APICS research cuts through the clutter and brings you critical ideas and innovations in supply chain management, best practices, how-to steps, and practical advice that give you and your organization a competitive advantage.
“Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon” is an industry-focused initiative with research and educational components. The research was conducted by Michigan State University in conjunction with APICS.
Transportation Journal is an APICS academic journal devoted to presenting new knowledge about the supply chain, logistics and transportation fields.
APICS, through a partnership with The Manufacturing Institute, explores how manufacturing and supply chain can attract, retain and advance women.
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This supplement to APICS magazine provides real-world information about solutions proven to enhance functions in supply chain.
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Each week, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers insights into global news and shares his exclusive commentary connecting current events with supply chain topics.
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APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers his viewpoint on supply chain and the latest APICS news.
Letters to the readers of APICS magazine from Senior Managing Editor Elizabeth Rennie and other members of the editorial staff
The official APICS blog features insights, analyses and ideas from experts and APICS leaders to help advance supply chains.
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Twenty years ago, I had an opportunity to tour a number of factories in Japan. I still remember being impressed by seeing kaizen in action. According to the APICS Dictionary, kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement. More specifically, the term refers to continuing improvement involving employees in all areas and levels of the business. At the plants I visited, it seemed that everyone was involved in finding ways to improve productivity, safety and performance. In fact, the cultures of these companies were clearly built around this concept, with workers encouraged and empowered to make small improvements each day.......Read More
Would you like to significantly improve your company’s bottom line? A thorough evaluation of your organization’s indirect spend may yield surprising, significant and relatively quick results.......Read More
The airline industry is fiercely competitive and challenged by rising costs and low margins. Airlines operating in this high-risk marketplace must carefully align their business and operating models. One company working to achieve this objective is Delta Air Lines. After facing significant challenges in the early 2000s, and filing for bankruptcy protection in 2005, Delta now serves more than 180 million customers each year and is ranked as the world’s largest airline by Forbes Global 2000.......Read More
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals is a global specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to managing complexity and improving lives. The company operates in two segments — specialty generics and specialty brands — offering a comprehensive portfolio of specialty generic controlled substances for pain management, substance abuse and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, as well as a broad line of active pharmaceutical ingredients.......Read More
Inside-out thinking describes a focus on processes, systems, tools and products that are designed and implemented based on internal reasoning and intuition. The customer’s needs and perspectives simply aren’t taken into consideration. Rather, company leaders arrive at conclusions and choices based on what they think will be good for the business. Sometimes, these decision-makers think they know what’s best for customers and therefore just move ahead without getting confirmation.......Read More
The face of manufacturing has evolved over the course of centuries from the days of handmade goods to the adoption of water- and steam-powered machines, the invention of mass production, the introduction of electronic automation, and now beyond. Companies that have not kept up with these industry transitions throughout the years often have been forced to close their doors. The ones that evolve survive and thrive. ......Read More
For centuries, goods including food, clothing, houses and weaponry were manufactured by hand or with the help of work animals. By the beginning of the 19th century, though, manufacturing began to change dramatically with the introduction of Industry 1.0, and operations rapidly developed from there. Here is an overview of that evolution.......Read More
For any project, there are an infinite number of things that can go wrong. It’s natural for projects to deviate from their plans or slip into periods of distress. The scenarios under which projects falter can be grouped into 21 common failure modes.......Read More
The best leaders understand that change is essential for their organizations to survive, and the way we change organizations is through projects. Unfortunately, projects today are suffering from epidemic rates of failure — some that are even significant enough to threaten the very survival of a company. This represents a major obstacle to businesses working to execute their strategic visions.
For thousands of years, technology evolved at a snail’s pace. Generation after generation lived essentially as their parents did, and, when innovation did occur, the rate of adoption depended on the speed of your horse. However, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have jumped from a technology curve that was somewhat linear in nature to one that is on an exponential upswing.......Read More
Integrated business planning (IBP) transformation has become a strategic mandate at many of today’s most successful companies. IBP is a best-practice model that extends the principles of sales and operations planning to delivery a seamless management process.......Read More
Your organization’s new strategic supply chain program has stalled. Process-improvement projects are abandoned, and employees are checking boxes at best and checking out at worst. Of course, these are all symptoms of the deeper issues at hand. The real problems actually rest in the makeup of the project team and how well the change management effort has been orchestrated. The good news is that these factors are within your control.......Read More
Supply chain professionals face recurrent and perplexing headwinds as their organizations work to deploy systems and processes across borders. Adding to the usual issues of human resistance to change and the inherent culture challenges of multinational companies, often there also is a divide involving local customs and social norms.......Read More
I have spent my entire career in supply chain. I was a consultant for 20 years, during which time I was involved in virtually every kind of supply chain project imaginable, including process improvement, warehouse layout, inventory optimization, network design, transportation routing and optimization, outsourcing, equipment justifications, software analysis, reorganizations, and key-performance-indicator development. I consulted at firms both large and small for clients in the areas of retail, automotive, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, food and beverage, apparel, and government. ......Read More
Scholar, author, and theorist Deepak Chopra said, “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” Perhaps “chaos” describes the current state of your organization. Maybe your business has been acquired, merged with another firm, ousted its executive team or a key member or two, or been wading through major process changes that executives are trying to instill throughout the organization. If you have been (or if you are going) through any of these scenarios, then my next questions for you are simple: Prior to the chaos, were you listening to your customers? Were you listening to your employees? Are you listening now?......Read More
There once was a business involved in a change management initiative relating to inventory management processes. During this turnaround situation, one of the challenges was to reduce operational costs. ......Read More
We’ve all heard the famous slogan “there’s an app for that.” As more and more people around the globe make use of the mounting list of application software, the providers of such tools will no doubt continue to devise solutions to enhance our lives. As supply chain and operations management professionals, we are similarly focused on enhancing business processes, so perhaps our mantra should be “there’s a process for that.” Better yet: “There’s an improved process for that.” ......Read More
Improvement programs of all kinds increasingly require leaders who are experts at engaging people. Indeed, soft skills are being correctly recognized as part of the “secret sauce” of success.......Read More
Why do organizations find it difficult to implement new ideas and technologies into everyday operations? The initial cost is one impediment; however, there frequently is a hidden resistance to change in the dominant culture of an organization.......Read More
Operations management has diverse and far-reaching applications. University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban applies operations management principles to improve the team’s processes. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, uses operations management principles to better execute his business strategy. ......Read More
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