APICS Milwaukee Hosts Dr. Bill Mitchell, VP Business Operations Americas, Foxconn

Are you interested in hearing from Foxconn VP Business Operations Americas about their developments in Wisconsin? Is your business a potential supplier for Foxconn?

Per BizJournal last week, Foxconn’s statement said the company continues “to make good progress on all fronts related to the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park (in Mount Pleasant), while simultaneously broadening our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans to ensure the company, our workforce, the local community, and the state of Wisconsin will be positioned for long-term success.”

APICS Milwaukee has been providing periodic updates on Foxconn progress. If your business is a potential supplier to Foxconn, last Fall we shared the following three ways to prepare based on input from the Foxconn Supplier Readiness workshop hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

  1. Have a plan to make sure your business is ready to compete and able to scale up quickly by maximizing efficiencies, improving supply chain management, ensuring worker productivity, addressing skill gaps and embracing new technologies such as 3-D printing.
  2. Have a system to capture customer-derived loyalty and quality data scores as these will be key considerations in Foxconn’s supplier readiness scorecard.
  3. Visit the Wisconsin Supply Chain Workplace website and register your business. By creating a supplier profile, you will receive timely communication when Foxconn and other companies are posting RFPs to source suppliers for specific projects.

Your local APICS Milwaukee Chapter, the premier association for supply chain professionals, is proudly hosting Dr. Bill Mitchell, VP Business Operations Americas, Foxconn on February 18 at MATC in Oak Creek to provide an update on the Foxconn development. We hope members and guests can join us for dinner, drinks and the opportunity to learn more about this important topic for our state.

APICS Milwaukee is a non-profit association focused on helping our members and the community stay informed about local happenings that could impact supply chain efforts.  We also offer several educational programs and have three certification training courses below starting in early March.


For additional information, contact your local APICS Milwaukee Chapter via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org.

1 https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2019/02/07/foxconn-disputes-bloomberg-businessweek-article-on.html

Anticipating Supply Chain Disruptors

By: APICS Milwaukee Chapter, February 2019

Were you or your supply chain impacted by the frigid temperatures last week? Do you have a plan to mitigate risk for similar future events?


As you know, the extremely low temperatures that hit across the Midwest last week impacted key supply chain components including all forms of transportation and abilities to maintain production levels with plant closures and employee absences. Other extreme weather such as droughts, hurricanes and floods also often cause disruptions in your supply chain globally.

A few weeks ago, we heard from the CEO of Hellermann Tyton share with the BizTimes that her company is very alert to the volatility of the macroeconomic world we live in. In fact she stated she believed the level of volatility was higher than any time she could remember in business.1

So how do you best prepare for disruptors in your supply chain? We suggest the following three risk mitigation strategies:

  1. Invest time in careful preparation, risk analysis and contingency planning in case of both natural and man-made disasters and ensure you have the best people in place to monitor your suppliers.
  2. For your critical suppliers, representing at least 25% of your supplier network, you should document the following items and review them quarterly:
    1. Their performance levels with regards to quality, schedule and price
    2. Identified risks such as the likelihood of these suppliers getting bought out, financial strength, the quality of your relationship with them and locations that could be impacted by both natural and man-made disasters
    3. Document their length of time in business, how much research and development they do and if they are in danger of a buyout or merger
    4. Have suppliers answer these key questions in writing.
  3. Develop a specific risk mitigation action plan for each supplier to mitigate future risk including:
    1. A list of companies you could shift work to, if necessary
    2. Estimates of how long it would take to shift work
    3. An understanding of how much it would cost you

Overall, while most companies know the key is preparedness, many lack sufficient or current plans to handle extreme weather or disasters. You must make the effort now to determine if your organization can handle a major shutdown or break in supply chain.

As an additional resource for you, APICS conducted a supply chain management risk survey a few years ago with more details on protecting against supply chain disruptors.

Your APICS Milwaukee Chapter is a non-profit association with a mission to serve Supply Chain professionals and their companies in the Milwaukee area.

We also offer opportunities to invest in your employees with certification training and supply chain workshops. We can deliver the training at your location or frequently host educational programs at the APICS Milwaukee offices in Milwaukee. We have several programs coming up highlighted below.


APICS Members receive discounts on training and we offer additional discounts for larger onsite training groups.  We look forward to hearing from you and working together to help companies anticipate supply chain disruptors.

For additional information, contact your local APICS Milwaukee Chapter via our website at: http://apicsmilw.org.

1 https://www.biztimes.com/2019/industries/manufacturing-logistics/manufacturers-need-extra-vigilance-in-volatile-2019-environment/