On Friday and Saturday, my APICS Chapter hosted the APICS West Coast Student Case Competition. I happened to lead the Student Case Competition committee as well, and so I was immersed.  It was a popular event as we had close to 100 students from universities throughout Southern California, AZ, Northern CA, Utah, Oregon, Texas, Mexico, Hong Kong etc.  The students did a supply chain case study through a simulated computer exercise and presented their findings and learnings to the crowd (as if we were the Board of Directors of the company).  It certainly pointed out how much talent there is in our future supply chain and operations leaders!

It also begged the question about whether we’ve kept the student passion for learning.  Are you continually learning?  If not, we are falling  behind!  It so happens that APICS professionals (who were also in attendance) are typically above the curve when it comes to learning as the APICS certifications are a key part of the supply chain and operations body of knowledge.  Do you have something like this that will make learning a part of your everyday life?

One tip to implement this week:
In today’s complex world, what worked yesterday might not work today – certainly not by next year!  It is important to keep up with the latest trends, best practices, ideas, new concepts, industry news etc.  The good news is that there are lots of alternatives for achieving this goal.

If you like to read, you can subscribe to the latest news and trends.  If you learn visually, there are more and more examples of YouTube and video topics of interest.  If you learn best through application, there are many courses through programs such as the ones APICS Inland Empire offers, most universities have extension programs for continual learning, trade organizations and industry groups offer the opportunity to get together, etc.  Pick one and get involved.  Last week, I also attended and was a panelist at the Manufacturing Summit of the Inland Empire, and the keynote speaker mentioned a word appropriate to this edition of I’ve Been Thinking – PARTICIPATE.