Training Programs for Volatile Metals Markets

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Our affiliate blog site, SpendMatters, recently published a white paper on training and certification options for sourcing professionals. That paper, available here for free download reviews three certifying organizations and describes at a high level, the differences in the various certifications, the specific skills sets each emphasizes and the relative cost benefits. The report is interesting for metals sourcing professionals for a number of reasons.

First, as companies saw their metal purchase spend explode during the first half of this year, training offers a means of picking up additional skills to facilitate the next round of cost savings. The build-out of total landed cost models for global sourcing initiatives or exercises and skills around applying risk reduction techniques to commodity spend can be extremely useful in volatile commodity environments. According to a press release  on the report, only 10% of procurement professionals either have a formal degree in supply chain management/supply management or have a certification. In addition, many of these programs are available via on-line/distance learning which helps to minimize costs and expand the number of professionals within a company that can participate.

If your firm is evaluating training options, ask specifically what skills and exercises can your firm gain through participation? For example, do any of the programs include training around commodity hedging and forward buying? Do they discuss how to effectively use price indexes? Do they teach professionals how technology can help them gain the next round of cost savings? These are just a few questions to consider.

–Lisa Reisman

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