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New Supply Chain Automation Tech Certification to Boost E-Commerce Efficiency

31 Aug, 2020


The nationwide Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) recently announced a new, industry-led, nationally portable "Certified Technician in Supply Chain Automation" (CT-SCA) hands-on training and certification program.  There is an acute national need for these higher skilled technicians due to a mega trend in the retail industry. 
 
As explained by MSSC Chair and President, Leo Reddy, "Driven by COVID-19, the nation's entire retail economy is accelerating its long-term shift towards e-Commerce: orders shipped directly to consumers out of large distribution centers. In response to this challenge and opportunity, the e-Commerce industry is the most willing to increase its investment in automation technologies—according to a 2020 study by Honeywell Intelligrated. The CT-SCA program is designed to provide these companies with higher skilled technicians to ensure that these automated systems are dependable, cost-effective, flexible, and safe."  The non-profit MSSC is the national leader in preparing technicians with the core, industry-wide technical skills needed for front-line work in all sectors of advanced manufacturing and logistics.   
 
Steve Harrington, Industry Liaison at the National Center for Supply Chain Automation, adds, "CT-SCA was built based on a definition of supply chain automation technicians provided by the National Center, i.e., "persons who install, maintain, support, operate or upgrade the automated material handling equipment and systems which operate the supply chain."  Adds Harrington, "Our research confirms that 25% of all U.S. retail spending will be online by 2020, a trend expected to force 100,000 retail stores to close." The National Center's research is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technician Education program.  
 
Amatrol, Inc., the nation's leading manufacturer of industrial technician training and equipment, invented a highly innovative device, called "Skill Boss Logistics," for hands-on CT-SCA training and certification.  According to Paul Perkins, President of Amatrol, "The introduction of the CT-SCA certification could not be more timely. Today's use of supply chain automation is expanding at an exponential rate, causing the need for maintenance technicians who can service these systems to greatly exceed the current workforce supply. This problem is only going to become greater in the coming years unless dramatic changes are made. CT-SCA is going to be the game changer. This certification provides a high-quality means to prepare competent technicians, and its training design will enable organizations to produce technicians at the accelerated rate needed to catch up.  This is a certification that needs to be in every school and every logistics company in this country."
 
To secure industry support for the development and promotion for CT-SCA, the National Center, MSSC and Amatrol partnered with MHI, a trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry since 1945.  George Prest, CEO of MHI, stated, "I would like to add my congratulations to MSSC on the launch of the CT-SCA training and certification program.  MHI has a long history of supporting education and technological innovation.  They are key factors in the success of our membership in building the equipment and the software needed to ensure America's global leadership in supply chain and logistics. We are, and continue to be, pleased to join MSSC in developing and validating the national standards that provided the substantive foundation for CT-SCA. We will support and promote this new, high-quality certification within our membership."
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