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APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers his viewpoint on supply chain and the latest APICS news.
Letters to the readers of APICS magazine from Senior Managing Editor Elizabeth Rennie and other members of the editorial staff
The official APICS blog features insights, analyses and ideas from experts and APICS leaders to help advance supply chains.
APICS e-News covers hard-hitting topics in a quick-read format to keep professionals up-to-date on the latest supply chain news.
APICS e-News is free for all supply chain professionals.
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This supplement to APICS magazine provides real-world information about solutions proven to enhance functions in supply chain.
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Each week, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers insights into global news and shares his exclusive commentary connecting current events with supply chain topics.
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APICS research cuts through the clutter and brings you critical ideas and innovations in supply chain management, best practices, how-to steps, and practical advice that give you and your organization a competitive advantage.
“Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon” is an industry-focused initiative with research and educational components. The research was conducted by Michigan State University in conjunction with APICS.
Transportation Journal is an APICS academic journal devoted to presenting new knowledge about the supply chain, logistics and transportation fields.
APICS, through a partnership with The Manufacturing Institute, explores how manufacturing and supply chain can attract, retain and advance women.
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The countless interpersonal interactions leaders have every day directly affect team engagement, trust and how much discretionary time and effort employees put forth. As our responsibility level grows, so does the responsibility of those who work for us — and thus the stakes rise exponentially related to how successfully we navigate difficult people issues.......Read More
As the owner of a sustaining S&OP process, it is my role to hold steady our organization’s operational values in the wake of changes such as these. To maintain process stability, I often train coworkers when they transition into their new S&OP roles. ......Read More
Management behaviors are complicated. As David A. Waldman and David E. Bowen explained in their Academy of Management Perspectives 2016 article, “Learning to Be a Paradox-Savvy Leader,” several challenges have arisen for today’s supervisors. Reconciling each of these requirements in isolation is reasonable; however, when they are in combination, it can seem nearly impossible.......Read More
Hiring can be extremely challenging in supply chain management, particularly because of the current skills gap. Luckily, there are some low-cost, high-yield solutions that organizations can implement to attract and land the talent needed to keep their networks operating efficiently.......Read More
As managers, we must maintain awareness of our personal motivation schemes and take care to not assume we understand the motivations of others. We often refer to change-management models to guide actions for our teams, but these can provide an incomplete understanding of the work required, as we often neglect the importance of individual motivation management. ......Read More
The shortage of skilled workers, coupled with more people leaving the workforce through retirement, is creating an imbalance that is especially noticeable in supply chain management. One global study estimates that demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by six to one, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of jobs in logistics will grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. If this deficit continues, the performance of supply chains will deteriorate — especially as they grow in geographical span and complexity.......Read More
Over the course of my career, I spent nearly 50 years in supply chain management. Each time I started a job, I found it challenging to determine what my new company expected of me as a manager. In the 1960s, when there were no computers, manufacturing managers typically rejected the implementation of procedures and disciplines and valued only expediting. By the 1970s, managers had accepted computers, but only for simple accounting functions. Computers were not trusted, so expediting remained the primary objective.......Read More
People often talk about motivation and engagement as if they are the same thing, but they really are not.......Read More
I once consulted with a company in Australia that owned trains and wagons used in the mining industry. During my time there, an employee was transferred to the team with which I was working most closely. On the day of his reassignment, the CEO warned me that this person was overpaid and didn’t really do anything of value for the company: “We’ve given him lots of chances, and this is his last one. If he doesn’t start pulling his weight soon, just cut him loose. The organization leadership is prepared to fire him.”......Read More
Better employee engagement and empowerment remain a mirage for many organizations. Most executives are committed intellectually to these goals; however, on a day-to-day basis, these professionals tend to push cultural niceties further down the list of immediate priorities. Plus, too often businesses ripple through cycles of engagement and empowerment that turn out to be unsustainable.......Read More
Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corporation believes in a people-excellence strategy that focuses on three key areas: extraordinary performance, great people and a winning culture. In 2014, leaders of the Whirlpool Integrated Supply Chain (ISC) organization realized that a technical competency learning gap existed among their employees. ......Read More
This department focuses on the future of supply chain and APICS’s use of futurecasting to develop an ongoing strategic framework, called The Rise. By studying these factors, industry professionals begin to see where the workforce intersects with supply chain’s future. Unquestionably, meeting the needs of both the young and the elderly as well as women—as both professionals and consumers—will be crucial.......Read More
Plexus Corp. provides electronics design, manufacturing, and aftermarket services to companies with mid-to-low-volume, high-complexity products. The solutions offered integrate product conceptualization, design, commercialization, manufacturing, and fulfillment services. Plexus customers include 140 companies in the networking, communications, health care, life sciences, industrial, commercial, and aerospace and defense market sectors.......Read More
Gaining a master’s degree in supply chain management is a great achievement for practitioners and the industry, but how can we encourage students at the high school level to take an interest in the profession and scale its educational heights? A message that I have found to be effective is that supply chain management offers a rare opportunity to make a difference in the corporate world because, unlike most other disciplines, it creates competitive advantage that enables companies to succeed.......Read More
One initiative that has proven to be especially rewarding for both parties is collaboration on graduate program theses or capstone research projects. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Global Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) Network, the typical research project process starts with finding prospective sponsor companies. Each center has an outreach program that companies can join to interact with faculty, exchange ideas, engage in research, and attend special events.......Read More
Years of consulting have taught me that the most perilous time for a small company is when it has grown to a point where it can no longer be managed informally. The founder of the business realizes that it is impossible to keep up with everything without some kind of help but has qualms about suddenly having to share decision-making responsibility.......Read More
Employee empowerment is one of those phrases that tends to make people groan, but it is absolutely not just another bit of business lingo. Empowerment is a key concept to both reducing effort and increasing engagement. After all, when people feel empowered, they are in charge of optimizing their own work processes and connecting with and contributing to business objectives.......Read More
Many industry professionals worry that countless potential supply chain workers have fallen between the employment cracks. This often is a result of the technical advances that lead to new and better products and services yet also cause sudden changes that require people to learn new skills in order to stay gainfully employed. How can supply chain management leaders effectively reach potential employees who have been affected by such innovations?......Read More
At the end of fall semester, one of the last assignments I gave my students at California State University, Fullerton, was an analysis of Boeing’s 787 product launch. Together, we had watched videos about the 737’s just-in-time initiative and the implementation of a moving production line for the 777. Everyone, myself included, has been impressed with these successes. They took incredible amounts of planning, coordination, and cooperation among Boeing’s various departments. So why did such a competent organization encounter years of delays as a result of electrical and software issues, engine failures, fuel leaks, windshield and wing cracks, employee strikes, and a string of other problems with its 787?......Read More
In supply chain, employees are the fuel that powers the business engine. They are the true innovators and the keys to creating positive influences on both the corporate environment and the business overall. It is therefore critical that employers seek the right mix of people to fill the various company roles and keep productivity moving forward. So, when there is an open position, how does a hiring manager identify the best person for the role and the business?......Read More
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