Wisconsin High School Innovative Approach to Closing the Talent Gap

Photo Source: https://www.cardinalmanufacturing.org/about-us/our-story

Is your company struggling to find skilled workers? One Wisconsin High School took the initiative to develop an innovative solution to addressing the talent gap. We share their story below.

A high school in a remote area of Northwest Wisconsin started a “metal lab” in 2008 with big dreams.  Established in 2008 by Craig Cegielski as an in-school manufacturing class, Cardinal Manufacturing, had the ultimate vision to create a manufacturing business run by students. The goal was also to find customers who needed metal products that could be made by students with existing equipment.  Today, all of their products, made by the students, are sold to businesses near and far. 

Per their website, Cardinal Manufacturing has gone from its infant stages to a company with significant annual sales and national notoriety. The growth of the program has attracted national and international attention and Cardinal Manufacturing has attended national tradeshows and hosted celebrity guests including Wisconsin's Governor, Scott Walker.

Cardinal Manufacturing has served hundreds of customers from private individuals to clients throughout the state of Wisconsin and other parts of the country. A number of students have gone directly to skilled employment positions after high school, but most choose to go on to post-secondary education through technical college or the university system. Chippewa Valley Technical College and UW-Stout have taken a particular interest in the program. Cardinal Manufacturing has also built strong relationships with a number of private companies and professional organizations which have been supportive through donations, advice, publicity opportunities, and projects.

In-school programs such as Cardinal Manufacturing serve as a grassroots economic development effort. Not only do these programs expose students to career opportunities in manufacturing and teach students soft skills for future employment, but they also work toward changing the attitudes of counselors and parents to be more open to the idea of encouraging students to look at manufacturing careers.

Students get hands-on opportunities to try out these roles before making an expensive decision in choosing a post-secondary program. In other words, kids get the chance to try welding, machining, construction, production management, accounting, office management, and marketing prior to committing to a major or area of study.

The services provided through the program are worthwhile and valuable to the customers who pay for the service. Since the very beginning, Cardinal Manufacturing has been self-sufficient meaning that they have not ever requested a special budget from the school district.

Learn more about this innovative approach and collaborative effort between the high school and business community at: https://www.cardinalmanufacturing.org/.


At APICS Milwaukee, our mission is to provide education and networking opportunities to help supply chain professionals and their companies find skilled workers. Considering innovative approaches such as the great work being done by Cardinal Manufacturing outlined above often come out of continuous improvement considerations.

If you’d like more information on implementing continuous improvement approaches at your company you may be interested in joining us next week Tuesday (March 10th) for our Continuous Improvement in Manufacturing Workshop. Participants will learn the following:

  1. Principles of the Lean Supply Chain, including the importance of the “continuous improvement” company culture, what is value and non-value added and the identification and elimination of waste
  2. Tools of the Lean Supply Chain, including value stream mapping, 5S and cellular manufacturing
  3. Lean Supply Chain Assessment & Auditing

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping over 180 Milwaukee area companies represented by our members, with educational and networking opportunities. 

UW-Whitewater APICS Student Supply Chain Chapter Update

Looking to connect with future supply chain leaders? The University Wisconsin-Whitewater has a wonderful APICS Supply Chain Student Chapter for you to get to know!

We recently heard from Ryan Prinsen, the current President of the UW-Whitewater APICS Supply Chain Student Chapter. Ryan is a fourth-year Supply Chain & Operations Management undergraduate student with an interest in production, inventory and materials control. He is also currently a Buyer at Trachte Building Systems.

Ryan shares below what the UW-Whitewater APICS Supply Chain Student chapter has been up to so far this year and what they are planning for the next few months.

  1. Hosted guest speakers from Provisur Technologies Inc., TMC Transportation and Direct Supply.
  2. Visited Provisur Technologies Inc., Target Corporation and Direct Supply.
  3. Created a Fall 19/Spring 20 resume book
  4. Hosted our biannual Adopt-A-Highway clean up volunteer event (pictured above)
  5. Hosted a career fair preparation event that consisted of resume reviews and company research.
  6. Hosted a simulation which taught us typical coordination problems of a supply chain process and potential solutions to those problems.

What’s next: This coming spring they are planning to host more speakers from Schneider National, C.H. Robinson, and other firms within the greater Madison/Milwaukee area, along with touring the Amazon Distribution Center. They will also be assisting the UW-Whitewater Supply Chain department in hosting our annual Supply Chain day which will bring high school students to campus and expose them to the supply chain major.

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management and proudly supports professionals at all stages of their careers. We offer FREE membership and event passes to Supply Chain students. 

We are excited about the great work being led by Ryan and others at the UW-Whitewater Supply Chain Student Chapter. More information on the UW-Whitewater APICS Student chapter and UWM Supply Chain Association can be found on the APICS Milwaukee website

APICS Milwaukee helps over 180 Milwaukee area companies represented by our members, with educational and networking opportunities.

Want to learn more? Join us in March 2020 for a Supply Chain Workshop and for APICS globally recognized supply chain certification instructor-led courses for CPIM, CSCP and CLTD.

For additional information, contact us via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org or via email at: [email protected]

Procurement Trends to Consider in 2020

Is your procurement strategy being impacted by global uncertainties such as tariff changes or other supply chain disruptors?

Futureofsourcing.com recently shared four major procurement trends to consider in 2020 summarized below.

  1. Increased Volatility: With shifting trade tariffs and barriers, the unpredictability of Brexit and fluctuating commodity prices, market volatility could be at an all-time high over the next 12 months.

As already complex global supply chains become even more unpredictable, finding ways to manage this risk should be at the top of your 2020 agenda. What does this mean in practice? At a bare minimum it means having processes in place to track suppliers, pre-empt problems and manage commodity-related volatility.

  1. Ongoing Digital Transformation: There’s a strong chance that we’ll be talking about digital transformation for many years to come. That’s because true digital transformation is an ongoing process.

Digital has fast become an imperative for top-performing procurement functions. Those who find themselves behind the times will need to play catchup this year, especially as the wider organization is likely to be on its own digital transformation journey.

  1. Building Deeper Supplier Relationships: At some point, you’ve almost certainly had a conversation within your department about building better supplier relationships. Everyone agrees that it’s a strategic priority for procurement organizations. However, actually putting plans into practice is easier said than done.

We often see procurement organizations implement manual processes that are inconsistent across both categories and supplier segments. In 2020, however, we expect to see a more structured and successful approach adopted by the most forward-thinking and progressive departments.

  1. Delivering Value Beyond Savings: Driving savings will always be a primary goal of procurement. It’s increasingly understood that procurement organizations can deliver value that goes way beyond cost savings, cost containment and cost avoidance.

The sophistication of the procurement function, and the available talent within the space, has increased dramatically over the last few years. There have also been greater expectations placed on SG&A functions in general. With C-level strategies demanding greater growth, faster innovation, tighter budgets and increased competitiveness, 2020 is the time for procurement to really show how it can contribute to wider strategic goals.

While these aren’t the only trends set to impact procurement over the next 12 months, Futureofsourcing.com suggests they are the most important ones for CPOs to prioritize.

At APICS Milwaukee, our mission is to help supply chain professionals and their companies establish procurement strategies that will enable them to continue to grow and reduce costs.  

Are you responsible for purchasing functions in support of your company’s broader procurement efforts? If so, you may be interested in joining us next week Tuesday (2/25) for our Purchasing Workshop. Participants will learn the following:

  • Learn about the role of Purchasing within the organization
  • Understand Purchasing’s roles with contracts
  • Explain sourcing best practices
  • Illustrate the purchasing cycle
  • Describe the process for conducting a supplier visit
  • Explain the reasons for outsourcing
  • Understand how to manage supplier relations
  • Learn how to implement product development programs
  • Explain Purchasing’s roles with sustainability and regulatory compliance

 


APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping over 180 Milwaukee area companies represented by our members, with educational and networking opportunities. Read more articles at https://apicsmilw.org/articles/

UWM Student Supply Chain Association Update

Looking to connect with future supply chain leaders? The University Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a wonderful Supply Chain Student Association for you to get to know!

We recently heard from Katherine Walker, the current President and Treasurer of the UWM Supply Chain Student Association. Katherine is a junior at UWM working towards a Bachelors in Business Administration majoring in Supply Chain Management and Finance. She also is currently a supply chain intern at Charter Steel.

Katherine shares below what the UWM Supply Chain Association has been up to so far this year and what they are planning for the next few months.

  • Brought in 2-3 company speakers per month including Dayton Freight, Milwaukee Tool, Rockwell Automation, Harley-Davidson, Charter Steel, and MillieporeSigma
  • Had a collaboration with UW-Milwaukee’s brand new building, the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, where we participated in a workshop that incorporated our entrepreneurial skills with our knowledge of Supply Chain and IT
  • Hosted an APICS resume review session where board members from the APICS Milwaukee chapter came in to give one on one reviews of our members’ resumes
  • Hosted a career fair preparation night which included advice on attire, resumes, and speaking points
  • Our board traveled to South By Southwest(SXSW) to attend the interactive portion of the festival, hearing from CEOs and industry leaders to better our knowledge in business as young professionals

 

What’s next: Coming up this semester they have more company speakers such as SnapOn Tools, Briggs and Straton, MillerCoors, and Direct Supply. They also have plant tours scheduled with Rockwell Automation, MillerCoors, and MilliporeSigma. For fun, they will be attending a Bucks game!

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management and proudly supports professionals at all stages of their careers. We are excited about the great work being led by Katherine and others at the UWM Supply Chain Association. More information on the UWM Supply Chain Association and UW-Whitewater APICS Student chapters can be found on the APICS Milwaukee website

APICS Milwaukee helps over 180 Milwaukee area companies represented by our members, with educational and networking opportunities.

Want to learn more? Join us in February and March 2020 for a Supply Chain Workshop and in March for APICS globally recognized supply chain certification instructor-led courses for CPIM, CSCP and CLTD.

For additional information, contact us via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org or via email at: [email protected]

USMCA Expected to Positively Impact Wisconsin Economy

Has your supply chain been impacted by trade uncertainties in North America? Last week President Trump signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade Agreement (USMCA) into law.

Read more to learn what the agreement is and how it might impact your supply chain.

What is USMCA?

The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement or Nafta.

Per the WSJ the new agreement updates the rules of trading for the three countries with the following key provisions:

  • Mexican Labor: S. labor unions and Democrats have long complained that Mexican workers can’t always form unions freely and demand fair pay, a situation they say puts pressure on U.S. manufacturing jobs. The Trump administration’s USMCA has new additional labor rules, not included in the current Nafta, as well as new enforcement procedures demanded by Democrats.
  • Auto Rules: Compared with Nafta, USMCA significantly tightens the rules that the auto industry has to follow in order to trade vehicles duty free in North America. A certain proportion of a car will have to be produced by workers with higher wages, and a greater proportion of components will have to originate in North America.
  • Digital Freedom: USMCA, unlike the current Nafta, includes rules mandating the free flow of data among the three countries. This and other novel provisions on exchange rates and other areas aren’t so crucial for Canada and Mexico but could later be applied to pacts with more restrictive countries or even China.
  • Agriculture: A deal to pass USMCA means farmers of major crops no longer have to worry about President Trump potentially pulling out of the existing Nafta and leaving them fewer major export markets. USMCA also gives dairy farmers more access to Canada.
  • Pharma: Big drugmakers are likely to be disappointed, since Democrats pushed the Trump administration to remove language that would have protected expensive biologic drugs from generic imitators for 10 years. The existing Nafta treaty has no such drug protections.

Last week, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President and CEO Kurt Bauer shared, “WMC and our members thank President Trump for signing the USMCA into law today. This trade deal will grow Wisconsin’s economy, provide greater opportunity for Wisconsin manufacturers and farmers, and help expand the Badger State’s reach throughout North America.”

WMC went on to state that Wisconsin’s economy relies on trade, and the USMCA will ensure the state’s economic relationship with Mexico and Canada continues to grow. Key Facts About USMCA’s Impact on Wisconsin:

  1. Wisconsin exports nearly $11 billion to Canada and Mexico, and the state has a trade surplus with both countries
  2. More than 231,000 Wisconsin jobs are tied to trade with Canada and Mexico
  3. More than 44,000 manufacturing jobs are tied to trade with Canada and Mexico
  4. One out of every four manufacturers in Wisconsin rely on North American trade
  5. About half of Wisconsin’s $3.5 billion in agriculture exports – especially dairy – are exported to Canada and Mexico

Based on the facts above, clearly trade is very important to the Wisconsin economy.

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping over 180 Milwaukee area companies represented by our members, with educational and networking opportunities.   

We look forward to helping you have the tools to effectively manage your supply chain. Want to learn more? Join us in February and March 2020 for a Supply Chain Workshop and in March for APICS globally recognized supply chain certification instructor-led courses for CPIM, CSCP and CLTD.

For additional information, contact us via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org or via email at: [email protected]