Although APICS might not be the first place finance professionals look for education and career advancement, Lorie Clark Groom, PhD, says she immediately saw the value APICS offered her accounting career. “It was obvious to me that my understanding of the APICS body of knowledge would greatly enhance my skills in any industry,” she says.
Since 2008, Groom has served as controller of Vector Systems in McKinney, Texas. At the process systems design and fabrication company, she manages financial- and accounting-management functions, analyses, and reporting.
With a nudge from then Vector Systems Vice President Ken Smith during her first annual review, Groom began her journey with APICS. “He said, ‘Since you enjoy the manufacturing environment, you might want to look into APICS and the certifications it offers,’” she recounts. “So I looked up the organization and what I could gain from membership, and it was a no-brainer.”
After attending a few professional development meetings, she was introduced to a whole new world of ideas and thought processes. Groom join the APICS North Texas Chapter, which led her to attend the March 2011 6-Packed Supply Chain Conference. There she learned about detailed scheduling and planning. “I returned from that conference armed and ready to modify, streamline, and correct our limited raw materials inventory processes,” she says.
In 2012, she also attended the APICS annual conference in Denver where she pursued the Risk Management Education Certificate. “I was thrilled to see that the processes and methods utilized in financial areas were being applied, standardized, and taught for all departments and supply chain components,” she recalls.
Groom found a way to share her skills with others through APICS volunteer opportunities. She has served as the treasurer of the APICS North Texas Chapter for the last 4 years. “Because accounting and finance is what I do for a living, being able to offer those services to the chapter is a great experience,” she says.