APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

2012 Will Be Better?

by APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE | N/A 2012 | 0 | 0

Getting back to work in the new year, we are greeted with mixed economic news in the West and the Americas. The Institute for Supply Management reports that manufacturing grew in the United States for the 29th straight month in December. Unemployment fell to 8.6 percent in November, and the dollar is on the up. Canadian stocks are rising. Brazil has overtaken Britain as the world’s sixth largest economy.

But the news is not as promising in Europe, as the sovereign debt crisis continues to make investors nervous. The value of the Euro is declining; imports are down; unemployment is up; and economists are all over the board on how bad the European economic crisis will be in 2012.

In the midst of all this, the need to drive growth remains. As the New York Times reports, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are likely to increase in 2012. In her article titled, “On Wall Street, Renewed Optimism for Deal-Making,” Evelyn Rusli writes, “With stock and credit markets steadier, deal makers are growing confident that 2012 will be better for business.”

Strong growth in emerging economies is also likely to increase M&A activities. As Rusli writes, “The disparities among regional economies is expected to fuel more cross-border transactions in 2012 … After a string of strong quarters, cash-rich corporations in markets like Brazil and China are now bargain-hunting for established brands in developed markets.”

2012 will be better!

How many of you have felt the impact of a merger or acquisition?  In a recent APICS magazine article, Bradley McCollum writes: “while an acquisition may be exciting, the challenges involved frequently are underestimated.”  He adds that integrating operations takes time. Many decisions need to be made, including those that impact the size and characteristics of the workforce.

Several years ago, an APICS champion shared a story with us about a company that was acquiring another company. People at the second company worked hard to get as many of their operations staff an APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation before the acquisition. The reason? They knew that the acquiring company considered CPIM a standard for their own operations staff. Those at the second company wanted to make their own staff as attractive as possible to decision makers during the transition.

The ups and downs of 2011 are likely to continue in 2012. People with APICS certifications can be confident they are recognized as having the skills and knowledge companies across the globe are looking for to manage their operations and supply chains in the face of volatility. If you have not yet earned your APICS CPIM or CSCP credentials, what are you waiting for? But if you have, continuing to maintain your certification is the key to your competitive success, and becoming an APICS member or renewing your membership is the best way to ensure you have the points you need each year.

What will distinguish you in 2012? How will you ensure you are recognized by your current or future employer as an asset they need to protect? We hope enhancing your affiliation with APICS, through certification and membership, is a big part of your 2012 strategy. 

In other news

How APICS Operations Management Now relates to you

Operations management is everywhere. Today, operations management professionals have unprecedented impacts on the global economy. Consider these questions and how today's edition of APICS Operations Management Now relates to you and your career. 

  • From what parts of the world do you foresee a lot of investment in the near future?
  • Have you encountered any mergers or acquisitions at your company or your supply chain partners? If so, how well were they managed?
  • What advantages does your affiliation with APICS or your APICS certifications provide you in tough economic times?

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