CPIM Certification and Upgraded Skills Position Company for Growth


Zodiac Aerospace is a world leader in aerospace equipment and systems for commercial, regional and business aircraft, as well as helicopters and space applications. The company is also a key player in air safety. It anticipates and supports the needs of its clients by responding to the new challenges of the market. Zodiac Aerospace businesses employ over 30,000 people worldwide with 300 of them working in its Wall Township facility in the Zodiac Aero Evacuation Systems (ZAES) business unit.

ZAES contacted NJMEP in 1999 to elicit their assistance with a particular manufacturing problem within one of its processes. Since that time, ZAES has sought out the assistance of NJMEP whenever they needed assistance with a manufacturing problem. Most recently, NJMEP assisted the company with its Lean initiatives. Initially NJMEP conducted a Lean 101 seminar for employees, and then assisted the company in conducting kaizen events in its Raft Department. At the same time, training in S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning), establishing an Inventory Management system and conducting the first round of CPIM training was taking place. Over the years, NJMEP became ZAES’s first choice for manufacturing assistance and training.



When the company wanted to prepare its purchasing staff to certify to APICS CPIM and upgrade its Engineering Departments skills ZAES once again contacted NJMEP.

The Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) is an APICS program that provides company employees with the ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory activities within a company’s global operations. APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Having ZAES’s purchasing staff CPIM certified was very important to the company.



NJMEP, working closely with ZAES, constructed a plan to achieve the company’s objectives—CPIM certification and upgrading the skills of the engineering departments.

To help defray these new training costs, NJMEP recommended applying for a Skills4Jersey grant. The grant was awarded and training began. Over a course of one year, CPIM certification training was conducted as was additional Lean training.

The three sessions of APICS training focused on Logistics and Materials management. The additional training under the grant included:

  • Supply Chain Overview Training
  • Yellow Belt Training
  • MRP (Materials Resource planning)/ERP Overview Training
  • Lean Manufacturing—Project Management/Design Flow and Cellular Flow Manufacturing w/Implementation
  • Design for Six Sigma
  • Root cause analysis
  • ESL (intermediate level) (18)

All total, 62 employees received the training. As a result of the investment in training, ZAES improved its competitiveness by improving product quality and reducing lead times. It also opened the door to new sales channels and assured the company of maintaining its current client base. Employee morale also improved.



Six to 12 months after completing the CPIM certification training and upgrading the Engineering Department skills, the company was surveyed for NIST. ZAES reported the following impact as a result of the training:

  • Over $1,000,000 in Retained Sales
  • Significant General Cost Savings
  • Over $50,000 in Training Cost Savings as a result of the Skills4Jersey grant
  • Almost a $100,000 in additional dollars were invested in training

The company also invested:

  • In equipment
  • And new products and processes

ZAES’s VP of Human Resources, Scott Ernst reported, “We completed a Workforce Development training project with NJMEP. As a result, we’ve seen tremendous improvements. We were able to hire 15 additional employees and retain 10 jobs. We have been working with NJMEP for almost fifteen years on various projects. Their knowledge and expertise is invaluable; we will continue to maintain a relationship and appreciate all they have to offer for manufacturers in the state of New Jersey.”


NJMEP’s Main Service Areas:  

  • Business Development Services
  • Contingency and Emergency Planning
  • Destination Innovation
  • Energy Alliance Program
  • ExporTech™
  • Human Resources Solutions
  • Lean Business Solutions
  • Quality Management Systems & ISO
  • R&D Tax Credits
  • Six Sigma
  • Supply Chain, Transportation and Logistics Services

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