Supply-chain professionals are
seeking certification on a global scale.
South Korea has the second-highest
number of CPSMs, after the U.S.
Novak encourages students to take the
exam as they finish their senior year,
or by the second year of their MBA
programs. The whole process can be
completed in three to six months. “I
say, go test,” Novak urges.
The Benefits of
Advanced Analytics at
Tim Rey, director of advanced ana-
lytics with Dow, offers a glimpse into
that company’s use of analytics and
complex mathematics to examine
multiple areas of its global supply
The application of advanced analytics
requires substantial resources drawn
from multiple parts of the organization.
“It’s a balance of people, process, meth-
ods and technology,” says Rey. Individ-
uals must be highly trained in math,
machine learning, forecasting, simula-
tions and operations research, to name
a few key areas.
At Dow, many of the people who
participate in advanced analytics have
a background in research and devel-
opment, where they were already
doing mathematics and modeling for
manufacturing processes. Most pos-
sess advanced degrees, says Rey.
Experts in Six Sigma and master black
belts can be of great help in the effort.
While the concept of advanced
analytics isn’t new, it hasn’t been
applied to the business side of the
organization until relatively recently. A
handful of universities are beginning
to certify students in that area. Dow is speeding the development
of the discipline by bringing in graduate students and putting
them to work on the analysis of business processes. The com-
pany has already done a wide range of work in areas such as
fraud detection in auditing, strategy, portfolio optimization, fore-
casting and modeling, purchasing cost forecasting, and the use of
purchasing decisions to minimize cost.
It’s essential to get access to data as quickly as possible, Rey
says. “Waiting six to nine months for a report to be available
doesn’t work.” Commercially available software can help; com-
panies don’t need to build optimization algorithms from
scratch. In any case, says Rey, one needn’t wait for all corpo-
rate data sources to be structured before undertaking an analyt-
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