Daily Archives: February 21, 2010

Is it Time to Certify?

Let’s be honest. Many certifications in many professions are nothing but bunk and not worth the paper they’re printed on. They exist for the sole purpose of helping the organization or private enterprise that offers them a quick buck for little or no effort. (This is especially true in the technology profession where many of the technologies you can get certified in are bunk to begin with.)

But some of the certifications, especially those offered by reputable organizations or enterprises, are not that bad … and some of them can considerably fatten your pay check. Consider recent findings from both Next Level Purchasing (NLP) and Purchasing Magazine that found that those who possess the SPSM (from NLP) or the CPSM (from the ISM) can earn up to 14% more annually than their peers. In addition, if you’re out of work, it might even considerably shorten your job search. As noted in this recent Certification Update article on Supply & Demand Chain Executive, a recent random sampling of over 100 purchasing manager jobs posted on Monster.com revealed that 20% of those jobs listed certification as a mandatory or desirable qualification. When you consider that only about 10% of professionals in the workforce possess a certification, which also includes the expired APP, CPP, and CPM in addition to the CSCP, SCMP, PPP, SPC, and a few others, a certification does help you stand out from the crowd.

And when you consider that some certifications, like the SPSM can be obtained for as little as $1149, and, if you’re out of work, completed in a few weeks, maybe it’s time to bite the bullet. After all, if it gets you a job faster, and helps you earn as much as 12K more than you might have otherwise, you might as well bite the bullet and get it.

(To be brutally honest, if you aren’t able to earn the basic SPSM, you probably shouldn’t be in Supply Management anyway. It’s not that hard. And if you really want to excel at your job, even the SPSM2 isn’t enough. You’ll need custom courses from industry leaders like Greybeard Advisors or the MPower Group.)

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The Best Supply Chains are Flexible in Design and in the Office

A recent article over on Discovery News that headlined that Employees With Flex Time Put In More Hours is a must-read. Consider the headline findings:

  • working the usual nine to five may not be the ideal schedule for employees or employers
  • workers with flexible hours are not only more satisfied with their jobs, they also work more intensely
  • the findings also apply to remote workers and employees with reduced office hours

Basically, as those of us who work flex, or who have worked in flex environments know, it’s a boon to your business if you’re in a knowledge industry. And it has nothing to do with the quoted theory that the “intensified work effort given to employers is reciprocity for the relaxed schedule”. It has to do with the fact that not everything about life can be scheduled and, as a result, some days, nine-to-five will not be the best time for your employee to work.

Consider the following:

  • your employee gets a 24-hour virus at 1:00 pm on Wednesday
  • your employee’s toddler is ill and his partner is not available until noon on Thursday
  • an accident Thursday morning shuts down the main highway between your employee’s house and your office and triples commute time

If your employee comes into work Thursday morning, how productive is your employee going to be if he comes in

  • sick,
  • worried, or
  • stressed out from road rage

vs. waiting until Thursday afternoon when he’s well, not worried, and not stressed?

If you’ve hired the right employee, who likes his job and believes in the company as much as the company should believe in him, he wants to do a good job and will happily put in the time it needs to get the job done right, even if it means going (significantly) beyond 40 hours once in a while if it doesn’t (significantly) interfere with his life. Instead of 9-5 on Thursday, he’d probably happily do 1-10, or a few spare hours on the weekend. And if he can do it at home, and not have to waste an hour or two on an office commute, he’ll find it easy to find those hours. Most of what we do is not grunt work, it’s brain work, and that work gets done best when we are at are best and not distracted, plain and simple. And when your employees are allowed to control at least some of their schedules, you’ll find that they’ll organize said schedules so that you get their peak productivity times. So loosen up. You’ll be a better organization for it.

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