The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) has launched a warehousing certificate program developed in partnership with logistics real estate firm Prologis Inc. to prepare workers to fulfill the record number of warehousing jobs available now and in the future.
The Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate program provides individuals with an extensive overview of warehousing, distribution, inventory management, product storage, packaging, shipment and sustainability. The number of workers in the U.S. warehousing and storage subsector has reached record highs, ASCM said, with more than 1.4 million workers supporting the industry currently, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, the transportation, warehousing and related fields, which were the second-highest jobs growth sector in the U.S. during the month of August, are projected to have 600,000 new openings by 2029.
“The use of e-commerce skyrocketed at the beginning of the pandemic when we went on lockdown and then kept rising even when in-person shopping was possible,” ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi said. “In addition, the industry has had to shift from just-in-time to just-in-case, resulting in more warehouses than ever before. The skills covered in this program are essential for supply chain professionals in the warehouse and out.”
The ASCM Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate program is beneficial for entry- and mid-level warehousing workers, as well as professionals already working in sourcing, purchasing, supplier relationship management or contract management, and people looking to get into the supply chain field. There are no prerequisites for the program.
“The ongoing labor shortage is creating havoc with the supply chain and in communities across the nation. This program provides jobseekers a solid foundation to begin their logistics career and gives them a competitive advantage in the job market,” said Steven Hussain, vice president of workforce programs and community relations at Prologis. “This is a real-world curriculum designed with input from industry leaders. The program will help logistics companies find the talent they need to continue to grow and meet the evolving demands of the modern economy.”
Individuals who complete the 20-hour online self-paced course and pass the comprehensive 60-question final exam will receive a printable certificate along with a digital badge issued by ASCM that can be displayed on their social media profiles. Earning this certificate shows employers that this individual has the knowledge and capability to take part in the loading and shipping processes and work with common shipping documents, schedule shipments and use various methods to track the shipments, and follow an effective order fulfillment cycle and work to improve order accuracy and efficiency.
Additional skills include using inventory management systems in warehouses and distribution centers to accurately report the quantity and value of the materials received, stored and shipped to customers; categorize inventory and manage the costs associated with holding inventory; manage customer returns; follow environmentally sustainable work practices on the job; implement a structured problem-solving process to deal with problems in warehouses or distribution centers; make appropriate decisions about the use of different types of transportation carriers, understanding their characteristics and the advantages and disadvantages of each, and apply performance metrics to measure the success of a facility in the warehousing and distribution industry.
This is ASCM’s first certificate program developed in a public/private partnership with subject matter experts. Last month, ASCM and the National Retail Federation Foundation introduced a new “Warehouse, Inventory and Logistics” certificate for retail employees.
As the largest nonprofit association for supply chain, ASCM members and worldwide alliances fuel innovation and inspire forward-looking accountability to establish dynamic, ethical and sustainable global networks.