Facility Tours

Always one of the most popular elements of the conference, facility tours give you an inside look at a local supply chain in action. Facility tours typically are led by company employees and located close to the conference. All tours are $79 for conference attendees and include transportation.

Below is a sample of last year's APICS 2018 tour offerings.

Lagunitas Brewing Company
Tour departs at 12:15 p.m.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, founded in Petaluma, California in 1993, opened a new $26 million, 300,000 square foot brewery and taproom in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood that began producing beer in April, 2014. Chicago was a natural choice for expansion — the geographically central location allows for faster access and reduced transportation costs to Midwest and East Coast markets. Equipped with a 250 barrel brew house and capacity for 600,000 barrels, the Lagunitas brewery is Chicago's largest. This tour includes a tasting of some of the Lagunitas beers as well as a walk around the expansive brewing and processing plant to learn about the company's history, brewing philosophy and how some of the beer labels and names came to be. In 2017, Lagunitas was the third best-selling craft beer in the United States. Must be 21 and over to participate. 

McCormick Place
Tour departs at 1:00 p.m.

Attracting close to three million visitors each year, McCormick Place is the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America. Located on Chicago's lakefront minutes from downtown, McCormick Place offers 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, 173 meeting rooms, one of the largest ballrooms in the world and the 4,249-seat Arie Crown Theater. This tour provides a glimpse into the operations of one of the most successful convention center campuses in the nation. It begins with express transport from the Hyatt Regency Chicago via the McCormick Place Busway, which uses below-street level roadways and the railroad right-of-way to transport attendees from downtown hotels directly to the convention center. Once there, particpants will gain an inside look at a variety of programs and projects in action. 

Tour departs at 1:00 p.m.
mHUB is Chicago's innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing, with 10 unique fabrication centers for product design and rapid prototyping. Tour attendees will see centers for 3D printing, electronics, laser cutting, metal fabrication, plastic molding, testing and precision measuring, textiles, welding and grinding, a wet lab, and wood shop. You'll visit mHUB's microfactory that accommodates on-site low volume production runs. mHUB fosters connections between manufacturers, university researchers and Chicago's entrepreneurial community of makers and technologists, not to mention investors eager to support new businesses. By galvanizing these connections, mHUB ensures that the Midwest's manufacturing industry continues to grow, lead, and reduce the cost and barriers to entry for physical product innovation. 
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Chicago Tribune Printing Center
Tour departs at 8:00 a.m.

The Chicago Tribune Freedom Center is the massive facility where the Tribune (and many other newspapers) are printed. This private two-hour tour provides a look inside this busy printing plant along the Chicago River that houses 10 presses, a newsprint warehouse, a state-of-the-art press plate room, and multiple inserting machines that assemble the finished newspapers — with hundreds of distinct pieces targeted to different customers. You'll see the printing presses, press plates and enormous paper rolls that are brought in by train and by truck and stored in the cavernous warehouse, and come away from this tour with a new appreciation for all that goes into printing the daily newspaper.

UI Labs
Tour departs at 8:00 a.m.

UI Labs is an innovation accelerator that leverages a network of hundreds of partners from universities and industry (represented by the “UI" in its name), along with startups, government and community groups, all working together to address problems too large for any one organization to solve on its own. UI Labs' mission is to transform industries using digital technologies. UI Labs' existing innovation platforms – the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, and City Tech – focus on manufacturing and infrastructure respectively, and UI Labs looks forward to adding additional platforms. Attendees will see the UI Labs Future Factor that demonstrates the application of digital technologies to legacy industries and how technology will bring them into the 21st century. 

Hyatt Regency Chicago
Tour departs at 10:00 a.m.

Tour the back of the house at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the APICS 2018 headquarters hotel, and gain an insider’s view of how a busy convention hotel in one of the largest cities in the country handles the influx of day-to-day demands. During this tour, you'll learn about the operations and logistical coordination that flows between the hotel's many departments including housekeeping, laundry, vendors, food storeroom and inventory control. Go behind the scenes of what it takes to make meetings and events happen and see the luncheon for our own conference being prepared in the kitchen. The Hyatt Regency Chicago was constructed in 1974 and a second tower added in 1980 for a total of 2,019 rooms. Standing at 365 feet tall, the towers are connected by an above-ground skywalk and an underground concourse. 


Jardine Water Purification Plant
Tour departs at 10:00 a.m.

The City of Chicago’s Jardine Water Purification Plant is the largest capacity water filtration plant in the world and supplies almost a billion gallons of water each day to consumers in Chicago and its suburbs. Located just north of Navy Pier, the plant draws raw water from intake cribs in Lake Michigan at depths of 20 to 30 feet. Water enters the plant's intake basin through a tunnel beneath the lake bed. Your facility tour includes a look at the pumping stations, chemical application and mixing basins, and filtration process comprised of nine precisely graded sand and gravel filters, before the finished water flows from reservoirs into the water distribution system. You'll also learn about current and historical water purification processes (the plant began operating in 1964).

DB Schenker
Tour departs at 1:00 p.m.

DB Schenker is the world’s leading global logistics provider and supports industry and trade in the global exchange of goods through land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management. This tour takes visitors to DB Schenker's air cargo facility near O'Hare International Airport. DB Schenker's Chicago branch provides warehousing and distribution services, crating, specialized container loading solutions, and cooler units for temperature controlled shipments, all of which will be viewed during the facility tour. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to review security controls and other special considerations associated with air freight operations.

Testa Produce
Tour departs at 1:00 p.m.

With roots dating back to 1912, Testa Produce distributes fruits, vegetables and beverages to Chicago foodservice entities like restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, country clubs, sports venues and catering services. Tour participants will see Testa's LEED Platinum certified refrigerated food service facility with sustainable technologies like solar panels, its own wind turbine, solar hot water system, rainwater recovery, LED and sky lighting, a vegetated roof, and CNG and bio-diesel delivery trucks. Known for its commitment to sustainability, you'll learn about Testa's history with green protocols and see onsite operations, inventory, distribution practices and procedures, and food safety tracking and control measures. This tour will provide insight into what it takes to be the best in the produce distribution business while doing good things for the community and the environment. Please do not wear high heels or jewelry.  A jacket is recommended. 

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Soldier Field
Tour departs at 1:30 p.m.

Come experience a journey through the historic and the modern-day Soldier Field, dedicated to the men and women of the armed services and home of the Chicago Bears. Soldier Field is also host to world-class concerts, college football, international soccer, and rugby, along with a variety of other events. You're invited for a behind-the-scenes tour of Soldier Field that includes an up-close look at the field, south courtyard, Doughboy statue, visitor's locker room, skyline suite, and the colonnades, the iconic original columns from 1924 have been preserved during every Soldier Field renovation. The tour begins with a brief video that takes you back to the years of Soldier Field’s Golden Age.  No videotaping allowed.