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Top 11 Distribution manager Certifications

This article explores the best certifications for those looking to become a top distribution manager.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a Distribution Manager in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to excellence and demonstrate that the individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead and manage a distribution center. Certifications also provide employers with assurance that the candidate is knowledgeable in specific areas, such as inventory management, warehouse operations, logistics, and supply chain management. Additionally, certifications can help differentiate a Distribution Manager from other candidates by providing them with an edge over their competition. They can also help build credibility among employers and clients.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Distribution Managers and outlines how they can help to enhance a Distribution Manager's career.

What are Distribution manager Certifications?

Distribution manager certification is a type of professional certification that demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of distribution management. It is designed to help individuals demonstrate their expertise in the field and advance their careers. Distribution managers are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of warehouses, distribution centers, and other facilities that handle, store, and ship goods.

The certification process typically consists of an exam or series of exams that cover topics such as inventory control, order fulfillment, transportation management, budgeting and financial management, customer service, safety requirements, and quality assurance. Additionally, some certifications include courses in leadership development or project management.

Having a distribution manager certification can be beneficial for many reasons. It provides evidence that an individual has the necessary knowledge to excel in their role as a distribution manager. It also serves as a signal of commitment to the profession; since it requires dedication to studying and passing exams, employers may view it as proof that the applicant is highly motivated and reliable. Furthermore, having a certificate can help an individual stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions within the field. Finally, those with a certification may have access to more job opportunities than those without one due to their increased level of expertise.

Pro Tip: When considering a distribution manager certification, make sure to research the requirements for each program and select one that meets your specific career goals. Additionally, make sure to factor in any prerequisites or continuing education credits that may be required for recertification.

Related: What does a Distribution manager do?

Top 11 Distribution manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Distribution managers today.

1. Certified Distribution Management Professional (CDMP)

Certified Distribution Management Professional (CDMP) is a certification program offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). The CDMP program is designed to provide professionals in the distribution industry with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage their business operations. It covers topics such as supply chain management, inventory control, pricing strategies, customer service, and more.

The CDMP program consists of four courses that must be completed in order to receive certification. These courses include: Introduction to Distribution Management, Supply Chain Management, Inventory Control and Pricing Strategies. Each course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of each topic area. The courses are offered both online and in-person at ICPM's training centers across the United States.

In order to become a Certified Distribution Management Professional (CDMP), you must complete all four courses within 18 months of enrolling in the program. After completing all four courses, you will need to pass an exam administered by ICPM before receiving your certification.

The cost of the CDMP program varies depending on which format you choose: online or in-person. The online version costs $2,500 while the in-person version costs $3,000. Additionally, there may be additional fees for materials and supplies required for each course.

2. Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)

Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L). The CLTD certification recognizes professionals who demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of logistics, transportation and distribution.

It takes approximately six months to complete the CLTD certification process. To get certified, individuals must first pass an online assessment that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. After passing the assessment, applicants must then complete a series of courses related to logistics, transportation and distribution. Finally, applicants must submit a portfolio demonstrating their mastery of the material covered in the courses.

The cost for the CLTD certification program varies depending on whether or not you are an AST&L member. For non-members, it costs $1,395 USD while members can receive a discounted rate of $995 USD.

3. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate mastery of the essential knowledge and skills needed for successful supply chain management. The CSCP program is offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), formerly known as APICS.

The CSCP program consists of three components: an online learning system, an exam, and a one-year membership in ASCM. The online learning system includes self-paced courses, practice tests, and other resources to help prepare for the exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as global supply chain strategy, customer relations management, inventory planning and control, logistics and transportation, and more.

It typically takes around two to three months to complete the CSCP program depending on how much time you can devote to studying each week. To get certified, you must pass the exam with a score of at least 70%.

The cost of the CSCP program is $995 USD for non-members of ASCM or $795 USD for members. This fee covers access to the learning system and materials as well as one attempt at the exam. Additional attempts cost extra.

4. Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM)

Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) is a professional certification offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to recognize and reward purchasing professionals who demonstrate superior knowledge and experience in the field of purchasing. The CPM certification requires applicants to have a minimum of five years of professional purchasing experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university.

The CPM certification process consists of two parts: an online exam and a comprehensive application review. The online exam covers topics such as supply chain management, contract law, finance, ethics, and risk management. The application review evaluates applicants’ work experience, education, and other qualifications to ensure they meet the necessary criteria for the certification.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the CPM certification process. Applicants must first register with ISM and pay a $250 non-refundable fee before taking the online exam. After passing the exam, applicants can then submit their application materials for review by ISM’s Certification Board.

The cost of obtaining a Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) certification depends on several factors such as registration fees, examination fees, and any additional training or coursework required to meet the requirements for certification. In total, it typically costs between $1,000 - $2,500 USD to obtain a CPM certification.

5. Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). The CPIM program is designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage production and inventory activities within an organization.

The CPIM program consists of five courses that cover topics such as operations management, supply chain management, demand planning, inventory control, and master scheduling. Each course requires approximately 30 hours of study time. After completing all five courses, individuals must pass two exams in order to earn their CPIM certification.

To get started on the CPIM program, individuals should register for the APICS membership at apics.org. This membership includes access to online study materials, practice tests, and other resources to help prepare for the exams. Additionally, APICS offers instructor-led classes that can provide additional guidance throughout the process.

The cost of obtaining a CPIM certification varies depending on whether you choose to take instructor-led classes or use self-study materials only. The cost of self-study materials alone is around $1,000 USD while taking instructor-led classes can range from $2,500-$4,000 USD depending on location and other factors.

6. APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD-APICS)

APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD-APICS) is a professional certification designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the essential knowledge and skills required to effectively manage logistics, transportation and distribution operations. The CLTD-APICS certification program covers topics such as inventory management, warehouse operations, global logistics, transportation management and supply chain processes.

The certification process typically takes 3-6 months to complete. To get certified, you must first register for the exam through APICS’s online system. You will then need to study for the exam using approved materials such as textbooks or online courses. Once you have completed your studies, you can take the exam at an authorized testing center near you.

The cost of the CLTD-APICS certification varies depending on whether you are a member of APICS or not. For non-members, the cost is $495 USD while members pay $395 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam at an authorized testing center.

7. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a globally recognized professional certification for project managers. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and demonstrates an individual's expertise in leading and directing projects.

To become a PMP, you must have at least 4500 hours of professional project management experience and 35 hours of formal project management education. You must also pass the PMP exam, which covers topics such as project scope, scheduling, cost management, quality control, risk management, procurement management and communication.

The PMP exam takes about four hours to complete and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. The cost of the exam varies depending on your country of residence. In the United States it costs $405 for PMI members or $555 for non-members.

In order to maintain your certification, you must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. PDUs can be earned through attending conferences or workshops related to project management or teaching courses related to the field.

8. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a certain level of knowledge and skills in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. It is designed to help professionals improve their process improvement capabilities and increase the efficiency of their organizations.

The certification typically takes between four to six weeks to complete, depending on the individual's learning style and availability. To get certified, one must first take an online or classroom-based training course which covers topics such as Lean Six Sigma principles, project management, data analysis, problem solving techniques, and more. After completing the course, one must then pass a written exam in order to receive the certification.

The cost of obtaining a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification varies depending on the provider and type of program chosen. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500 to over $2,000 USD for both online and classroom-based programs.

9. International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Certified Logistician

The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Certified Logistician is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of logistics professionals. It is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the field of logistics.

To become a SOLE Certified Logistician, individuals must have at least five years of experience in logistics or supply chain management, and pass a comprehensive exam administered by SOLE. The exam covers topics such as inventory control, warehousing, transportation, materials handling, customer service, and international logistics.

The cost for the exam varies depending on the country in which it is taken. In the United States, it costs $395 USD. The exam typically takes about three hours to complete and results are available within two weeks after completion of the test.

In order to maintain certification status, certified logisticians must complete continuing education credits every two years and pay an annual fee of $50 USD. This fee helps cover administrative costs associated with maintaining certification standards and provides access to exclusive resources from SOLE's network of industry experts.

Overall, becoming a SOLE Certified Logistician demonstrates expertise in the field of logistics and supply chain management and provides recognition from peers in the industry.

10. American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) CPIM

American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) CPIM is a professional certification for individuals who work in the field of production and inventory control. It stands for Certified in Production and Inventory Management. This certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and skills in the areas of production planning, inventory management, supply chain management, quality assurance, and more.

The APICS CPIM program consists of five modules: Basics of Supply Chain Management, Master Planning of Resources, Detailed Scheduling and Planning, Execution and Control of Operations, Strategic Management of Resources. Each module contains several topics that are covered in detail during the exam.

In order to get certified as an APICS CPIM you must pass all five modules with a minimum score of 70%. The exams are offered online or at a Pearson VUE testing center. The cost for each exam is $295 USD.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all five modules depending on how quickly you can study for the exams and how often you take them. In order to receive your certification you must pass all five modules within three years from when you start taking them.

11. American Society for Quality's Quality Engineer Certification

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) Quality Engineer Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and expertise in the field of quality engineering. This certification is designed to help professionals demonstrate their knowledge and skills in quality engineering, and to show employers they have the necessary qualifications to work in this field.

The ASQ Quality Engineer Certification consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical experience requirement. The written exam covers topics such as quality assurance, process control, statistical analysis, reliability engineering, design of experiments, and other related topics. The practical experience requirement requires applicants to have at least three years of professional experience in quality engineering or related fields.

It typically takes about six months to complete the requirements for the ASQ Quality Engineer Certification. To get started, applicants must first submit an application form and fee to ASQ. After submitting the application, applicants will be required to take the written exam within six months of submitting their application. Once they pass the written exam, applicants will then need to complete the practical experience requirement within six months after passing the written exam.

The cost for taking the ASQ Quality Engineer Certification varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or not. For non-members, it costs $415 USD for both parts (written exam and practical experience). For members of ASQ, it costs $305 USD for both parts (written exam and practical experience).

Do You Really Need a Distribution manager Certificate?

The answer to this question is highly dependent on the individual. A Distribution Manager Certificate can be a valuable asset for those looking to pursue a career in distribution management. It can provide an applicant with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to become a successful distribution manager. However, it is important to remember that no certificate or degree will guarantee success in any profession; rather, it is up to the individual to develop the necessary skills and knowledge through experience and education.

For those who already possess some relevant experience in distribution management, a Distribution Manager Certificate may not be necessary. This is because many employers are more likely to hire candidates with experience over those who have only obtained a certificate. Furthermore, some employers may even consider formal education as an advantage when considering applicants for positions within their organization. As such, it is important for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a Distribution Manager to do their research and evaluate whether or not obtaining a certificate would be beneficial for them in the long run.

In conclusion, whether or not an individual needs a Distribution Manager Certificate depends on the person’s existing experience and qualifications. For those without any prior experience in distribution management, obtaining a certificate may prove beneficial as it could provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills required for success in this field. However, individuals with some relevant experience should assess whether or not such certification would be beneficial before making any decisions about pursuing one.

Related: Distribution manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Distribution manager Certifications

Q1: What is a Distribution Manager Certification?

A1: A Distribution Manager Certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates the individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage distribution operations. It includes topics such as supply chain management, inventory control, logistics, customer service, and warehousing.

Q2: How do I become certified as a Distribution Manager?

A2: To become certified as a Distribution Manager you must complete an approved program in distribution management and pass the related certification exam. Programs are offered online and at various colleges and universities.

Q3: What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Distribution Manager?

A3: Becoming certified as a Distribution Manager can help you build your skillset and gain recognition from employers in the field. Additionally, it can help you advance your career by increasing your job prospects and salary potential.

Q4: What qualifications do I need for certification?

A4: Generally speaking, most programs require individuals to have at least two years of experience in distribution operations or equivalent education before they can apply for certification. However, specific requirements vary depending on the program so it's important to research each one carefully before applying.

Q5: How long does it take to become certified?

A5: The length of time required to complete certification varies depending on the program you choose. Most programs take between 6 months and 1 year to complete but some can be shorter or longer depending on your level of commitment and dedication.