The Platinum Link - The Monthly Newsletter of the APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter

January 2016 Print

President's Report

February 2016


verb re·solve ri-?zälv, -?zo?lv also -?zäv or -?zo?v

: to find an answer or solution to (something) : to settle or solve (something)

: to make a definite and serious decision to do something

I know what you’re thinking, resolutions are connected with January. But I’ve found the ones that tend to stick with me throughout the year are the ones that have survived into February.

This year I tried to come up with some ultimate resolution, some theme by which I would light the lamp of inspiration for the epic year ahead that is 2016. My mind drew a blank. It was like looking at a blinking cursor on a screen; like tuning to a radio station only to hear static. Why couldn’t I figure it out?   The pressure started getting to me.

Then I attended Southwest Michigan First’s annual leadership event called Catalyst University, on January 28. The first guest speaker of the day, Jon Gordon, talked about not making resolutions. He told us that a vision statement, a theme, or even a phrase was not what has helped him resolve to get better/be better in recent years. It is simply, one word. Among his recent words have been “forgive”, "rise" and “purpose”. Hmmm, that’s some food for thought. 

At this point, I’m still searching for my one word for the year. I resolve to find it before February slips away.  Thanks to Ron Kitchens and his wonderful staff for presenting such a great and inspiring event at this year's Catalyst University.  I and two other Board members who attended thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from the experience.

Presently two WMU teams are completing the preliminary rounds of the APICS Great Lakes Student Case Competition, featuring “The Fresh Connection” supply chain simulation. Based on preliminary round results, 24 of the 28 teams will advance onward to the finals, held in Downers Grove, Illinois on February 19 and 20.  Several SWMI Board members plan to attend the finals.

For something closer to home, I hope you will find time in your busy schedule to join us Tuesday, February 16, at the WMU Fetzer Center for a West Michigan Economic Update from Dr. Brian G. Long, Director of Supply Management Research at Grand Valley State University. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. with Dr. Long’s presentation starting at 6:00 p.m.

Our fast track version of CPIM Module 1 – Basics of Supply Chain Management, begins on Saturday, March 19. This is an all-day class that you can complete in just three sessions (March 19, April 2 and 16).

Series three (Manufacturing Management) of the Lunch and Learn Thursday workshops have begun. The next topic (February 11) is “Basics of Materials Requirement Planning (MRP).”

See the Chapter website for information regarding our educational offerings and events:

I hope to see you at an upcoming event.


Angela N. DeVries, CPIM

President, APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter



Back to top

Professional Development Meeting

Professional Development Meeting
Tuesday February 16th, 2016

WMU Fetzer Center
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5239

Topic: West Michigan Economic Update

Registration is available at: HTTP://WWW.APICSSWMI.COM
Registration Deadline: Friday February 12th, 2016


Dr. Brian Long 
Dr. Brian G. Long, C.P.M., Director of Supply Management Research
Grand Valley State University

Dr. Long is Director of Supply Management Research at Grand Valley State University.  From 1975 to 1985, he served as Associate Professor of Marketing at Western Michigan University where he taught industrial marketing, industrial purchasing, and marketing strategy.

Dr. Long received his Ph.D. in marketing from the College of Business at Michigan State University in 1975.  Since then, he has been active doing research in the areas of business cycles, industrial marketing, industrial purchasing, and negotiation.  He is co-author of The Win-Win Negotiator, a One Minute Manager style book.

For over 33 years, he has edited a survey of local purchasing managers for both the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids areas, which has proved to be a major economic indicator of current and future business conditions.   This survey appears in many local newspapers and regional business publications, and is part of the Federal Reserve's bi-monthly survey of business conditions.


5:30 pm:Hors d'oeuvres
6:00 PDM Speaker Begin
7:15 Q&A

We hope you are able to join us for this interesting and informative presentation.


$0.00 APICS Member Ticket

$0.00 Guest Ticket - Non APICS Member

$0.00 WMU Student Associate Member Ticket

$0.00 WMU Student Ticket - Non APICS Student Member

Back to top

Board of Directors

Angela DeVries CPIM
Pfizer, Inc.

[email protected]


Mike Manchester CPIM, CPM, CSCP
Past President
Pfizer, Inc.

[email protected]

Viswanathan "Raj" Rajagopal, CPIM
VP Administration
Pfizer, Inc.

Jeff Taft
VP Technology

[email protected]

Ed Huver, CPIM
VP Finance
Pfizer Inc.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Michael E. O'Neill CPSM, CPIM
President-elect and VP Programs
Eaton Corporation

[email protected]

Federico Conde CPIM
VP Membership
Kellogg Company

[email protected]

Cindy Troyer CPM
VP Quality
Eaton Corporation

[email protected]

Rian Caldwell
VP University Relations
American Axle & Manufacturing

[email protected] 


Megan McFadden, CPIM

VP Communications
GE Aviation

[email protected]

Robert Montgomery CPIM
Director at Large
Manufacturing Mgmt. Assoc.

David Rench
Director at Large 
Manchester Industries

Scott Lemons

VP Marketing

Humphrey Products

[email protected] 

Ashley Moyle

Director of University Relations 
Ralph Moyle Inc





Back to top

Welcome New Members

The Board of the Southwest Michigan Chapter Welcomes New Members


James Gibson






























Back to top

Education Corner

APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter Educational Offerings Spring 2016

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early Spring.  While he may or may not be right, now is is the time to look ahead at the 2016 Spring educational programs that your chapter is offering.  We have several educational opportunities availiable to help you with your personal or career growth.  We offer a variety of educational offerings to widen your knowledge base or to update your current skills.  The educational offerings that APICS offers are a key benefit of your membership.  They provide valuable knowledge that can help you in your current position or help prepare you for your next position.  APICS certifications can give you a leg up on the competition and are specifically referenced in many job postings.  We encourage you to take advantage of these offerings.

  "Lunch and Learn" Workshops

We have had a very positive response to our ongoing "Lunch and Learn" workshops.  If you haven't taken the opportunity to review the upcoming offerings, please do so.  These workshops are a very cost and time effective way to update your knowledge on various supply chain topics. Classes are held at two week intervals with a new topic each session.  There is bound to be a topic that is relevant to you.  We hope to see you at an upcoming session.

Additional details on the "Lunch and Learn" Workshop series can be found here "Lunch and Learn" Workshops

CSCP March 2016

Our next Instructor led CSCP exam preparation course begins March 23rd.   

APICS CSCP education is essential if you are:

  • interested in increasing your knowledge and expertise in the field of global supply chain management, specifically in the areas of customer relations, international trade, information technology enablement, and physical logistics
  • consulting or facilitating supply chain functions or working with ERP systems
  • creating a common standard of understanding, vocabulary, resources, and frameworks within your company to address your supply chain challenges and opportunities.


An APICS CSCP designation will help you:

  • master the necessary tools to effectively manage global supply chain activities, including suppliers, plans, distributors, and customers around the globe
  • acquire the skills you need to create consistency and foster collaboration through best practices, common terminology, and corporate communication
  • understand how to use enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems and other technologies to improve the entire supply chain process
  • maximize your organization's ERP investments by millions of dollars
  • increase your professional value and secure your future.


The new APICS CSCP exam consists of three important modules. The exam reflects critical changes in the marketplace and in the evolving roles and responsibilities of operations and supply chain managers. For accreditation, you must master each of the following:

MODULE 1 Supply Chain Design

  • Develop the Supply Chain Strategy
  • Design the Supply Chain


MODULE 2 Supply Chain Planning and Execution

  • Procure and Deliver Goods and Services
  • Manage the Relationship with Supply Chain Partners
  • Manage Reverse Logistics


MODULE 3 Supply Chain Improvements and Best Practices

  • Comply with Standards, Regulations, and Sustainable Best Practices
  • Manage Risk in the Supply Chain
  • Measure, Analyze, and Improve the Supply Chain

Preview the APICS CSCP Exam Content Manual APICS CSCP exam preparation materials

 For more information on upcoming CSCP offerings, please visit the course info page March 2016 CSCP REVIEW

CPIM March 2016 

We will be conducting a CPIM Module 1 (Basics of Supply Chain Management) exam review course starting March 19 on the Western Michigan University campus.  This will be in a "Fast Track" format meaning the course will be conducted in only 3 sessions.  Theese will be held every other Saturday from 8am-5pm 

A CPIM education can help you to:

  • Increase your functional knowledge of production and inventory management.
  • Improve efficiency across the processes of your organization's supply chain.
  • Streamline operations through accurate forecasting.
  • Predict outcomes more accurately.
  • Maximize customer satisfaction by delivering products and services Just-in-Time.
  • Increase profitability by optimizing your organization's inventory investment.
  • Enhance your credibility among peers, employers, and customers. 


Basics of Supply Chain Management

The basic concepts in managing the complete flow of materials in a supply chain from suppliers to customers are covered in the Basics module. This module covers manufacturing, distribution, service, and retail industries. This includes the fundamental relationships in the design, planning, execution, monitoring, and control that occur. Knowledge of the material in this module is assumed as a prerequisite for the other APICS CPIM modules, which cover similar topics in much greater depth.

Topics include:

  • Understanding basic businesswide concepts, including understanding various supply chain environments
  • Managing demand, including markets and customer expectations
  • Designing products, processes, and information systems
  • Understanding supply issues including inventory costs, functions, and metrics


For more information on the CPIM Module 1 Exam Review class, please Click Here



Back to top

New APICS Educational Offering

The APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter is looking into being able to provide the following APICS Principles of Operations Management courses. If you or your company would have an interest in one of these courses or the entire series, please contact our VP Education Mike Manchester.

Here is a brief overview of each course:

The APICS Principles of Inventory Management will impart an operational knowledge and understanding of inventory management principles and techniques, roles and responsibilities, and the impact that inventory can have on a business.

Topics include

  • inventory management fundamentals
  • ordering techniques
  • replenishment policies
  • purchasing management
  • just-in-time and lean methodologies
  • inventory performance measurement.

The APICS Principles of Operations Planning course imparts a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the basic inventory planning principles and techniques that are used at each level in the planning process, from strategic to tactical.

Topics include

  • planning foundations
  • business planning
  • basics of forecasting
  • sales and operations planning
  • master scheduling
  • capacity management
  • operations systems.

The APICS Principles of Manufacturing Management course aims to provide fundamental knowledge and understanding of the core concepts necessary to effectively managing activities related to planning, scheduling, and controlling manufacturing processes.

Topics include

  • manufacturing management fundamentals
  • manufacturing product structures
  • material requirements planning (MRP)
  • capacity planning and management
  • production activity control
  • advanced scheduling
  • lean production management.

The APICS Principles of Distribution and Logistics program will provide fundamental knowledge of operations management and understanding of the core concepts necessary to effectively manage an organization's supply chain.

Topics include

  • operations management foundations
  • introduction to distribution and logistics
  • distribution channel design
  • inventory management
  • distribution requirements planning (DRP)
  • warehouse management
  • packaging and material handling
  • transportation management
  • transportation operations.

The APICS Principles of Managing Operations imparts a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the processes, operations, quality management and process improvement functions needed to run a successful organization. This course is just being released at the end of March and will not be available until later this year.


Back to top

Calendar of Events

Click on the link below to access our upcoming events.

Calendar of Events


Back to top

Monthly Article

A Safe Bet

By Gary A. Smith, CFPIM, CSCP | July/August 2015 | 25 | 4

Boost productivity, morale, loyalty, and more

Safety must be more than just inspections and meetings. Although those actions are useful, they achieve little more than just checking off some boxes. There are those who say safety should be a habit like buckling your seatbelt every time you get into a car. Again, this is worthwhile but insufficient, because habits are personal and begin and end solely with the individual. Safety must be part of a company’s culture—in fact, it is arguably the most essential characteristic.

This is particularly true for industries such as transportation, mining, construction, and chemical and power generation. These businesses employ large numbers of people, are asset intensive, and usually create products and services that influence enormous numbers of stakeholders. As such, a safety culture is vital to their long-term success and to their risk management strategies. In short, a company that can manage its safety can manage its business.

The culture question

Culture is the sum of the shared values, beliefs, practices, and principles that exist in an organization. The litmus test for culture is, “What do employees do when the boss is not around?” Culture addresses what philosophies are important and ways to achieve those ideals. Organizational behavior experts have created numerous models that attempt to explain the various dimensions and dynamics of company culture, as well as ways to understand, manage, influence, and change it.

Just as the majority of an iceberg is below the waterline, what can be seen of a particular culture—the stuff people actually talk about— is only a small part of it. The rest is invisible but there nonetheless. And, as the crew of the Titanic found out too late, what you can’t see can hurt you. Pushing major changes can be as perilous as booking passage on that ill-fated ship. Studies show that 70 percent of change initiatives fail because managers do not consider the impact of culture—again, probably because it’s very difficult to see the unspoken norms. So leaders instead impose rules and procedures that run counter to the culture. In such situations, most employees will passively ignore, actively ignore, or simply wait out the change.

It is possible to effect cultural change, but it takes time and a thorough understanding of current culture. Decision makers must regard cultural change as a long-term investment of time, resources, and money much the same way they view plant and equipment investment.

For safety to be part of a company’s culture, it first must become a value. Cultural values are shared and taught to the next generation of workers. When people value safety, they are mindful of their individual safety and recognize that their actions can affect the safety of coworkers, downstream customers, upstream suppliers, and even the general public.

My organization, New York City Transit, is committed to a safety culture. In order to succeed, we know we must constantly invest in safety at all levels. Our values are summed up in two words: People matter. Each day, eight million people travel through the city on our network of subways and buses. Our customers count on us to transport them safely. But “People matter” is not just about the riding public; it includes everyone we touch. Safety as a concept has become something our organization is, rather than simply something it has.

Teams like mine that are dedicated to a safety culture enjoy numerous competitive advantages as a result of these efforts. These benefits include enhanced productivity, lower medical and worker’s compensation costs, higher employee engagement and morale, less turnover, and greater customer loyalty.

Creating a safety culture demands a conscious effort to continuously improve the organizational environment by implementing and conducting risk assessments, safety inspections, and near-miss programs. Achievement is best accomplished through the adoption of a quantifiable, goal-oriented approach that provides a practical framework, helps avoid confusion, and establishes a safety culture that is measureable and manageable. The following specific actions are recommended:

  • Reduce the number of accidents and injuries—those that result in lost time and those that do not.
  • Ensure that safety concerns are taken seriously and that issues receive appropriate and swift attention.
  • Confirm that all employees share the same ideals and beliefs about risks, accidents, and health.
  • Increase people’s commitment to safety.
  • Determine the style and proficiency of a safety program. Most importantly, always keep in mind that people matter. They are the number-one reason for making safety a fundamental part of doing business.

Gary A. Smith, CFPIM, CSCP, is vice president of the division of supply logistics for New York City Transit. He may be contacted at gary. [email protected].

Back to top

Social Media

Connect to us

Join us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Share with your friends and colleagues and help them stay connected!  Watch for some special announcements, contests, etc… that will only be shared on our Social Media sites.





Back to top

Great Lakes District News & Events

The APICS SCOR® Professional (SCOR-P) program enables you to learn techniques for managing and measuring the performance of a global supply chain utilizing the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR®) model.

The APICS SCOR-P program:

  • Establishes in-depth knowledge of the SCOR model and methods
  • Provides real-world techniques for tackling strategic supply chain issues
  • Provides a practical method for evaluating the effectiveness of each course

SCOR-P endorsement demonstrates a commitment to your career and an investment in yourself. By building on your SCOR knowledge, you will dramatically increase your rate of supply chain improvement and performance.

SCOR-P endorsement builds on the SCOR Framework by providing participants with the tools to:

  • Standardize performance metrics
  • Build processes to describe what, where and how activities are performed
  • Create best practices for processes impacting supply chain performance
  • Manage critical supply chain resources for developing and retaining employees

Complete information can be found by clicking Here.

Back to top