APICS Milwaukee #WhyApics Kurt Horner, CPIM, Shares Why APICS is Important to Him

Photo Source: APICS Milwaukee

APICS Milwaukee members continue to share their #WhyApics stories on how APICS has helped them in their careers. Kurt Horner, CPIM, currently serving as a Director at Large on the APICS Milwaukee Board of Directors shares his #WhyApics story below.

If you’d like to share your #whyapics story on how APICS has helped you in your career please send us an email at [email protected]. If your story is selected to be shared on our website, we will send you a free APICS Milwaukee events pass valid for 12 months! Share your story today!!

Your APICS Milwaukee Chapter, with approximately 450 members, is a non-profit association with a mission to serve Supply Chain professionals and their companies in the Milwaukee area. We recently added our March instructor-led certification classes for CPIM, CSCP and CLTD! Check out our website for more information on how you can advance your career today!

We look forward to hearing your #whyapics story! For additional information, contact us via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org or via email at: [email protected]

BigSystems 3-D Printer and Service Tour and Breakfast

APICS Milwaukee hosted a breakfast tour at BigSystems, a nationally recognized “Value Added Reseller” of Wide Format Digital Printing and 3D Additive Manufacturing equipment, software and supplies, this week. Key highlights below. 

Joe Jones, President of BigSystems, shared the various types of 3-D printing available today.

Essentially, 3-D printing starts with an object represented in digital form and the process applies materials in an additive manner, unlike the old CNC technology that removed material. Manufacturers across various industries are investing in additive manufacturing.

At BigSystems, they address equipment and supplies as components of a total integrated solution. 

Some key facts about 3-D Printing are1:

  • The industry has seen rapid growth with 26%+ CAGR reaching almost $36B by 2024
  • The transformational technology will result in $13 trillion in worldwide manufacturing GDP and it’s realistic to expect that it will attain 5% or $750 billion of GDP
  • U.S. is leading the efforts with intellectual property and production
  • Wisconsin is a major player in the following industries: Aerospace, Transportation, Machinery, Medical and Consumer Goods!
  • Additive manufacturing could reduce energy use by 50% and reduces material costs by up to 90% compared to traditional manufacturing

 

The top 3-D printing priorities in Southeastern Wisconsin over the next 12-18 months are:

  1. Accelerate product development and time to market
  2. Reduce tooling cost and risk
  3. Increase production flexibility
  4. Eliminate design constraints
  5. Improve internal and external customer service

Tips for adopting 3-D Technology:

  1. Identify your best opportunities to use 3-D
  2. Research additive manufacturing technology (internet, software and equipment resellers)
  3. Recruit internal stakeholders (R&D, manufacturing, IT and purchasing)
  4. It’s OK to start small and with plastic (prove your concept)
  5. Outsourcing is an option
  6. ROI Plan
  7. Budget and timing

BigSystems in Menomonee Falls is always happy to host a tour and help companies decide if 3D printing can meet their production needs and what options are available.

At APICS Milwaukee, we are proud to serve supply chain professionals in the Milwaukee area. We look forward to seeing you at a future event and helping you learn more about the latest technologies. Visit our website for more information on our events and education opportunities.  

1 - Source: Wohlers Report, William Blair and Deloitte

Additive Manufacturing Impact on Supply Chains

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Does your supply chain leverage additive or 3D manufacturing? Although the technology has been around for a long time, it has just recently become mainstream.  

A couple years ago, The Global Supply Chain Institute stated in their Supply Chain Technology Best Practices report, “Some supply chain professionals predict 3-D will eventually rival the impact of Henry Ford’s assembly line. Other experts we talked with think the applications will be very, even extremely, limited in the near future.”

3-D printing starts with an object represented in digital form and the process applies materials in an additive manner, unlike the old CNC technology that removed material. Manufacturers across various industries are investing in additive manufacturing.

Maine Pointe, a member of the SGS Group and global supply chain and operations consulting firm recently shared five ways 3D printing will have a massive impact on the supply chain and drive competitive advantage.

  1. Decentralize production – The ‘portable’ nature of the technology will enable businesses to take production to local markets or customers faster. As a result, we will see a shift away from mass production in low-cost countries in favor of more local assembly hubs. Companies will have the capability to produce components closer to home rather than rely on imports. This is especially important during times of geopolitical tension, such as right now with the trade tariff tensions impacting the costs globally.
  2. Drive product customization – As a tool-less process, 3D printing technology gives manufacturers unprecedented freedom to tailor offerings to clients’ specific requirements and enhance the customer experience. This will result in more agile supply chains which can rapidly adapt to changes in the market. Eventually, we could see design, production and distribution merge into one supply chain function with greater client involvement in the entire design and production process.
  3. Reduce complexity and improve time-to-market – 3D printing technology consolidates the number of components and processes required for manufacturing. This will have a significant impact on global supply chains, decreasing complexities, saving on production costs, enhancing lead times and improving time-to-market.
  4. Improve resource efficiency – 3D printing is a ‘greener,’ more energy-efficient and cost-efficient production method. It creates almost zero waste, lowers the risk of overproduction and excess inventory and reduces the carbon footprint. It takes ‘Just-in-Time’ manufacturing to a new level.
  5. Rationalize inventory and logistics – As ‘on demand’ production becomes the norm, the need to transport physical goods across countries and continents will reduce. Combined with the lower number of SKUs required for production, this will have a major impact on warehousing and logistics and will have the potential to overcome tariffs.

At APICS Milwaukee we are excited to be hosting an event on the topic of 3D Printing November 6th at BigSystems. Register for the breakfast tour today because space is limited!

BigSystems is a nationally recognized “Value Added Reseller” of Wide Format Digital Printing and 3D Additive Manufacturing equipment, software and supplies. They address equipment and supplies as components of a total integrated solution.  While other suppliers have a specialty or focus, they are a one-stop resource, representing the largest hardware manufacturers with a broad line of Aqueous, Solvent, Eco-Solvent, UV-Curable, and Latex, roll-to-roll, flatbed and 3D Additive printing solutions.   

At APICS Milwaukee, we are proud to serve supply chain professionals in the Milwaukee area. We look forward to seeing you in November and helping you learn more about the latest technologies. Visit our website for more information on our events and education opportunities.  

Trade Tariffs and Supply Chains

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Are you concerned about trade uncertainties? Do you expect the new EU tariffs to impact your supply chain?

Per the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Q3 Outlook Survey, “Trade uncertainties were the second most mentioned concern facing manufacturers, with 63.4 percent of those completing the survey reporting it as the top company issue.”

Trade tariffs certainly impact on global supply chains. The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) discussed this recently in an article on how new tariffs could impact technology and agricultural supply chains. They state that, “tariffs between two major economic powers present serious risks to industries and economies around the globe. Organizations in both countries, as well as their customers, must consider how to best manage this global market risk. For some, the answer may be to diversify their supplier bases; others may decide to reshore, redesign their products or services, or adopt other strategies.”

Last week, the Trump administration confirmed tariffs on EU goods went into effect on Friday. SupplyChainDive provided the following summary of the new tariffs:

  • The U.S. will levy tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of EU goods according to an announcement from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) hours after the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a decision authorizing the U.S. to levy tariffs of up to 100% on the goods. New tariff rates will be limited to 10% on large civil aircraft and 25% on agricultural and other products, according to USTR, beginning on or near Oct. 18.
  • The conflict at the heart of today's WTO decision has been ongoing since 2005, when the U.S. first made its case to the WTO claiming low interest rates granted to Airbus were tantamount to subsidies for the aircraft maker. According to the WTO's ruling today, those actions are seen as damaging to U.S. interests in the eyes of the WTO and it is, therefore, the United States' right to levy tariffs in response.
  • Items subject to duties include aircraft parts, luxury apparel, cheese, seafood and steel, among others. The bulk of the tariffs will be levied on imports from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom — "the four countries responsible for the illegal subsidies" according to USTR.

 

Although the impact on US supply chains is unknown, supply chain managers should have a plan to understand the risk to their goods and services and a plan to mitigate where possible.

At APICS Milwaukee we are excited to be hosting an event on November 14th to address the new trade tariffs and the impacts on supply chains. Participants will get a chance to hear from Tom Degnan, Director of Global Transportation and Customs Compliance and expert on the tariffs. There will also be time during dinner to discuss this important topic with their peers. We'll also get a chance to tour Bentley Worldwide Packaging and complete the night with dinner and networking.

More information and registration can be found here on our website: HOW THE NEW TRADE TARIFFS ARE IMPACTING THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN.

At APICS Milwaukee, we are proud to serve supply chain professionals in the Milwaukee area. We look forward to seeing you in November and helping you have a plan to mitigate global tariff risks.

Agility of a Company Dealing with Growth or Decline

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

Is your company flexible to change course or strategy when needed? How do you address changes in demand or supply?

Change is the only constant, so businesses have to be nimble to be able to adjust as needed and be successful. Recently at an APICS Milwaukee Breakfast Roundtable, we discussed this topic and best practices on how to ensure agility during times of growth and decline.

The topic was requested by a roundtable participant and plant manager. Since the manager has taken the reigns, the plant has gone from preparing to close the doors because of the decline of business to struggling to keep up with rapid growth. Their success has been used as a model of the use of lean tools and APICS certification and key elements included:

  1. APICS training: This transition painfully happened with a dedicated management team educated in APICS training. More than half of their team is certified and the manager was commended for her leadership and style that made the journey.
  2. Operational organization: One of the most important aspects of their successful manufacturing operation is proper organization. This is due to swift changes in circumstances such as consumer preference, demand, and production. Maintaining organization allows production to be flexible and prepared for a change at a moment’s notice.
  3. People development: People are essential within the operation, which is why it is important to constantly monitor the impact of human capital. Dedicated employees possess skills, information, and the drive to enhance productivity and improve. Locating and keeping potential leaders took them from the decline and are the catalyst for addressing the rapid growth. They also leveraged techniques to manage labor hours for employees not able to work 40 hours a week and filled the gaps with proper training.
  4. Vendor relations: Vendors are another important link in the agility of a company dealing with growth or decline.  Your vendors have to be flexible and understanding. This relationship comes with open and honest communication.

At APICS Milwaukee we host breakfast roundtables twice a month on today’s most pressing topics. Our time together often includes company tours and sharing best practices to help each other grow and be successful.

We are excited to be discussing the topic of 3D Printing and additive manufacturing at our next breakfast on November 6th where we are planning to tour Big Systems in Menomonee Falls. Click here for more information on the event. Hope to see you there!