Name: Eric Eckel
Title: Assistant Department Manager, Product Marketing and Development
Company: Discount Tire
Certification Obtained:  CPCM

How long have you and your company been members of the CMA?
Discount Tire has been a member of the CMA for over 2 years now. I was part of the initial group.

Why did you decide to become certified?
The CMA and the certificate training material has allowed me to grow a new perspective on Category Management. As a company, we continue to grow and challenge ourselves to be better. This program and the material offered has allowed us to grow and learn.

What was the most interesting thing you learned as you completed the training and certification?
My favorite modular was focused on Category Definitions. I believe most companies generally know what they sell and who they sell it to. It is the “why” that is difficult to understand. The training material showed me simple approaches, with hands on training, to help me define segments within our product offerings. This segmentation will allow us to know more about the consumer purchasing the product and what they truly need.

How do you feel you will use this certification in your current role?
Having the certification and the training required to gain the certification will allow us to make purposeful decisions faster. Utilizing the CMA approach, we’ll be able to fully understand our categories and the customers they serve.

What advice would you give someone considering completing the training and certification?
My advice to anyone taking the courses offered by the CMA/SIMA is to take your time and try to apply the lessons you are learning to your day job. That practical application will embed the training into your daily work and make you more effective, quicker. It will also help on the exam since you can refer to real life examples of the training material.

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