Tag Archive: supply chain professionals

Holiday Parties & Diversity

December 13th, 2017

I participated with several holiday parties recently – and have a few more planned.  That is a nice benefit of leading and participating in so many groups.  The pictures below are from my APICS Inland Empire chapter holiday mixer and member appreciation event.  Thanks to Susan Brunasso for pictures!  What strikes me is the diversity of our APICS group – we range from students, supply chain professionals (such as planners, buyers, operations managers), executives/ business owners (thanks to Dan & C.C. Vest, Don Brithinee, Brian Reed, Kar Shanmugam and more for their great support), trusted advisors to manufacturers and distributors, sponsors (thanks Maggie Watson), Board members and more.  

Clearly our women are above (looking festive I might add) and our men below (although Susan always inserts me into the photos too).

And our UCR students (mainly) are below since our CSUSB student is featured above with the men.

One tip to implement this week:
Have you thought about the diversity of your employees, work groups, trade associations and more?  

There are many ways to think about diversity.  In terms of APICS, I was talking about the wide variety of roles and responsibilities that rallied around increasing value for manufacturers and distributors (although because Susan took photos of different groups, I unintentionally also spoke to gender).  

We gain value from diverse perspectives, ranging from the fresh ideas (often provided by students) to “what works” to the latest technologies.  I didn’t even mention that we have some technology experts on our Board as well!

I find that creating diversity doesn’t require rules and regulations.  In fact, forced diversity can harm organizations! Instead, valuing different ideas, solutions, points-of-view and more creates the environment for diversity. Undoubtedly, we achieve a FAR greater value for our members with a more complete view.  We definitely shoot to make 1+1+1 = 33, and our diverse group of experts achieves this objective.  

Are you valuing fresh perspectives (even if not in line with your own)?  


APICS-IE Symposium Panel to Discuss Disruptive Innovations in Logistics

May 4th, 2017
disruptive innovations

The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS,  the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, will be hosting a meeting on global supply chain trends and strategies at its Disruptive Innovations in Logistics Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium on May 6,  in Corona, Calif. Expert panelists including Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, Director of the METRANS; Mark Hirzel, Customs Broker for A.N. Deringer, Inc.; Lupe Valdez, Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad; Heidi Chance, Division Manager at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA; and, Steve Finley, Owner at Re-Transportation, Inc. Experts on the panel will share with attendees what they see as the future supply chain disruptions and innovations and how they should prepare for these pivotal changes. Attendees are encouraged to network and benchmark with area companies and build contacts within the manufacturing and distribution community to help them build their careers.“We have a perfect intersection of panel expertise and the support of our sponsors to truly deliver an exceptional symposium to our APICS-IE members and guests,” says Lisa Anderson, President of APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group. “We are fortunate to have a community of top notch professionals, including speakers, sponsors and members, committed to helping attendees gain value so that they walk away with strategies and innovative ideas to lead their companies and functions, provide valuable input on key initiatives and develop their personal careers. Gaining a competitive edge in the global supply chain requires a team approach!”

Sponsors this year include Arbela TechnologiesManufacturing Executive Institute and Compete Consulting Group. Event supporters provide additional value to attendees serving as a resource and advocates of this symposium’s focus on ‘Disruptive Innovations in Global Supply Chain’.  Compete Consulting Group values the community of experts and resources that the Symposium will bring together to help manufacturers and distributors stay on top of disruptive innovations. “Like APICS-IE does for its membership by providing value-add programming and resources, our business is to help our clients better navigate changes with Fed Ex and UPS such as the recent rate hikes related to dimensional weight and the impact of the Amazon Effect which we address by ensuring our clients have the best rate structures and shipping intelligence capabilities in place,” notes Keith Durna, Vice President of Compete Consulting.

“Market and customer exposure to better services and innovative ideas by market leaders like Amazon is driving digitization of the supply chain processes by smaller distributors. Meeting these expectations require analysis and predicting customer behavior, sales and marketing trends, and all the way to the effectiveness of the operations,” said Nima Bakhtiary, president and CEO of Arbela Technologies. “As part of the APICS-IE Symposium, we look forward to connecting with top supply chain professionals and talking about how end-to-end Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and disruptive innovations like predictive analysis can help manufacturers and distributors better address their customers’ demands.”

The APICS-IE Executive Panel & Networking Symposiums draws attendees from all over Southern California. Held twice yearly, platinum sponsor Manufacturing Executive Institute actively promotes attendance at the Symposium. “We support APICS-IE in providing opportunities for our members to learn from experts on topics like global growth and supply chain,” states Maggie Watson, Manufacturing Executive Institute.  “We are proud to sponsor APICS-IE as we offer complimentary executive training programs and are dedicated to bringing relevant knowledge to individuals who are interested in making dramatic improvements in their manufacturing and distribution companies.”

The APICS-IE Spring Symposium: Disruptive Innovations in Logistics will be held Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif. Fees to attend the event from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM are $20 for members, $25 for non-members and students are free. Breakfast buffet is included. Register online or cut and paste this link into your browser: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07edo6z6ik0657ae8c&oseq=&c=&ch=


Logistics, Logistics and Logistics

January 2nd, 2017

supply chain

I took the APICS CLTD (certified in logistics, transportation and distribution) exam yesterday (and passed!); therefore, I have been knee deep in logistics topics this week. Who knew logistics was such a BIG topic? Well, we have been excited at APICS-IE to start teaching this certification class as it is critical to manufacturing, distribution and transportation success. Since taking on CLTD, we have noticed an increased interest from people like the Wall Street Journal and, of course, the proactive supply chain professionals in Southern CA! If you don’t have the right product, at the right place, at the right time, in the right condition at the right cost etc., etc., your business will lose profits and potentially customers — quite a big deal!


Did you know Southern CA is #1 in NOT only manufacturing but also logistics in the U.S.? Are you thinking about logistics or does it just “happen”?

One tip to implement this week:

As I said, logistics is a large topic. There are 4 LARGE books for the CLTD exam. How about starting by taking an assessment of your area (such as Southern CA) or your company? Find out how important logistics is to your area and your company. It certainly HAS to be related if you move anything anywhere, have inventory, etc. And, if you live in an area like Southern CA, it is vital to your life. Logistics is cornerstone to the economy and has global implications. Certainly the LA and Long Beach ports are the BIG daddy of all ports. The #2 port is a FAR smaller second in comparison. We have massive distribution centers, and manufacturing is nothing to blink about as #1! Imagine the opportunities.

Have you noticed how often paying attention can go a long way to starting progress?

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”

APICS-IE Recognizes Contributions in Manufacturing

May 31st, 2016
APICS-IE Spring Symposium

APICS-IE’s Symposiums recognize supply chain innovators who develop industry innovations and add value to the manufacturing, distribution and transportation communities.

The Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium focused on emerging supply chain trends and acknowledged those emergent leaders contributing to manufacturers, supply chain professionals and distributors to improve their education, lead times, forecasting, data analysis and supplier relationships.

The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS,  the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, motivated attendees with its expert panel presentation and discussion on investigating and predicting supply chain trends at its Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium: Emerging Supply Chain Trends held April 30, in Corona, Calif. In addition to expert presentations, stimulating dialogue, and industry networking; APICS-IE also recognized individuals and companies for their contributions to the association and improving members’ knowledge base. Six awards were given in appreciation of outstanding leadership and partnership — outstanding board leaders, Tony Martinez and Parizad Sethna; outstanding partner, Monster Energy Company; outstanding APICS partner, APICS San Fernando Valley; outstanding instructor, Susan Franks; and business leader advocate, Kusum Kavia.

While the Spring Symposium’s focus was on recognizing industry innovators, achievers and those who have contributed to APICS-IE’s success in providing value to the manufacturing, distribution and transportation communities; it also challenged attendees to think more strategically about their supply chain.

Award recipients recognized the importance APICS-IE plays in helping area companies stay current, getting access to education and developing human resources. “Riverside County is known for its large manufacturing hub and having the resources that APICS-IE offers is very valuable to our region,” explained business leader advocate award winner Kusum Kavia of Combustion Associates, Inc. “Not only can talent be obtained through APICS-IE, but manufacturers, such as my company CAI, can send their employees for training to this organization. APICS provides value-added supply chain support including research and educational tools that is critical to all manufacturers.”

At the core of APICS-IE principles is education and training of its members to help them better perform on the job for career and company success. Through its support of Student Case competitionswebinars and training, APICS-IE continues to be the destination for skills development, certification and training. Acknowledged as outstanding instructor HourGlass Consulting’s Susan Franks, CPIM, CSCP, Instructor Training, and AIS Master Instructor stated,  “It is always great to be asked to work with this dynamic chapter and be a part of a strong instructor team. This symposium was one of the best-focused on key issues facing today’s global supply chains with great speakers, on target with their comments, and very informative.”

VP Special Projects for APICS-IE Tony Martinez, CPIM, CIRM, was valued for all the contributions he makes as a board member. “This was unexpected, but I want to thank you for the opportunity to work with such a great group of people. The combination of teaching aspiring operations/supply chain practitioners through CPIM and Principles classes, and supporting students in Operations/Logistics majors at local colleges through scholarships, and the Student Case Competition, is a very satisfying use of my operations/supply chain experience.”

Partnerships are extremely important and many of the APICS chapters work together to leverage resources and provide expanded opportunities to its membership base. Thornburg Consulting’s Michael Thornburg, MBA, CPIM President, APICS San Fernando Valley Chapter, accepted the outstanding APICS partner award on behalf of his chapter. “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of APICS-San Fernando Valley. This award is an outstanding example of what we strive for, namely Developing Professionals. Being recognized by the professional community is an unexpected and greatly appreciated surprise for all of us at APICS-San Fernando Valley. I am looking forward to future partnering opportunities with APICS-Inland Empire.”

Expert panelists included Dr. Chris Gopal, Senior Fellow at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and Executive Director of the Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics; Brian Reed, VP of Transportation & Customer Service Niagara Bottling; Roy Paulson, President, Paulson Manufacturing; and C.J. Nord, ISM Committee Chairperson for the Port of Long Beach Working Groups, and Supply Chain Manager at California Faucets shared data and trends and explained why companies should be forward thinking and respond to slow moving stock, supplier reliability, lead times and forecasting.

Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions, network and benchmark with area companies and build contacts within the manufacturing and distribution community to also help them build their career.

Looking ahead to the APICS-IE Fall Symposium — the theme will be Navigating Global Supply Chain and will be held Saturday, October 29, 2016, at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif. Fees to attend the event from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM are $15 for members, $25 for non-members and students are free. Breakfast buffet is included.

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What Supply Chains and Liberal Arts Have in Common…

April 13th, 2016

supply chainI have been interviewing some VERY impressive candidates for internship positions from Pomona college (which was ranked #1 by Forbes for America’s top colleges in 2015). I enjoyed the interviews and learned a lot from them. This is one of the advantages of my profession — continuous learning is a part of the package!

One of the interns saw the supply chain and consulting in an interesting light. He said, “It is the practical application of liberal arts” as it requires a broad knowledge and experience base. I think he might have hit the nail on the head. I just got back from speaking to a group of supply chain professionals in Ventura, and as we discussed supply chain topics, it became clear that it is a vast topic. When you think of the supply chain as ranging from your customers’ customers to your suppliers’ suppliers with manufacturing systems in between, connected by technology, transportation and distribution systems, the subject matter is broad by any stretch of the imagination.

One tip to implement this week:

Since supply chain has broad appeal, we should be touting the critical importance of the supply chain in our daily conversations. We must pay attention to emerging supply chain trends — if you are interested in hearing more about these, APICS Inland Empire chapter has an amazing executive panel lined up to talk at our executive panel and networking symposium on April 30th, on just this topic. You don’t have to be a member to register.

It can be as simple as describing your company’s supply chain within your company. Just to accomplish this task, you might have to find out more about your suppliers, customers, transportation partners, etc. Wouldn’t it create engaging conversations if people felt connected in the critical link of the broader supply chain?

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”