Trends in Logistics

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Is your company planning for a digital transformation in 2020?

According to LogisticsManagement, Simon Ellis, program vice president, Global Supply Chain Strategies at IDC Consulting stated, “Digital transformation is now the overriding priority for most manufacturers and retailers, with the adoption of digital technologies aimed to improving efficiency and effectiveness in the shorter term while providing the opportunity to either disrupt their market segment or be resilient to others that may try."

IDC recently published its 2020 supply chain and logistics predictions. We’ve shared below those with an impact over next 36 months.

  1. By the end of 2020, half of all large manufacturers will have automated supplier and spend data analysis, resulting in a 15% procurement productivity gain;
  2. By the end of 2021, half of all manufacturing supply chains will have invested in supply chain resiliency and artificial intelligence, resulting in productivity improvements of 15%;
  3. By 2022, firms will dedicate 35% of their logistics business process outsourcing services budget to process automation, focusing on order, inventory, and shipment tracking;
  4. By 2022, the number of companies offering flexible warehousing options will have increased by 50%, which can help address seasonal demand challenges and lower fixed overhead costs by over 20%;

At APICS Milwaukee we support logistics and supply chain professionals with local networking and educational opportunities to stay up to date with the latest trends.

On December 10th we are proud to co-host a Logistics Panel Discussion and Dinner with the Milwaukee Logistics Council. The Panel members will include the following logistics experts:

APICS Milwaukee Chapter is also excited to host upcoming instructor-led training courses in March 2020 for APICS CLTD 2.0 Learning System that will expand participants global logistics knowledge with updated content to ensure logistics, transportation and distribution professionals have the knowledge they need to succeed in the global marketplace.

2020 CLTD 2.0 Enhancements Include:

  • 9 new case studies (1-per module)
  • Updates to the online menu to assist students such as downloadable e-Pub files for note taking, exam prep video series, in-product calculator, instructor-led slides and more
  • Moving from 8 to 9 modules, splitting the CLTD 1.0 Inventory and Warehousing into individual modules
  • Progress check questions moved into online quizzes
  • 2 physical printed books

Sign up today on our website for our expert instructor-led class starting on March 11, 2020, Wednesdays (5-9) – 10 Sessions. Cost: $1,750 Member/$1,995 Non Member Learn more…

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 450 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities.  APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – click here to join today

Looking for more information on how APICS Milwaukee can help you in your career and current supply chain trends, visit our website at:

Roundtable Highlights: Effective Communication - Dealing with Emotion

Have you ever had a disagreement with someone and felt as if you weren’t able to get your point across?

Poor communication is a common cause of conflict in the workplace. Communication starts with listening. When a tree gets struck by lightning in the uninhabited forest, is there sound? Communication without listening works similarly. It's just noise.

Communication can be more than words. The clothes that you wear, the expression on your face, the way you carry yourself when you walk all are forms of communication.

When talking or writing, sometimes you have to recalibrate to avoid a negative situation. We discussed the following tips to be an effective communicator:

  1. Be aware of your audience.
  2. Watch reactions from listeners.
  3. Look for common ground.
  4. Data helps clean up discussion.

EDUCauseReview recently shared an article on Leveraging Emotional Intelligence in Communication and in the excerpt below state that having empathy towards others can have a tremendous impact on how we communicate in all situations.

“Empathy requires first of all that we comprehend the circumstances of someone else and second that we understand the feelings that those circumstances may provoke in that person.

For example, your supervisor might seem upset with you for no reason. Think about what they might be dealing with. Consider any situations that may be affecting their emotions and how that might in turn affect what they say to you. In the same vein, managers and leaders who are high in empathy skills are able to pick up emotional cues. They can appreciate not only what a person is saying but also why they are saying it.

Learn to engage others—even in difficult situations—by asking empathetic questions such as these:

"Can you say more about that?"

"Really? That's interesting. Can you be more specific?"

"I wasn't aware of that. Tell me more."

"I'm curious about that…let's discuss this in more depth."

"Can you tell me if I understand you correctly? Here is what I heard you say…"

"How do you feel about that? What are some of your concerns?"

Finally, the roundtable discussed suggested tools that can help provide structure and clear communications including the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating Systems) and "Traction Tools for EOS". 

Overall the breakfast roundtable provides a wonderful venue to review today’s top business challenges with peers.

In December we will have two Breakfast Roundtables per below:

  1. 12/4 Roundtable will be on the topic of Sustainability with special guest speaker, Randy Bertram, Director Sustainability and Operational Excellence Services and Sr. Consultant with WMEP.
  2. 12/11 Roundtable we will share best practices how best to "MANAGE UP" when it comes to your boss.

We hope to see you at a future roundtable always posted on our website at: ast_Roundtables.

8 Tips to Minimize Impact of New Trade Tariffs

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Are you concerned about trade uncertainties? Are you looking for ways to minimize the impact of the new trade tariffs on 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 global supply chains. APICS Milwaukee hosted an event last week addressing the new trade tariffs.

Tom Degnan, Director of Global Transportation and Customs Compliance at WernerCo, shared the following advice on ways to mitigate the impact of tariffs on supply chains.

  1. First Sale: Reduces the dutiable value of the transaction by using the manufacturer’s cost for import valuation declaration with Customs. Process by which the manufacturer’s product valuation (first sale) is used for Customs value purposes versus the middleman/vendor (second sale) product valuation.
  2. Alternative Valuation/Duty Drawback: Alternative valuation establishes lowest level valuation for Customs entries. Duty Drawback elements include imported material has duty paid upon import, material is incorporated into a product that is exported and the duty paid on the imported material can be recovered from Customs (applies to 232 & 301 tariffs)
  3. Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)/Bonded Warehouses: FTZs allow materials to be suspended from entering USA commerce until departing from FTZ into USA. In effect material never entered USA commerce. FTZs allow materials to flow through USA via bonded carriers without duties being paid (e.g. Import into LA, shipped to Chicago, exported to Europe). FTZ set up requires Customs approval and bond to be established.
  4. Supply Chain Change:  Evaluate global sourcing options for suppliers and countries. Review is alternative materials can be used. For Section 232, try to source from excluded countries and for Section 301 try to source from alternative countries. Consider assembly or manufacturing in alternative countries.
  5. Origin Planning: Confirm Country of Origin (CofO) is not reflecting the country where products are shipping from and confirm with suppliers the products CofO.
  6. Supplier Negotiations: Pursue having suppliers absorb tariffs for continued purchases or negotiate lower pricing to share tariff impact.
  7. Tariff Classification/Exclusions: Audit and verify the HTS product code application. Both Section 232 & 301 have an exclusion process for avoiding tariffs.
  8. Customer Pricing: Determine if market will support absorbing all or a percent of imposed duty or apply surcharges for tariffs as temporary line items. 

Special thanks to Bentley World-Packaging for hosting the event and providing a tour of their expansive facilities!

Bentley World-Packaging based in Milwaukee is one of the nation’s largest industrial aftermarket and commercial parts distribution partners.

They are uniquely able to handle and manage BIG. Big parts, big volumes, big requirements.

They also offer export packing that helps reduce shipping costs by utilizing a proprietary software that ensures optimal container loading and space maximization.

At APICS Milwaukee, we are proud to serve supply chain professionals in the Milwaukee area and host events on today’s most relevant topics.

We hope you can join us next month on December 10th for a Logistics Panel Discussion and dinner in conjunction with the Logistics Council.

We are also excited to announce new certification classes and Supply Chain Workshop series starting in February 2020. Check out our website Education page for more info on these offerings to help you and your company!

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: 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