APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

Strengthening Manufacturing Through Innovation

by APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi CSCP, CPA, CAE | N/A 2011 | 0 | 0
It’s no secret that the world economy is suffering, with many of us in the APICS community feeling the pain profoundly around manufacturing. Last week, the Marketplace Morning Report featured a story on spurring innovation in manufacturing. The report focused on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a US effort to bring together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness. 

“Engineering and manufacturing go hand-in-hand,” Dan Bobkoff reports. “Designers often need to be right next to the lines that make their inventions. Now, [the United States] is falling behind other nations in research and development spending, with implications for jobs, competitiveness, and national security.”

According to Marketplace, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership enables the government to invest in new technologies that are “too expensive and too risky” for one single company to develop. 

US President Barack Obama sees this initiative as an investment to win the future, the White House reports. “Investments will be made in the following key areas: building domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical national security industries; reducing the time needed to make advanced materials used in manufacturing products; establishing US leadership in next-generation robotics; increasing the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes; and developing new technologies that will dramatically reduce the time required to design, build, and test manufactured goods. Leading universities and companies will compliment these federal efforts helping to invent, deploy, and scale these cutting-edge technologies.” 

APICS gets involved

Working closely with President Obama to prepare skilled workers for manufacturing jobs is the Manufacturing Institute, the affiliated nonprofit organization of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).  

The institute recently completed a study that showed more than 80 percent of manufacturers are experiencing a moderate or serious talent shortage in skilled production positions such as machinists and technicians, and 60 percent have a similar shortage in production engineers.

To combat this talent supply problem, the Manufacturing Institute identified several leading industry credentials to serve as pathways, built to industry standards, into entry-level positions in manufacturing. The institute then worked with high schools, community colleges, and four-year universities to make these credentials a part of the basic curriculum.

On Monday, during the 2011 APICS International Conference & Expo, a representative from NAM will announce that the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management and Certified Supply Chain Professional designations have officially been endorsed by NAM as pathways in the field of transportation, distribution, and logistics.

This is monumental news for APICS and its certifications, and we’re excited to forge ahead in this new partnership with NAM and the Manufacturing Institute. More information on what this endorsement means for you will be available next week. 

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.

  • What areas of technology, productivity, and professional development would make good investments in order to improve national and global economies and spur job growth?
  • Is there a talent shortage in your field? Do you see this as a long-term problem?
  • Do you have any professional certifications, including APICS CPIM and CSCP? How has your certification enhanced your career? 

All comments will be published pending approval. Read the APICS Comment Policy.


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.