APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

Enabling and Promoting Excellence

By Elizabeth Rennie | March/April 2014 | 24 | 2

Professional achievement via the APICS body of knowledge

John Westerveld, CPIM
Product Marketing Manager

John Westerveld, CPIM, works for supply chain planning software company Kinaxis. He says having a broad understanding of the APICS body of knowledge, as well as his APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation, were big factors in getting hired for his position there. “My role leverages the APICS body of knowledge every day,” he explains. “We have to build detailed supply chain scenarios in our demo environments, write about supply chain concepts in our marketing material and blogs, and talk about supply chain ideas when we meet with consultants and analysts. APICS has been a strong foundation that allows me to confidently fulfill my role.”

During his time at Kinaxis, Westerveld has held myriad positions—everything from sales support to product management. Today, he is part of the company’s marketing organization. “My primary role is the creation of demo environments to allow our sales organization to show how our product, RapidResponse, can be used to solve various supply chain problems. I also create marketing collateral and contribute to the 21st Century Supply Chain Blog,” he says. “Working at Kinaxis has been a real joy over the past 12 years. There’s always something new, always something to learn. Best of all, the people I work with day in and day out are just amazing.”

Education and training

Attaining his APICS certification has been instrumental to several other key career events for Westerveld, as well. “When I achieved my CPIM, I was working in the industrial engineering group at Boeing Canada. It was interesting work, and I enjoyed it; but I’d always had a fascination with computers. As such, I was excited when a job opening was posted for what they called [material requirements planning] application support … It was a fascinating job, and I never would have been considered if I didn’t have my APICS certification.”

At that point, Boeing Canada policy said that employees must have an APICS certification in order to be eligible to apply for certain higher-pay-grade positions. Because Westerveld enjoyed teaching others, he approached the training department about teaching courses on the APICS body of knowledge to help his colleagues attain their designations. “Many people were interested in taking the courses,” he says. “I taught each of the modules at that time and signed myself up as an APICS qualified instructor. This experience made me much more comfortable presenting to large groups.”

Westerveld continues to enjoy educating today. In his current role with Kinaxis, he and some fellow APICS members teach supply chain concepts to their coworkers via the APICS Basics of Supply Chain Management course. This is one of five modules of the APICS CPIM designation, which includes fundamental concepts in managing the complete flow of materials in a supply chain from suppliers to customers.

In addition, he enjoys participating in continuing education at his chapter. “Some of the things I appreciate the most are the APICS meetings held at our Ottawa chapter,” he explains. “The speakers are almost always interesting, and it’s really nice being able to meet with my fellow APICS members.”

Westerveld himself first earned his APICS certification in 1990. He believes that certification is absolutely critical for anyone who wants a career in supply chain. “It’s proof that you are serious about supply chain and that you understand the fundamentals,” he says. “I’ve been exposed to many companies where people in key positions don’t have that basic supply chain body of knowledge, yet they are making decisions that impact their company’s supply chain. I’d like to encourage more people to pursue supply chain education like that offered by APICS.”

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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