APICS education advances career and community
Not too long ago, Harold Guenther Schoenbeck Barillas decided it was timeto identify some new career opportunities. Knowing that APICS wouldoffer him a “sea of information, experience, and know-how,” his New Year’sresolution was to become more involved with the organization.
I had been reading about APICS and hearing successful stories for many years, but never organized myself to have the time,” he explains. “Now, I see myself working even harder on the weekends just so I can catch up on my APICS reading.”
There is no doubt that Barillas works diligently to achieve whatever he sets out to do. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with a specialty in textiles, an MBA, ISO 9000 certification, and a six sigma black belt. In addition, he is working toward his APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation.
Improvements on the job
Barillas currently works as logistical director for Cemaco, a home improvement product seller and one of the largest retail companies in Guatemala. His work includes logistics, warehousing, transportation, international commerce, industrial safety, maintenance, and physical inventory control. He also assists with safety training and support.
He says being an APICS member has helped him demonstrate a higher level of knowledge in his workplace. “In a detailed manner, I have reduced the logistical budget by 23 percent,” he says. Specifically, this significant cost reduction was achieved by more vertically orienting the company’s supply chain, establishing creative strategic alliances with vendors, sharing shipping and cargo routes, and negotiating better freight rates.
“I also made improvements by eliminating non-value-added activities, reducing delivery time by 35 percent, and redesigning processes,” Barillas notes.
His APICS education also made it possible for Barillas to implement new warehouse and transportation management systems. As a result, the company is better able to gain a competitive advantage because its solutions optimize activities through all layers of the organization. Most importantly, Barillas and his team ensure the right goods reach the right people at the right time.
He also says the APICS body of knowledge has enabled him to align and synchronize his organization’s sales and logistical workforces. Being able to set the overall level of output and other key activities makes it possible for Cemaco to satisfy the current planned levels of sales while meeting the profitability, productivity, and lead times objectives.
Barillas believes APICS has given him a great opportunity to grow as a profesional. He used his APICS knowledge to help train staff at many different levels of the organization, to create standard operating procedures and documentation for proper tracking, to right-size each department in his organization by creating job descriptions, and to implement key performance
indicators at throughout the business. In addition, he says his understanding of the APICS body of knowledge helps him stay up-to-date with supply chain management trends and keep abreast of e-commerce shifts.
In his spare time, Barillas volunteers as vice president of the board of directors for his neighborhood association. In addition, he has served more than five years as a volunteer firefighter for Bomberos Voluntarios de Guatemala. Beyond these activities, he also hopes to discover ways to improve his community through his APICS involvement. “As a professional and citizen in Guatemala,” he says, “I need to contribute to my country’s progress and my region’s growth.”
Elizabeth Rennie is managing editor for APICS magazine. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.