Testimonial: Value of CSCP Certification

Are you looking to advance in your supply chain career and interested in getting a certification?

Congratulations to Molly Barndt, Supply Chain Instructor at Waukesha County Technical College for recently earning her APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification!

Molly shares her feedback below on the CSCP certification content and process. In terms of what to expect within the content of the CSCP course, Molly states, “For those interested in learning about all aspects of the supply chain, the CSCP course is how.

The course covers topics that range from S&OP, information systems, production strategies, logistics, SCOR, balanced scorecard, finance, and much more. Even as content was moved online due to Covid-19, the course provided a broad, yet detailed, look at all facets of the supply chain.

Having worked in supply chain, I understood many concepts, however, there were areas I was not familiar with (IT, logistics), so this course was beneficial in deepening my understanding."

She also shared her advice on steps for prepping and taking the exam.

“Overall, it's important to know the APICS terms and definitions - questions are asked in a way that you need to know the terminology.

In terms of preparing for the exam, I recommend the following in addition to attending instructor-led classes:

  1. Read the books. There are many questions that were in the text and not necessarily in the practice quizzes.

  2. Take all of the quizzes, twice.  When I took a quiz, I would immediately retake it (if scored less than 90%), because then I would see the questions again and know the right answer the second time.  Repetition and seeing content was a good study technique.  Sometimes I would also have the book open and would actively look for the answer while taking the quiz -forced me to read more on certain topics.

  3. Take practice exam twice. This was very helpful for me to see how the exam layout would be, 150 questions, timed.

During the exam, I was able to manage time well – finishing a first pass and flagging any questions I wasn't quite sure on. Next, I went back to all flagged questions with one hour remaining.  I then was able to spend time analyzing and spent the last half hour going through at a quick clip every question to make sure I didn't make any mistakes.”

Congratulations again to Molly for her efforts and earning the CSCP certification! The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.

Looking for more information on APICS CSCP course? APICS Milwaukee is offering expert-led instructor classes starting on January 20th!  Learn more…

Johnson Controls Leverages APICS to Build Award-Winning Learning System

Photo source: Johnsoncontrols.com

Is your learning system addressing skill gaps?

APICS Milwaukee Chapter serves the supply chain community with education and information needed to compete in today’s world.

Certainly not new news to supply chain leaders that a skill gap exists. Deloitte had calculated 4.6 million job openings in the manufacturing sector from 2018-2028 and predicted that only 2.2 million of those would be filled.

Johnson Controls worked with Association Supply Chain Management and leveraged the APICS body of knowledge to build an award-winning learning system to help close their skill gap summarized below.

A key feature of the Johnson Controls platform is supply chain excellence, which describes the company’s journey to achieving a world-class supply chain. By advancing its people, processes, technology and metrics with APICS education, Johnson Controls leaders are enabling this excellence while driving positive customer experiences and superior business results. In fact, the initiative has been so successful that Johnson Controls earned the 2017 APICS Corporate Award of Excellence — Education.

“The supply chain excellence vision is about having a single Johnson Controls way of designing, integrating and optimizing end-to-end, demand-driven value chains to attain a sustainable competitive advantage for our customers and shareholders,” says Lynn Ross, supply chain academy leader, manufacturing excellence for Johnson Controls. The strategy is based on a set of structured, unified, and integrated activities and resources that create a culture of learning and excellence. Specific focus areas include:

  1. The transformation of operations, management infrastructure, and mindsets and behaviors
  2. A maturity model framework consisting of strategy, planning, execution,
  3. Compliance and empowered people
  4. The enabling capabilities of performance, technology and systems, and integration and collaboration
  5. Supporting documents such as policies, standards and guidelines that describe the expectations for how to achieve excellence

Johnson Controls decision-makers sought to create a solid supply chain maturity model that would be linked to operational performance based on standard processes and metrics. They chose to achieve this goal by building a strategic partnership with APICS.

To address limitations surrounding awareness of what supply chain is, an overview e-learning course was produced to be used as a baseline. The course provides connections among supply chain networks, maturity models and the basic knowledge of how a supply chain network influences all functions within the company. Ross says the academy also enables employees to better understand their job functions, the skills required to perform their roles successfully and the relevant principles. “APICS is an integral part of mapping training to roles,” she adds.

Ricardo Estok, global manufacturing operations council, principle leader, Johnson Controls, says employee confidence also has increased as more people achieve APICS certification. “All the requirements on both knowledge and applied skills are effectively in place to perform in the subject matter for which employees are certified,” he says. “Certification programs enable our organization to leverage one standard way of applied subject matter expertise to improve performance.”

As Johnson Controls employees journey through APICS programs, the academy measures the outcomes. Ross explains that this is comprised of the completion ratios of assigned learning, measuring how employees are applying the education to their roles and coaching and mentoring others. “This life cycle assures the content is relevant to our employees, is measurable and remains aligned to gap closures,” Ross says.

Looking for more information on APICS body of knowledge? APICS Milwaukee is offering expert-led instructor classes starting in January for our globally recognized supply chain certifications! Learn more…

Supply Chain Careers and Median Salaries

Are you considering a career move into supply chain?

APICS Milwaukee Chapter serves the supply chain community with education and information needed to compete in today’s world.

With the world now realizing the importance of supply chains and companies adding supply chain leaders to the C-Suite, it has become a very popular field to work in. If you are thinking about making a career move into supply chain management, the good news is there are a lot of positions and job opportunities to choose from.

Recently, Rasmussen College analyzed 50,000 supply chain job postings and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify 9 Supply Chain careers and median salaries summarized below.

  1. Purchasing agent: Purchases equipment, parts or services needed for the operation of a manufacturing establishment. Prepares purchase orders, solicits bid proposals and reviews requisitions for goods and services. Negotiates and administers contracts with suppliers, vendors and other representatives.

Median annual salary (2019): $64,380

  1. Operations manager: Responsible for the overall operations of a public or private organization. Directs and coordinates activities dealing with the production, pricing, sales or distribution of products. Reviews performance data to measure productivity and identify areas needing cost reduction or process improvement.

Median annual salary (2019): $100,780

  1. Logistics analyst: Analyzes supply chain processes to identify or recommend optimizations and improvements. Maintains databases that compile and organize logistics information. Provides ongoing analyses in areas such as transportation costs, parts procurement, back orders or delivery processes.

Median annual salary (2019): $74,750

  1. Purchasing manager: Plans and directs the activities of buyers, purchasing officers and others involved in purchasing materials, products and services. Represents companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with various suppliers. Interviews and hires staff and oversees the training and development of existing employees.

Median annual salary (2019): $121,110

  1. Supply chain manager: Directs and coordinates supply chain processes to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer service and safety. Monitors forecasts and quotas to identify changes and determine their effect on supply chain activities. Develops procedures to help coordinate supply chain efforts with other departments, such as sales, marketing, finance, production and quality assurance.

Median annual salary (2019): $110,630

  1. Logistician: Analyzes and coordinates an organization’s logistical functions. Develops and maintains positive relationships with a client’s key personnel involved in logistics activity. Reviews logistics performance with customers, weighing against targets, benchmarks and service agreements.

Median annual salary (2019): $74,750

  1. Logistics manager: Coordinates an organization’s purchasing warehousing, distribution, forecasting, customer service and planning efforts. Manages the personnel and systems involved in daily logistics operations. Collaborates with other departments to integrate logistics with business systems or processes.

Median annual salary (2019): $94,560

  1. Production, planning and expediting clerk: Organizes and expedites the flow of work and materials between an organization’s departments according to production schedule. Distributes production schedules and work orders to various departments. Arranges for delivery, assembly or distribution of supplies to accelerate the flow of materials.

Median annual salary (2019): $48,260

  1. Storage and distribution manager: Oversees a facility’s storage or distribution operations or that of an organization that’s engaged in storing or distributing materials or products. Interviews, selects, trains and supervises warehouse personnel. Develops and implements warehouse safety and security activities and programs.

Median annual salary (2019): $94,560

Looking for more information on supply chain management? APICS Milwaukee is offering expert-led instructor classes starting in January for our globally recognized supply chain certifications! Learn more…


ASCM’s Top 10 Supply Chain Trends for 2021

What’s your top supply chain priority for 2021?

APICS Milwaukee Chapter serves the supply chain community with education and information needed to compete in today’s world.

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), our partner organization, shared their top 10 Supply Chain Trends for 2021 below.

  1. Resilience as key focus 1 of risk prevention. Supply chains are complex, global and increasingly interconnected. When one part of the network is exposed to risk, all are vulnerable to disruption. Focusing on supply chain resilience in conjunction with risk prevention will enable companies to mitigate adverse events faster than the competition, take market share and outperform.
  2. E-commerce boom elevates consumer expectations of flexible shipping and fulfillment options. The pandemic impact of consumers shopping online more than ever is forcing companies to create new and innovative last-mile delivery solutions such as turning retails stores into fulfillment centers, delivery vehicles into pickup points and passenger vehicles into delivery vehicles; all providing consumers more choices of how to receive their products.
  3. Using digital supply chain to predict disruptions. The transformation from loosely connected sets of data, processes and people toward a fully integrated, end-to-end supply chain will significantly enhance visibility. Information sharing and global data harmonization and standardization will shift the focus on putting out fires today to predicting tomorrow’s challenges so they can be prevented.
  4. Introduce supply chain career path early. Supply chain organizations need a robust strategy for hiring and retaining diverse talent. Partnerships with universities and other organizations will develop flexible programs to prepare current and future industry professionals to drive the supply chains of the future. Companies must do their part to influence the younger generation, women and minorities to pursue a supply chain career.
  5. 3D printing to the rescue. COVID-19 gave the world a glimpse of how 3D printing can be used temporarily to alleviate the strain on supply chains during demand surges and shortages as it did with medical equipment. Inventors are combining 3D printing with traditional processes creating unique combinations of parts that perform better with lower cost that can be manufactured closer to the customer, all while being more sustainable.
  6. Accelerated use of analytics and automation across the supply chain Implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning for predictive and prescriptive analytics will continue to accelerate, with broad-reaching effects across the end-to-end supply chain. Businesses that harness the power of big data and automation will have a competitive advantage in visibility, executional efficiency, quality and profitability.
  7. Cybersecurity is a prerequisite for survival. The explosion of data and data-driven organizations through AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IOT) is creating much more interwoven areas of vulnerability in systems and tools. Social engineering, ransomware and exploiting even the tiniest gaps of vulnerability will continue. Supply chains must protect their networks, devices, people and programs.
  8. Low cost and reliability increase IOT usage. IOT continues to revolutionize supply chains by increasing visibility and real-time tracking for both raw materials and final products. With cheap and reliable sensors about both raw materials and final products. This is making networks more responsive and competitive.
  9. Corporate citizenship comes with challenges. The ethical and ecological expectations of consumers will drive supply chains to determine how they source, produce and serve their products in sustainable, eco-friendly and profitable ways. This could create challenges for all constituents, including consumers, who may experience price increases, quality issues or product availability problems.
  10. Changing demographics. Migrations to cities are creating new urban landscapes that have different supply chain and infrastructure challenges. Populations in the West face an ongoing talent shortage, as populations shrink while the workforce ages. As consumer and talents pools continue to evolve, supply chain leaders will need to be laser-focused on ways to optimize performance to be responsive while also managing sourcing and logistics costs.

Looking for more information to improve your supply chain management efforts? APICS Milwaukee has just launched new expert-led instructor classes for globally recognized supply chain certifications classes starting in January! Learn more…

Holidays and Distribution Challenges in 2020

Are you struggling to get deliveries to customers this December?

APICS Milwaukee Chapter serves the supply chain community with education and information needed to compete in today’s world.

The perfect storm of 2020 is expected to produce the highest amount of packages being delivered this holiday season. Careful planning and supplier collaboration are likely going to help meet the staggering demand.

FedEx, United Parcel Service and the US Postal Service are handling a record number of shipments because of a huge increase in online purchases during the Covid-19 pandemic. The delivery companies have been preparing for this record season with e-commerce spending in the quarter ended in September up 37% from last year, with similar growth expected during the holiday quarter. FedEx expected peak holiday package volume to be a whopping 22% higher than last year.

Likely to be a future case study on the importance of planning and collaboration, Fortune shared this week that shippers “have done a remarkable job, quite honestly, of preparing for this peak season,” per Bill Brooks, vice president for transportation at business consulting firm Capgemini. “The volumes are unprecedented. Even with all that, they’re able to handle it.”

The scale of the effort required is impressive with FedEx hiring 70,000 new workers, UPS adding 139,000 seasonal and permanent staff and 20 new shipping warehouses. Amazon said it would hire 100,000 seasonal shipping workers, following a 175,000 worker hiring spree last spring.

Suppliers have been working together to help meet the distribution demands this holiday season with many retailers stocking up on inventory a month in advance and encouraging customers to shop early by offering sales in the season. There has also been a tremendous expansion in curbside pickup, made more accessible throughout the pandemic, which has reduced the number of packages to be shipped.

While challenges still exist with a shortage of labor and air freight capacity, the planning efforts to grow shipping capacity and suppliers adjusting to reduce holiday packages to be shipped seems to be succeeding. As of mid-November, on-time deliveries for FedEx, UPS, and USPS were all above 95%, according to tracking firm ShipMatrix.

Looking for more information to improve your supply chain management logistics, distribution and transportation efforts? APICS Milwaukee has just launched new expert-led instructor classes for globally recognized supply chain certification Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD). Learn more…