APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management.
Think Supply Chain

Think Supply Chain

Leading the supply chain conversation

Join the supply chain conversation with Sharon Rice, executive director of the APICS Educational and Research (E&R) Foundation. Explore topics including the role of supply chain planning in corporate success, how sustainability and corporate social responsibility enable the bottom line, global supply chain risk management, and more. Comments are welcome. 


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Job Market Sees Increase in High-Paying Jobs

by APICS Staff | N/A 2012 | 12 | 21
Job Market Sees Increase in High-Paying Jobs

Recovery in the US job market is not just happening in lower-wage areas, CNN Money reports. While restaurants and retailers are adding jobs at a good clip, a significant portion of the gains in the last two years are in factories, health care, and professional and technical services__a broad category that includes accountants, lawyers, architects, and computer engineers. These industries tend to pay more than the median wage of $16.57 per hour.

Manufacturing jobs requiring advanced technical training also are coming back. Manufacturing workers are not cheap__the average wage for assembly workers at automobile factories in the United States is $25 per hour.

“Since the end of the recession, we’ve had almost 500,000 jobs created in manufacturing, and almost all of those jobs have come from the durable goods sector__primarily aerospace, motor vehicles, metals, computers, and machinery,” says Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Those are high-wage jobs.”

Automotive Industry Lagging at GM 

General Motors is profitable in every part of the world except Europe, where it remains on one of the longest negative streaks in the industry, the New York Times reports. The company announced its total third-quarter earnings fell 14 percent due to losses in Europe as well as tighter profit margins in North America.

Auto sales in Europe are at their lowest levels in nearly 20 years. However, unlike many of the other carmakers in the European marketplace, GM has a long record of loss on the continent, down $16 billion in the last 12 years.

In order to cut costs, GM’s plans include shortening workweeks, performing better inventory management, reducing bottlenecks, and eliminating production when there are no dealer orders.

Apple Reveals Risk Management Factors

Under what scenarios might Apple go out of business? While the company has had unprecedented success, its leaders also must spend time thinking about the company itself. Those leaders have some ideas, as revealed in a required Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Business Insider reports. The risk factors that could contribute to Apple’s demise include

  • increasing instability in the global economy
  • product design failure
  • getting out of touch with consumer wants and needs
  • higher prices from component suppliers
  • losing patent lawsuits
  • retail and cellular partners closing doors or becoming less collaborative
  • government regulations.

Apple also reports wilder potential scenarios, such as nuclear disaster, public health crises, and attacks from hackers.

Greenpeace Investigation Leads KFC to Cut Ties with Paper Manufacturer

Add KFC to the growing list of businesses committed to using only sustainable paper sources. Greenbiz reports that a recent Greenpeace investigation revealed some of the chain’s UK packaging contained rainforest wood made by Indonesia-based Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the largest paper providers in the world and a company with a litany of accusations that its paper sourcing is unethical.

Now, KFC states that its paper will come only from suppliers who can “demonstrate sustainable forestry management throughout their supply chain and that are not actively involved in rain forest clearance.” The company’s goal, eventually, is to use 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council certified materials.

KFC follows the example set by other major global brands, including Disney, Mattel, Nestlé, Xerox, Kraft, Unilever, and Dannon, all of whom have announced they would cut ties with Asia Pulp & Paper.

Establishing Career Guidance and Skills Supply Chain

Schools, colleges, and universities should be more active in assisting students in finding work after graduation, going so far as to establish a “skills supply chain” between the schools and local businesses, writes Tessa Stone for the Guardian. Career guidance at every stage in life, in fact, is a critical factor in social mobility.

Ideally, schools, career guidance professionals, charities, and employers would work together to help students choose the right classes and study paths that serve their interests and abilities. They would also work to expose students to the actual experiences of a variety of careers and provide the skills and contacts needed to achieve them.

Collaboration and clear distribution of responsibilities is necessary to ensure true career mobility for students, Stone writes.

e-News Solutions

Upcoming Webinars

APICS Vendor Webcast: Streamlining the S&OP Process, sponsored by Logility
Bryan Ball, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Supply Chain Management, AberdeenGroup 
Karin Bursa, Vice President, Logility
December 5, 2012
Time: 11:00 a.m.-noon ET

Click here to register.

APICS Extra Live: Supply Chain Sustainability: Strategic Implications for the Consumer Goods Industry
Marco Ugarte, Ph.D., CPIM, CSCP, CQIA, Research & Business Development Manager, The Sustainability Consortium
December 13, 2012
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. CT

Click here to register.

Webinars On Demand Available

APICS Extra Live: Defining and Achieving True Supply Chain Agility
Watch the webinar now.

APICS Vendor Webcast: The Right Ingredients for Supply Chain Success [Sponsored by Logility]
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Watch more APICS webinars on demand.

APICS folios Explore APICS folios

Assess supply chain risk, develop your organization’s supply chain strategy and sustainability, and understand how you can successfully implement or grow your organization’s sales and operational planning process with APICS folios. 

$19.95 APICS member - Save 50%
$39.95 nonmember

Discover the new 2012 APICS Supply Chain Risk and Reward Folio

Optimize your supply chain by minimizing risk while maximizing reward. This APICS folio contains valuable tools to aid informed decision making, including

  • Monte Carlo simulation exercises
  • Value at Risk (VaR) examples
  • a risk-reward scoring chart
  • a checklist for identifying, assessing, and mitigating risk
  • articles from the award-winning APICS magazine. 

Explore the APICS Supply Chain Risk and Reward Folio: Measuring Risk in Your Supply Chain for real-world perspectives on risk management best practices and innovations.

APICS Supply Chain Sustainability Folio: Uncovering the Triple Bottom Line
Supply chain and operations management professionals are increasingly called on to carry the torch of innovation to reduce costs, demands on resources, and waste; while increasing the reuse of existing assets, and enabling lean operations. Employing sustainable practices is critical to meeting these business needs.

APICS Supply Chain Strategy Folio: Make the Most of Supply Chain Strategy
Understand challenges and identify areas where senior management and operations management can work together to maximize the effectiveness of your supply chain strategy. Access this APICS folio to delve into critical supply chain functions and tasks that may not be effectively supporting your supply chain strategy.

APICS Supply Chain Risk Folio: Protect your Business with Risk Management
Mitigate and anticipate supply chain risks at your organization—from rising and falling demand to natural disasters, market uncertainty, and varying levels of trust among supply chain partners. Purchase this APICS folio to identify tools to deal with risk at your organization.

APICS S&OP Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage. Purchase this APICS folio to understand how you can enable your organization’s bottom-line effectiveness with S&OP.

Access APICS career development resources
Use APICS career packs to understand your career path and next steps, evaluate candidate qualifications, or establish consistency across your organization's hiring.

Free! APICS member
$29.95 nonmember 

  • Individuals seeking to advance in one of the career pack job title areas can evaluate their knowledge and skills, plan their next steps, and identify areas for improvement and growth.
  • Hiring managers seeking qualified candidates can identify specific knowledge, skills, and experience required when evaluating prospective employees and building job descriptions.
  • Organizations interested in developing their workforce can create consistency and establish required competencies for individuals in each of the career pack job title areas. 

APICS career packs:

For each job title, APICS career packs compile essential information to help you understand the job role, including

  • career path information
  • core competencies required of qualified candidates
  • job descriptions and keywords
  • how to use job titles and descriptions.

Download the APICS members-only report 2011 S&OP Practices and Challenges and purchase the APICS Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion 
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage, and—more and more—are expected to do so to enable their employers' bottom line profitability.

Supply chain professionals: Take the APICS CSCP Learning System Free Demo today
By earning the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, you will demonstrate significant commitment to your profession and your career, distinguish yourself as an industry expert, and excel with your newly acquired specialized knowledge.



APICS CPIM exam study options
APICS offers a variety of study options to help candidates prepare for the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) exams and enables them to choose the option that matches their preferred learning method.

Instructor-led courses
For students who learn best in a classroom-based environment, there are instructor-led courses.
Find courses at your local APICS chapter or find an APICS partner outside North America to find courses in your area.

Online certification review courses
Online courses are ideal for professionals who enjoy taking a structured class, but need more flexibility.

Other APICS self-study options
APICS offers a wide variety of tools for candidates interested in studying on their own, including the
  • APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual
  • APICS CPIM practice questions
  • APICS CPIM study notes.

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