chain. I am making this very obvious point to introduce the following four level hierarchy in supply chain activities extracted from our book Unchain Your Corporation:
Supply chain training execution layer:
The bottom layer in this picture consists of procurement officers writing purchasing order, inbound truck drivers bringing in the supplies, staff in manufacturing and warehouses receiving the supplies, the assembly line workers deployed in manufacturing, forklift drivers taking the products away from the factories, warehousemen stowing the product in the sheds, pick and pack staff preparing the deliveries, delivery drivers taking the goods to customers and finally customer support teams answering all the questions.
Supply Chain Training Operational Layer:
The next layer upwards are supervisors and foremen who schedule and manage these staff. The training needs of these two layers cover basics of the overall supply chain and a very detailed picture of their own task in that supply chain.
For example, the forklift drivers need a lot of training in driving forklifts, safety in warehouses, occupational health, pick-to-light technology (or any other similar technology deployed) etc.
Clearly they do not need training in intricacies of the latest demand forecasting statistical algorithms using big data.
Most of the certification focused courses are run by organisations with origins in transportation, logistics, warehousing, inventory planning, production planning etc and the content is highly relevant to the middle two layers.
Supply Chain Training Tactical Layer:
The tactical planning layer focuses on one part of the overall supply chain planning process - demand planning, supply planning, fulfilment planning, sales and operations planning, distribution planning, inventory planning - and their training focuses on that part, as well as how it links to the big picture.
Many organisations try and offer training in this area. Some are really good, but many fail due to the content being more suitable for the lower levels (or the higher level), rather than the targeted level.
The highest layer in the pyramid caters to the top of the organisation - VPs and CEO, and at this level the focus is on making sure all the planning, execution and controls are in place so that the supply chain continues to be efficient and effective.
here are very few organisations that have the capability to offer specialist supply chain training in this area.
Step 2 - Define whether the training is for supply chain transformation team, or for supply chain business-as-usual team?
Difficult though this job is, the job of the supply chain transformation (SCT) team is far more difficult. They have to ensure that a humming supply chain, hums better without missing a beat while this transformation happens.
We have written several articles on the difference between the two teams which are worth exploring in great details if you are charged with training of both the teams.
Once you achieve clarity on these two questions you are in a much better position to find the right training to address the pain points in your supply chain organisation. There is a lot of material on this website which will help you achieve the clarity on these two questions and the most appropriate approach to your training needs.
You can even ask your supply chain training vendor questions related to these two topics to slot them properly as per your needs. If you are still not fully sure, send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and help provide more clarity from an insiders' perspective.