Blog

APICS Global Exam Delivery (GED) Updates

As you may have heard, APICS is hard at work finalizing processes and tools to support the forthcoming APICS Global Exam Delivery (GED) deployment, which will move to computer-based testing for all APICS candidates worldwide. 

Pearson VUE

APICS is retaining Pearson VUE as its sole North American testing vendor. APICS has worked with Pearson VUE successfully for several years across North America and is confident that they will continue to provide optimal testing services as the sole North American testing provider.

Beginning in Q4 2013, APICS CSCP and CPIM exam candidates in North America will be required to obtain an Authorization to Test from APICS in order to schedule an exam with Pearson VUE. Authorizations will be issued through the completion of an online Authorization to Test request form found on APICS.org. 

2013-2014 exam dates

In response to demand, APICS will offer the following APICS CSCP exam windows in North America for 2013-2014:

    • September 21, 2013 - October 26, 2013
    • November 30, 2013 - January 11, 2014
    • March 22, 2014 - May 10, 2014
    • July 5, 2014 - August 23, 2014
    • November 1, 2014 - December 20, 2014


Once the online Authorization to Test request form is launched, Authorizations to Test for APICS CSCP exams will be issued for a specific exam window, which you may choose at the time of request.

APICS CPIM exams will be delivered year-round; there will be no window restrictions. Once the online Authorization to Test request form is launched, Authorizations to Test for APICS CPIM exams will be valid for one full year from the date of issue.

Payment information

You may purchase exams through myself, your local APICS chapter, in the form of an exam credit. When you log in to complete the Authorization to Test request form, the exam credit will automatically appear as a payment option. This process will replace the voucher program currently in use. 

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One free APICS CSCP retake offer

APICS is pleased to announce a promotion for APICS CSCP candidates designed to increase testing confidence—and save cost.

From now until the end of 2013, candidates who take the APICS CSCP for the first time and do not pass are eligible for one retake exam at no cost. This offer is being extended to first-time candidates who do not pass the APICS CSCP exam sometime between September 21, 2013, and the end of 2013.

Qualified retake candidates need to contact APICS at cscpexam@apics.org to take advantage of this limited-time offer. Qualified retake candidates will receive an exam credit that must be used within one year of date issued.

As a reminder, we are offering these upcoming APICS CSCP exam windows in North America:

  • September 21, 2013–October 26, 2013
  • November 30, 2013–January 11, 2014

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Sprecher Brewery Tour

Our first PDM of the season was held at Sprecher Brewery where we enjoyed a tour, great munchies, libations, and friendly conversation.  The Munich-inspired indoor beer garden was abuzz with 45 members, 6 Carroll College students and APICS board members.

Our wonderful tour guide explained the test kitchen and the test bottles that are kept from each batch to compare against any quality complaints received from a customer.  She then ushered us into the brewing room where a batch was being processed.  She passed around mugs filled with malt and hops (which we thought looked like rabbit food pellets) and explained the brewing process.  The next stop was the bottling room where she explained the number of different beer (over 20) and specialty sodas (8). 

Sprecher's regularly operates 1 shift and adds another one for the summer demand.  With pride, the tour guide told us that regardless of where you find a Sprecher beer or soda, it's all manufactured at this plant.  Bottles are stamped in Julian date so you can be assured of their freshness.  All bottles are 16 oz, which is 4 oz more than other brewers -- the tour guide told us that's because Randy Sprecher loves us 4 oz more than his competitors (OK, it was much funnier when she said it)!

"If it's not broke, don't fix it" . . . Sprecher is still using the original bottling equipment that he purchased from Coca Cola when he first went into business.  It sometimes malfunctions but instead of tossing it they devised a chute where bottles can be kept until the line can be brought back up.

As a token of great customer service, Sprecher originally began making soda to serve the children of his tour guests.  They currently brew more soda than all of its beer products combined.  When their customers complained that they weren't able to bring glass bottles into parks, Sprecher figured out a way to package in aluminum cans.  Listen to your customers, they'll never steer you wrong.

The evening commensed with a presentation by board members, Tom Ziegert and Pat Bergmann about the benefits APICS membership brings to you -- we even saw some of the Carroll students taking notes!  Door prizes included a case of various beers and glassware donated by Sprechers and some APICS memorabilia.

Discussion floated around about doing something like this again so stay tuned!  In the meantime, watch the website for notices of future PDMs such as the LeRoy Butler presentation on leadership at Marquette University October 8th.  See you soon!

Check out the Sprecher website to shop and learn more about this local giant:  http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/index.php

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CSCP Online-Only Application Process

We are pleased to announce that APICS will be transitioning to an online-only application process as of October 1, 2013. This change improves accuracy of the review process and improves candidate responsiveness.
  
Please note that the online application process is not changing. APICS is simply discontinuing the paper application process for APICS CSCP eligibility as of October 1, 2013
 
To apply for APICS CSCP eligibility
•  Candidates should complete the online APICS CSCP eligibility application
•  After submitting the application, candidates will receive a confirmation email that the application has been received and will be processed within two weeks. 
•  Candidates will receive a second email informing them of their exam eligibility. 

Creating a web profile
To create a web profile, candidates should go to www.apics.org/forgotUID, enter their APICS ID as the user name, and follow the instructions. 

APICS CSCP eligibility candidates without an APICS ID should go to www.apics.org/newuser.

APICS CSCP eligibility candidates with an APICS ID but who have no email address in our records, or are not sure if they have an email address in our records, should contact APICS Customer Service to have a web profile created for them. Customer service may be contacted atservice@apics.org1-800-444-2742, or +1-773-867-1777 from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CT.

We are pleased to continuously improve our processes and procedures to serve the APICS community better. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact customer service.

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Strategic Planning and Execution - Brookfield Round Table Meeting, 9/13 -

“If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”

-Yogi Bera

 Yogi Bera, the greatest catcher in history certainly knew a few things about strategic planning.  His numerous accomplishments were more than likely preceded by some periods of self-talk and illumination.  His objective, to win the game, are not much different than ours:  to expand our market, to win that next contract, to launch our latest product, etc.  It all begins with THE PLAN.

Joseph Weitzer, PhD – the Dean for the Waukesha County Technical College’s Center for Business Performance Solutions joined us our September 9th Brookfield Round Table Breakfast and introduced the Center’s Strategic Organizational Management Alignment Model which they developed while making cultural shifts within their own organization.  He stressed that a great process needs great execution, and questioned us if we knew our organization’s vision, mission, strategy and action plans.  He asked if we knew how it applied to us -- this was met with a few contemplative looks from within the group.

The Alignment Model focuses on the strategic plan, policy deployment, development plan and succession plan throughout the organization within three phases:  planning, implementation and evaluation.

The planning phase evaluates who we are as an organization, assuring that we have the right people in the right seats on the bus and focuses on accountability and empowerment.  Is there a way that we can draw focus from simply getting product out the door and assure that our processes are firm so that production can be more sustainable?  ISO certification is moving organizations to this direction and away from ‘controlled burns’ as well as more stringent banking audit requirements.  Introducing new employees to the culture can change a team’s core dynamics but by focusing on successful onboarding processes the transition can be smooth and rewarding.

The implementation phase defines the objectives, communicates the plan, ensures ongoing training and ensures long-term sustainability.  Is succession planning incorporated into our plan?  Joe threw out the statistic that 10,000 baby boomers are retiring, each day – is our organization ready to fill that skills gap?   Are we continuously developing, recruiting and cross training?  The WCTC leadership program has worked with many organizations that were experiencing periods of disruption due to poor or inadequate training.  Does everyone understand their purpose in the plan and how they can creatively help achieve the directives?

The evaluation phase ensures the workforce is continuously balanced and aligned for long-term performance.  In this phase the investment in employee development is aligned with strategic initiatives and supports the long-term growth and performance of the organization.  By this point in the process teams have shared goals, efficiency gains are apparent and they are empowered to make decisions.

Joe completed his presentation, reminding us that the strategic plan is not simply a creative writing experience but an organic framework for sustainability.

Join us next month (10/9 at Maxwell’s) as we discuss continuous improvement and the change in culture that was recognized at Urban Manufacturing.  The facilitator will be Gary Kerslake, SVA.

For additional information on the Strategic Organizational Management Alignment program contact Joe Weizer, jweitzer@wctc.edu.

 

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Streamlining and Re-Engineering your Business Processes, Menomonee Falls Round Table Meeting, 9/4/2013

A round table meeting takes its cue from the King Arthur legend, around which he and his knights congregated.  The ‘round table’ has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status. 

Fast forward to reality and the APICS-Milwaukee round tables – we have two round table meetings in the Milwaukee area; one in Menomonee Falls and the other in Brookfield.  The Menomonee Falls group meets at the Radisson Hotel on Main Street in Menomonee Falls on the first Wednesday of the month, and the Brookfield group meets at Maxwell’s Restaurant on Moorland Road on the second Wednesday of the month.

The Menomonee Falls group’s September topic was ‘Streamlining and Re-Engineering your Business Processes.’  We talked about the ‘war room’ where the brainstorming and value stream mapping usually   occur and everyone present had been through at least one of these events.  As we shared our experiences it occurred to us that not much has changed over the years except for the color of the paper, re-engineering still has two main objectives:  improve the process or improve the system.

We discussed using the round table approach to identify the business processes behind an issue where everyone has a voice.  This team approach helps to build process analysis and identify pain points from different vantage points.  We used VMI as an example and talked about the pros and cons from an inventory control and systems point of view.  We questioned efficiency measurements, turns, payment cycles and shortages – reasons for or against implementing a VMI policy.  In general, we agreed that all parties need to be present to help make decisions that affect processes and / or the system.

Our discussion moved on to the various pieces of software that can be used within the re-engineering process and identified these four:

 

It was decided to build on this discussion by selecting Key Performance Indicators as our October round table discussion for the Menomonee Falls group.  The date is October 2nd.  We meet from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel on Main Street in Menomonee Falls.   We hope to see you then!

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