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Professional Development

  • Is Your Supply Chain the Right or Wrong Kind of Invisible?

    • Gary A. Smith
      2018

    I received a call the other day from a colleague, who told me that he and his boss were trying to develop ways to educate their organization on the value of supply chain management. ......Read More

  • Evaluating and Negotiating a Job Offer

    • Rodney Apple
      2018

    During a job hunt, it’s common to spend weeks or even months researching career opportunities, sending out resumes and going on interviews. When you finally receive a viable job offer, you then find yourself in the precarious spot of contract deliberations. How will you evaluate the offer and negotiate the best possible terms?......Read More

  • Closing the Middle East’s Supply Chain Talent Gap

    • Jennifer Storelli
      2018

    Samer Majdi Almadhoun was the recipient of the 2017 APICS Award of Excellence — Diversity and Inclusion Champion, which recognized his work promoting supply chain education and women in supply chain in the Middle East. The 2018 APICS Awards of Excellence will open in early spring.......Read More

  • The Hunt for Supply Chain Talent Continues

    • Richard E. Crandall
      2018

    The shortage of skilled workers, coupled with more people leaving the workforce through retirement, is creating an imbalance that is especially noticeable in supply chain management. One global study estimates that demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by six to one, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of jobs in logistics will grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. If this deficit continues, the performance of supply chains will deteriorate — especially as they grow in geographical span and complexity.......Read More

  • Award-Winning Responsiveness

    • Elizabeth Rennie
      2018

    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

  • What’s a Manager to Do?

    • Randall Schaefer
      2018

    Over the course of my career, I spent nearly 50 years in supply chain management. Each time I started a job, I found it challenging to determine what my new company expected of me as a manager. In the 1960s, when there were no computers, manufacturing managers typically rejected the implementation of procedures and disciplines and valued only expediting. By the 1970s, managers had accepted computers, but only for simple accounting functions. Computers were not trusted, so expediting remained the primary objective.......Read More

  • How REI Built a LEED Platinum Distribution Center

    • Rex Magadia
      2018

    As a young professional, I always value the opportunity to learn from more experienced supply chain managers. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Best, divisional vice president of supply chain operations, and Tiffany Thompson, supply chain strategy manager, at specialty outdoor retailer REI. Since finishing graduate school with an MBA in global supply chain management, I began working at REI part time and have enjoyed learning about the inner-workings of this unique company.......Read More

  • Engage Employees with Corporate Social Responsibility

    • Gary A. Smith
    November/December 2017

    People often talk about motivation and engagement as if they are the same thing, but they really are not.......Read More

  • Investigating the Relationship Between Quality and Sustainability

    • Rex Magadia
    November/December 2017

    When I sat down to write my “Career Launch” department for APICS magazine’s annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) issue, I asked myself which CSR topics are most important for young supply chain professionals. As I brainstormed, I was reminded of a presentation I gave last year with retired U.S. Army Capt. Keith Garvin. He and I had been taking a class called “Sustainable Business Operations” as part of the masters in global supply chain management program at Golden Gate University. At the start of the course, our professor, Shinmei Kiyohara, CSCP, suggested that we dedicate the semester to answering the question, What is quality sustainable sourcing?......Read More

  • Continuously Improving Supply Chain’s Future

    • Jennifer Storelli
    November/December 2017

    My career started in manufacturing operations with PSA Peugeot Citroën and then Ford Motor Company. While working for these automakers, I learned about continuous improvement.......Read More

  • Revealing Hidden Potential

    • Michael McGinty
    November/December 2017

    I once consulted with a company in Australia that owned trains and wagons used in the mining industry. During my time there, an employee was transferred to the team with which I was working most closely. On the day of his reassignment, the CEO warned me that this person was overpaid and didn’t really do anything of value for the company: “We’ve given him lots of chances, and this is his last one. If he doesn’t start pulling his weight soon, just cut him loose. The organization leadership is prepared to fire him.”......Read More

  • Eight Tips for Building a Fellowship Program

    • Jennifer Storelli
    November/December 2017

    For companies looking for ways to give back, a corporate fellowship program provides the opportunity to donate money, employee time and other resources to causes around the world. Here are a few tips from company leaders who manage these types of immersive programs at West Monroe Partners and Merck.......Read More

  • Using Supply Chain Skills for Global Good

    • Jennifer Storelli
    November/December 2017

    “On our first day at Bayalpata Hospital in Nepal, the hospital director looked at the three of us and said, ‘What are three senior pharmaceutical people doing here?’” recounts Bryan Baylis, former associate director of supply chain management at Merck. “We were thinking the same thing.”......Read More

  • Maximize Your Conference Investment

    • Rex Magadia
    September/October 2017

    Attending supply chain management conferences is potentially one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself as a young professional. You’ll learn about the current state of the field and related trends; develop and expand your professional network; acquire new skills; and discover innovative ideas, technologies and approaches. You may even get the opportunity to identify a great career opportunity. But to fully realize these benefits, you need a game plan. ......Read More

  • Cultivating Supply Chain Excellence with APICS Education

    • Elizabeth Rennie
    September/October 2017

    Syngenta is an agriculture company that aims to heighten global food security by helping farmers make better use of resources. Through innovative crop solutions, Syngenta’s 28,000 employees in more than 90 countries work to transform how food is grown, rescue land from degradation, enhance biodiversity and revitalize rural communities.......Read More

  • Understanding Noncompete Agreements

    • Rodney Apple
    September/October 2017

    In today’s job market, noncompete agreements are becoming increasingly common. Employers are using them to protect intellectual property, discourage workers from going to a direct competitor and prevent employees from leaving to start a similar business. Furthermore, gone are the days of noncompetes only being used for key executive positions and product-design and -development roles; employers now apply noncompetes to all kinds of business functions and to full-time, temporary and even hourly employees. ......Read More

  • Distributing Goods and Supply Chain Advice

    • Jennifer Storelli
    September/October 2017

    Curt Reynolds, CTL, started at Iowa State University (ISU) as an architecture major. During his freshman year, he realized that he didn’t have the passion or patience for the freehand drawing involved in the architecture field, so he went to ISU’s College of Business and took several business courses. Reynolds found a transportation and logistics course particularly interesting. After talking with the instructor, who later became his advisor, Reynolds declared the subject as his major.......Read More

  • Counter Business Decay as Your Company Grows

    • Jonathan Thatcher
    July/August 2017

    I am a supply chain manager for a growing company that is quickly becoming a more bureaucratic organization. Management stops useful discussions and information sharing. Our partners are beginning to notice these undesirable behaviors as well. What can I do to counter these negative changes and promote supply chain excellence for my growing organization?......Read More

  • Discover Your Unique Professional Purpose

    • Rex Magadia
    July/August 2017

    We often hear that it is important for a business to have a clear and compelling mission that enables employees to create and attain the company’s vision for the future. The most successful organizations have mission statements that are built on a foundation of values, which guide actions, decisions and strategies. Supply chain management professionals — particularly young professionals — should have such a mission and vision as well.......Read More

  • How to Dazzle at Your Next Interview

    • Rodney Apple
    July/August 2017

    Increasingly, today’s employers are conducting behavioral interviews to assess core competencies necessary for success. The ability for an interviewee to articulate relevant and significant responses that tie in to these competencies while quantifying achievements, is essential. Here’s how.......Read More