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APICS Supply Chain Management Now

APICS Supply Chain Management Now gives exclusive commentary from APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE. This weekly e-newsletter offers insights into current events and supply chain, logistics and operations management topics and how they all relate to the APICS body of knowledge.

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  • Nepal Faces Humanitarian Crisis, Logistics Challenges

    May 01, 2015
    Amid the grim news coming out of Nepal every day following the April 25th earthquake, there are some slivers of hope.
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  • Predicting the Future

    Apr 24, 2015
    Last week, the Washington Post ran a long birthday tribute, not to a person, but to Moore’s Law, which turned 50 on April 19. The Moore here refers to Gordon Moore, the long-term Intel chief executive who predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would roughly double every two years.
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  • Taking Action with Big Data

    Apr 17, 2015
    It seems big data is the “big” thing in business these days, and supply chain and operations management professionals are not immune to the need to capitalize on it. Last week’s article from Bloomberg Businessweek, “Caterpillar Focuses on Big Data With Creation of Unit,” might have a humdrum title, but the news is significant coming from the world’s largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment.
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  • Organic Food Firms Meet Demand with Creativity

    Apr 10, 2015
    As consumers increasingly buy organic, the real challenge for them might be “finding organic” as organic food suppliers go to incredible lengths to secure their supply chains. Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran the article, “Hunger for Organic Foods Stretches Supply Chain,” which highlights what companies are doing to meet demand as organic-food output has failed to keep pace.
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  • Sneaking a Peek at Supply Chain’s Future

    Apr 03, 2015
    Providing a glimpse of what the future holds for supply chain and operations management, the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics last week hosted its 11th annual Crossroads Conference. The conference highlights emerging innovations and how they intersect with supply chain management. We were lucky to be able to send an APICS staff member, who provides the following report.
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  • Learning About and Addressing the Gender Gap

    Mar 27, 2015
    Last night, APICS and the APICS Supply Chain Council were proud to support the 2015 STEP Ahead Awards, an initiative by The Manufacturing Institute that honors women who have accomplished success within their companies and have proven to be leaders or emerging leaders in the manufacturing industries.
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  • Enhancing Trade with Asia

    Mar 20, 2015
    While US President Barack Obama fights for the authority to “fast track” trade agreements through Congress, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is first on his agenda. Last week, the Washington Post ran an interesting argument in favor of the TPP. In “Why Obama’s Key Trade Deal with Asia Would Actually be Good for American Workers,” the authors contend blocking the TPP because of globalization fears would be a mistake.
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  • Criminal Lessons?

    Mar 12, 2015
    I often write about the great value strategic and well-managed supply chains bring to companies. That idea isn’t lost in the world of illicit business. Take, for example, this story from a 2013 edition of Quartz: “Move Over Tim Cook: The real face of global supply chains is a Mexican drug kingpin.”
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  • Supply Chain via Crowdfunding?

    Mar 11, 2015
    The Apple Watch isn’t the only game in town. According to a piece on Marketplace last week, Pebble Time might give Apple some stiff competition. If Pebble’s Kickstarter campaign is any indication, the leaders at Apple should be very worried—Pebble raised its first $1 million in 49 minutes. As I write this, the campaign is up to more than $16 million.
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  • Identifying and Applying Game-Changing Technologies

    Mar 11, 2015
    Earlier this month, Forbes focused on the technologies that will revolutionize manufacturing: mobile technologies and applications, big data analytics, and advanced robotics. The article highlights a November report from SCM World, “The Digital Factory: Game-Changing Technologies that Will Transform Manufacturing Industry.”
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  • The Supply Chain of Product Management

    Mar 11, 2015
    The elephant does look different depending on the proximity of the viewer. The same can be said about inventory. I would like to share some experiences with two viewers, the supply chain manager and the product manager.
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  • Supply Chain Manager Rated Top Job

    Mar 11, 2015
    What do sales engineers, software engineers, database administrators, and supply chain managers have in common? According to online career community Glassdoor, these are among the 25 best-paying high-demand jobs.
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  • Cargo in Rough Seas as Labor Dispute Lingers

    Feb 26, 2015
    Are they operational? Are they not? These are the questions on the minds of supply chain executives all over the world with regard to the ports up and down the West Coast of the United States. Wednesday night the Seattle Times featured the following headline: “West Coast Ports Mostly Shut for Four of the Next Five Days … .” That’s in contrast to the Los Angeles Times report Monday announcing “Ship Unloading Resumes at West Coast Ports Amid Labor Dispute.”
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  • A New Kind of Hero

    Feb 26, 2015
    Who is the real star of Apple’s record-breaking quarter? According to Business Insider, it’s Jeff Williams, the company’s senior vice president of operations.
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  • Supporting Supply Chains of the Future

    Feb 26, 2015
    First there was the Internet, then the Internet of Things, now there is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). According to Steve Banker, a Forbes contributor and service director at ARC Advisory Group, the IIoT has the potential to improve performance and enhance competitive advantage across organization supply chains and entire value networks. That’s the idea that really got my attention. But IIoT still needs to mature as do the applications that go along with it.
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  • Addressing the Training Gap

    Feb 26, 2015
    Last week, US News & World Report featured an article highlighting the experiences of two apprentices learning how to manufacture gas and steam turbines for power plants. Once the apprenticeship is complete, the two will have an associate’s degree in mechatronics and a full-time job at Siemens making about $55,000 a year. While apprenticeships make up 3.7 percent of the labor force in Germany, where Siemens is headquartered, you might be surprised to find out that this apprenticeship program is in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area.
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  • Glimpsing Auto Manufacturing’s Future

    Feb 26, 2015
    While the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was bestowing its awards on some of the world’s biggest stars at Sunday’s Golden Globes, the stars of the automotive world were on display in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show. Taking home the big prizes were the Volkswagen Golf and Ford F-150, the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year.
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  • 3-D Printing Your Supply Chain

    Jan 09, 2015
    Very quickly, 3-D printers have gone from the stuff of science fiction to regular fixtures at universities and local libraries. This week, Wired magazine described how 3-D printers, which now manufacture plastic things like toys, instruments, and shoes, are capable of printing electronics, such as hearing aids.
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  • Partner with APICS in 2015

    Jan 02, 2015
    It’s the time of year when people across the world are making resolutions and declarations for 2015. Many of those pledges have to do with career aspirations, and with good reason. The job market continued to improve in 2014, and the gains were widely distributed across industrial sectors, reports Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. His December 22, 2014, article showed employers adding about 2 percent more employees to their payrolls in the 12 months ending in November 2014.
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