In 2009, I was proud to earn my Certified Pricing Professional (CPP) designation. I was first in ARDEX Americas to reach CPP status. Today, we have over 20 CPPs in the company and half a dozen more professionals studying hard to join the group. Today I am still very proud to be a member of an exclusive group of CPPs who have earned the right to place these three letters at the end of their names. The aim of this short paper is to share my views about the value of the CPP designation and why it is important to have more CPPs directing pricing activities in firms around the world.
Over the past few months, I have spoken with many pricing professionals who were considering the CPP process and I have strongly encouraged them to attain their designation. I have no hesitation in saying that this is the only designation that can bring your pricing career and your company's pricing success to the next level.
1) Unique Designation Known Around the World
CPP is a unique designation that you cannot get anywhere else. The process is terminal, meaning that you have to pass the exam to obtain the certification, to be able to add CPP next to your name and to join the exclusive group of CPP pricing experts. The process is not just a training class. It is a professional process consisting of courses and workshops - including a thorough review of all pricing concepts and methods - which is punctuated by a comprehensive exam. As a business executive, I strongly believe in professional certifications versus regular executive education programs. Whether you pursue a Six Sigma belt or the CPP designation, it shows employers and peers that you are serious about professionalizing and improving your skills. There is no other pricing program in the world that can offer you this designation and this is why I obtained my CPP in 2009.
2) Strong Knowledge Foundation
The CPP program covers all necessary pricing curriculum, including the critical aspects of business profitability, organizational dimensions of pricing, and technological aspects of pricing. The overall content is rich in methods, concepts and theories that will equip you to make superior pricing decisions.
While you can choose CPP online-courses and workshops that match your interests, challenges or learning objectives, the CPP manual is a set curriculum with 14 chapters covering pricing from multiple angles. These 14 chapters have been written by the PPS faculty and have been validated by some of the best practitioners and scholars in the field. The content of these chapters is regularly refreshed to properly integrate new concepts, theories and best practices.
The CPP process gives you a strong pricing foundation in all important theories, concepts and methods in pricing and value management. You will learn the vocabulary and terms necessary to be fluent in pricing. At ARDEX Americas, we have used the CPP process to bring everyone to the same level of knowledge and vocabulary. This is why sales managers, financial staff, operations leaders and marketing professionals have become CPPs. We all speak the same language and can move faster in our pricing transformation towards pricing excellence.
3) Access to the Best Experts in the Pricing Sphere
While pursuing your CPP designation, you have the option to attend pre-conference workshops or online courses. In both cases, courses are given by world-class experts you might not otherwise have a chance to have access directly. These experts are the best brains in the pricing space and have strong connections with the Professional Pricing Society. New courses on relevant and innovative themes are added constantly and new speakers are added to the roster based on their skills and experience in the field. You will have access to unique content from the best consultants, practitioners and scholars in the world. You cannot get this level of content and access anywhere else!
4) Very Flexible Process
The CPP process is designed to be flexible in many ways. You can select workshops to interact with faculty and network with your peers. You might prefer to choose the online process and watch online courses at your own pace and anywhere you want. These courses are available on demand. You also have access to an expansive library of content. I recommend to my staff to go through the process in 12 months. Some of them have done it in less and others in more. You can pace your CPP training to reflect the reality of your work and personal constraints.
The CPP designation is earned. It is not a difficult process but it is not easy either. You have to take the process seriously and earn the right to place CPP next to your name. People often ask me how difficult it is or how much time it requires. I always respond by saying that I take everything I do seriously and give it 100%. The question is not how difficult it is but how valuable it is. I say without hesitation that CPP designation differentiates you from the pack and show that you are a pricing professional. Be bold, become a CPP!
Stephan Liozu is President and CEO of ARDEX Americas, an innovative and high-performance building-materials mid-sized company located in Pittsburgh, PA. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Management at Case Western Reserve University and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.stephanliozu.com.