Supply Chain Council/APICS Merger Could Help Create Global Standard


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A merger between two supply chain professional associations, APICS and the Supply Chain Council, will result in stronger and more relevant professional development resources and content for supply chain professionals.

News Analysis


On 29 April 2014, the supply chain professional organizations APICS (the Association for Operational Management) and the Supply Chain Council announced plans to merge. Both are membership associations dedicated to supply chain performance research, frameworks, education and professional certifications. The Texas-based Supply Chain Council, which offers Supply Chain Operations Reference Model (SCOR) certification, will be integrated into the operations of Chicago-based APICS (formerly the American Production and Inventory Control Society), which offers Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certifications. The transaction is expected to close in July 2014.


The addition of the Supply Chain Council and the SCOR model — a cross-functional framework for supply chain — takes APICS beyond its recent forecasting focus and its tactical materials planning roots, and could help it create a global standard for the broader supply chain. More certifications may emerge from the newly combined association to potentially benefit the global supply chain community.

Historically, supply chain professional associations have focused on specific functional disciplines, such as the Institute for Supply Management and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals for transportation and logistics. APICS traditionally focused on planning (such as sales and operational planning, and manufacturing resource planning) and inventory management, and the Supply Chain Council on the SCOR and DCOR models. Although APICS already reaches a global audience, the merger helps it accelerate expansion of its brand and community beyond planning to a more end-to-end value chain orientation. Other potential impacts of this merger include:

  • A reworking of relationships between the newly formed organizations and supply chain consulting practices that rely on both organizations’ content and certifications

  • An altered supply chain training event calendar based on the merging of content and operations

  • Expansion of reliance on APICS for certifications

  • Expanded content and certifications across the value chain

  • Expanded reach for SCOR assets into global APICS partners

  • Consolidation of APICS International Conference and Supply Chain Council Supply Chain World Conference schedules and content, including regional events

Many Gartner clients rely on industry associations for training content and delivery, but state that membership and certifications do not provide complete solutions. The SCOR format is foundational for the industry, but it does not address the many dynamics that companies face as they mature their supply chain capabilities. Nevertheless, supply chain professionals value certifications as a scalable, standardized method for imparting general supply chain knowledge, some skills and a common basic language and process to a wide group of employees — while augmenting certification with other, more customized learning and development formats.


  • Current APICS and Supply Chain Council members: Plan to attend APICS certifications, training and conferences for which you are registered, as they will be held. Confirm the timing of Supply Chain Council training sessions, as the event schedule may be slightly altered.

  • Prospective APICS and Supply Chain Council members: Invest resources with confidence, as the Supply Chain Council’s intellectual property and approach will be part of a more viable global organization.

  • Consulting organizations and universities: Continue to use APICS certifications and the SCOR model, which are safe, solid and growing assets.

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