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James Tilton, CPIM
Director of Materials
Draper Inc., Spiceland, IN

“I’ve been able to pursue a much broader and more fulfilling career path in operations, inventory, and supply chain management due to the APICS CPIM.”

Why did you decide to pursue the APICS CPIM certification?

I was working in an ERP Support role primarily working with Purchasing and Production. Our manager suggested we attend a local APICS PDM as the topic was relevant to our work.  I had a chance to learn more about the organization and what it stood for.  I had already been working in a production environment for close to twenty years before I was introduced to APICS. I remember thinking I wish I had access to this information at the beginning of that assignment. I knew I couldn't let another day go by without a fuller understanding of what is referred to as the “APICS Body of Knowledge”. 

How did you prepare for the APICS CPIM exam?

I was fortunate enough to work in a company at a time where there was an "APICS Champion", someone who believed in APICS and supported lifelong learning. This "APICS Champion" brought the CPIM courses in-house to our facility and allowed me to attain my CPIM.  

What was your biggest takeaway from APICS CPIM training?

Looking back at some of the improvements we made in manufacturing during the Pre-APICS awareness days, APICS validated that we were doing the right things.  We didn't have the OMBOK to support our discussions and decisions.  We had to trust our gut and deliver the data.  

How has an APICS certification impacted your career or organization?

I have been able to pursue a much broader and more fulfilling career path in operations, inventory, and supply chain management due to the APICS CPIM. I have had the opportunity, and privilege, to serve at both APICS Chapter and District levels as well as work with and learn from some amazing people.  My CPIM credentials and background were instrumental in developing and implementing new programs here at work. I am also an APICS Certified Instructor for CPIM and Principles.

Have you implemented a supply chain or logistics initiative at your organization as a result of your APICS certification training?

Yes. We have implemented robust cycle count processes and procedures with metrics, leading to multiple material management improvement initiatives. As well, we have reduced inventory levels by approximately $2M, improved planning by reassigning part type/planning parameters, and implemented standardized cross-company Critical Part Shortage reporting system.   

What are other benefits of APICS certification?

Being an APICS CPIM, and maintaining that certification, means keeping current in the operations, inventory, and supply chain management community.  

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