APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

Career-Spanning Value

By Elizabeth Rennie |   2014 | 24 | 1
APICS affiliation advances all aspects of professional success

David Starr, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP
Senior Supply Chain Manager
Roche Diagnostics

David Starr, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, was working as a production chemist nearly 25 years ago when he became an APICS member. He joined in order to learn about the different activities and processes that occur behind the scenes in production. “APICS was a way for me to increase my operations knowledge,” he says. “It helped me become more effective at my job by broadening my understanding about the roles and data inputs around me and how they supported my work.”

Starr believes the APICS body of knowledge is particularly valuable for young professionals who are seeking to learn about the overall concepts of effective operations management. “It helped me better understand the interdependencies among planning, shop floor, and production,” he explains. “It taught me key nuggets of information related to material requirements planning, inventory management, capacity planning, and lean.”

Later that same year, Starr earned his APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation; and just four years later, in 1995, he added Certified in Resource Management (CIRM) to his list of achievements. “[These designations were] very helpful earlier in my career,” he says. “They increased my understanding of various business functions, roles, responsibilities, and key interfaces.”

Starr says APICS certifications inspired him to continue his career in operations management and served as a foundation for building on his job performance. “I really love to learn,” he says. “I have worked with many peers and colleagues to help them get APICS certified. It has been very rewarding to watch them grow professionally ... Certification is is a great educational tool that helps employees become more knowledgeable, better prepared, and often more productive.”

The APICS body of knowledge continued to support Starr’s professional goals when he became a manufacturing operations manager. He applied his APICS knowledge to greatly reduce setup times, production cycle times, reworks, and work-in-process inventories. Later, as a materials manager, Starr says his APICS affiliation helped him effectively optimize lot size strategies, reduce days of supply for on-hand inventories, improve customer order fill rate, and greatly cut scrap.

Today, he is senior supply chain manager for Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis, Indiana. There, Starr says he applies the information he studied to earn his APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, as well as the rest of the APICS body of knowledge, to help drive continuous advancement. “APICS prompts me to always view challenges as opportunities for improvement,” he says. “As a medical device company, we have an important responsibility to provide an uninterrupted supply of products so our customers can get the proper diagnosis to help them live better lives. We take this role very seriously and often use the APICS body of knowledge as a tool to help us achieve this high level of customer service without generating excess inventory and scrap.”

Benefiting from peers

Starr also encourages his fellow industry professionals to attend the APICS annual conference. “It supports your APICS education, provides you with an opportunity to meet new colleagues, and allows you to just have some fun with other operations professionals,” he explains. “I have really enjoyed meeting new people in the profession, learning from their work experiences, and keeping abreast of developments within the industry.”

In addition, he has found much success through shared experiences with fellow APICS Central Indiana Chapter members. “Not all work situations are the exactly the same,” he notes. “Meetings and conferences have helped me become more flexible at problem solving while effectively using the fundamentals.”

Elizabeth Rennie is managing editor for APICS magazine. She may be contacted at editorial@apics.org.

We encourage you to share your APICS stories. Visit apics.org/membershipmatters.

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