Applicant Qualifications

Qualifications Required to take the CS&OP Certification Exam 

Some certifications require the test taker to have reached a given level of formal education and/or to have a certain amount of on-the-job experience before becoming certified. We do not do that for one very important reason, based on the nature of Sales and Operations Planning: S&OP is a highly people-intensive and cross-functional process, requiring virtually all involved people to change significant parts of how they do their jobs. Some of these people, the most important ones, are the Executive Team, up to and including the leader of the business. They must be involved, hands-on, to achieve success with S&OP. 

Therefore, the key attributes of a person to lead the implementation are 
  (1) people skills up, down and sideways; 
  (2) the ability to communicate effectively with top management and to earn – or keep – their trust; knowledge of the company’s customers, products, and processes.

Effective testing for the first two attributes is, to the best of our knowledge, beyond the state of the art of today’s certification exams. 

So what does CS&OP certification mean? It means that the holder of the CS&OP certification has substantial knowledge of Sales and Operations Planning and its components and enhancements: Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Decision-Making Processes, Global S&OP, S&OP in heavily matrixed organizations, and so forth. 

Thus one or several holders of CS&OP might support an Implementation Team Leader who has all of the people skills and company knowledge mentioned above but not S&OP knowledge. The CS&OP holder(s) would provide the process knowledge to back up the Team Leader and could do most or all of the education and training that requires deep knowledge of the S&OP process. In a company already operating S&OP successfully, a CS&OP can be expected to have the knowledge necessary to step right in and start doing the job. 

To sum up: 

CS&OP certification does not qualify an individual to lead the S&OP Implementation or to play other major roles in implementation, re-implementation, or the early operation of the process. 

CS&OP certification does establish that the holder is highly knowledgeable about Sales and Operations Planning and can provide immediate assistance to a company either implementing or operating the process. 

Contact us to learn more about the Sales and Operation Planning testing process.