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

May 2016 Print

President's Report

May 2016


adjective up·beat

: positive and cheerful

: happy and hopeful

Spring is well underway and with it comes many reasons to feel good. The weather is getting nice enough for us to sometimes leave our coats at home. School years are winding down and students, parents, and friends pause to celebrate what has been achieved. We plant flowers and begin mowing grass. We put away our heavy sweaters and gloves. It’s good to be alive and living in Southwest Michigan.    

Another program year is also winding down. Our last major Professional Development Meeting (PDM) was held April 19th. A big thank you goes out to Ken Jones (WMU) and Joe Agostinelli (Southwest Michigan First) for an engaging and timely discussion about value networks and harnessing disruptive change.

A Fast-Track version of CPIM module one, Basics of Supply Chain Management, running every-other Saturday will wrap up on May 14th. Thank you to my Chapter instructors: Mike Manchester, Ed Huver, and Bob Montgomery, who have shared the supply chain body of knowledge with brilliance, professionalism, and uncompromising dedication in a variety of classes offered this program year.

A special thanks goes out to Tod Schwartz (of the Grand Rapids Chapter), instructor of our CSCP class currently in session. Your time, energy, and expertise are greatly valued.

Thank you to all the Members: Professionals and Students! Your attendance in classes, at PDMs, and other networking events encourages me that our profession is strong, agile, and heading for an even brighter future. I appreciate that you spend time with us.

Last but not least, I would like to thank my Board of Directors for a great year. Your support has been at the heart of all we’ve accomplished. With you, my Presidency has been a wonderfully positive and educational experience. After my transition in June to Past-President, I look forward to continuing to help and to attend many of next year’s events.

The Lunch and Learn Thursday workshops continue on May 5th, with the start of a new a series on Distribution & Logistics.

One more networking event will close the program year’s events, on May 17th, tentatively scheduled at the University Roadhouse.  

See the Chapter website for information regarding our events:

I hope to see you at an upcoming event.


Angela N. DeVries, CPIM

President, APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter

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Professional Development Meeting

Professional Development Meeting

Topic: Networking Event

Stryker, Eaton, Pfizer, Kellogg, Western Michigan University, Impact Label, Continental Rubber, Jackson National Life,

Parker Hannifin, DENSO, Perrigo, Blackmer, Mann Hummel, Chemlink, Humphrey Products, Chelsea Milling Company,

City of Kalamazoo, Flowserve, Automation Plus, Owens Products Inc.

Tuesday May 17th, 2016

WMU University Roadhouse

1332 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Registration is available at:

Registration Deadline: Thursday May 13th 2016

As a part of the S.W. Michigan community, you are connected to a variety of professional organizations that

lead the pace including supply chain, operations management, quality including access to one of the top Rated

ISM programs at Western Michigan University. These organizations are developing the most skilled and

talented professionals in their fields. These organizations extend their expertise and memberships through

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and beyond.

Please join us and make local connections with our professional organizations, participate in an industry

discussion or network with key professionals to share best practices. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to

know local leaders engaged in S.W. Michigan expansion and improve organizational development.

We welcome your engagement with APICS, ASQ, ISM and

Western Michigan University. We look forward to socializing

and networking with everyone. We hope you are able to join



5:30 pm: Hors d'oeuvres

6:00 Networking

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Welcome New Members

The Board of the Southwest Michigan Chapter Welcomes New Members

James Bronson.

Termia Lee

Jake Karrels

Nicole Mitchell




























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Education Corner

APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter Educational Offerings Spring/Summer 2016

Our Spring 2016 CSCP and CPIM courses are underway.  We will be announcing our Fall 2016 offerings soon.  In the meantime, please take advantage of our Lunch and Learn workshops.


  "Lunch and Learn" Workshops

We continue to have 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 -Watch for Announcement of Fall 2016 Class 


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


CPIM Fall 2016 

Watch for upcoming announcements of our fall CPIM review course(s).

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. 





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New APICS Educational Offering

The APICS Southwest Michigan Chapter is excited to be able to offer 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 David Rench.

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.



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Calendar of Events

Click on the link below to access our upcoming events.

Calendar of Events


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Monthly Article

Commanders of the Fleet

By Maha Muzumdar | July/August 2011 | 21 | 4
Case Study: Sustainable Transportation at Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods, the world’s second-largest food company, recently was facing myriad transportation challenges. Company leaders aimed to  

    • reduce the costs of their large-scale food distribution operation, which includes 500 shipping points, more than 6,000 destinations, and approximately 2,500 trucks on the road each day in the United States
    • support the company’s aggressive sustainability goal of reducing global manufacturing energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent between 2005 and 2011
    • increase transportation efficiency by removing “empty miles” traversed in and out of distribution centers.  

Kraft executives decided to institute a synchronized-trip program for the management of optimized, sustainable transportation. With this tool in place, they were able to

  • identify repeated or unnecessary patterns in truck movements  
  • enable trip segmentation, reducing “empty miles” by 500,000 in the first year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.3 pounds per mile
  • integrate transportation tools with an existing enterprise resources planning system, enabling better forecasting for future needs  
  • gain insight into freight volume and costs across divisions, making it easier to negotiate lower food distribution rates. 



Levering technology to achieve transportation excellence

Controlling costs is an essential component to achieving transportation excellence. Successful transportation professionals continually seek innovative, proven ways to mitigate rising costs and gain operational advantage over their competitors with the right transportation management system (TMS). 

In today’s environment, however, soaring energy prices, roadway congestion, and end customer desire for faster delivery mean higher transportation costs—and they are projected to continue rising. As a result, a fundamental shift is occurring in transportation, whereby controlling costs is less about cost reduction and more about avoiding increases.


Many companies also search for ways to increase transportation efficiency while maintaining or creating high standards of environmental responsibility. No longer is it enough to find consolidation opportunities within the network or to negotiate carrier rates: 


Successful companies are managing costs while supporting initiatives that drive margins, lower inventories, and create a more sustainable and lean supply chain. These approaches can bring about transportation savings for the organization; but, more importantly, they facilitate a broad, logistics-based view of the entire operation and elevate transportation in general. (For a detailed case study of a sustainable and lean supply chain project in action at a multinational organization, see the sidebar on page 31.) 


Cost versus service

The trade-off between cost and service lies at the heart of the TMS decision-making process. Service refers to the interested parties’ satisfaction levels when dealing with both transportation providers and the companies purchasing the transportation. Transportation providers historically are extensions of the companies that purchase the transportation, due to the high levels of interaction with suppliers, distribution centers, and customers. For this reason, the planning and effort involved with finding the right service providers are critical to the success of the purchasing company. 


Service is gauged using metrics such as on-time pickup, on-time delivery, and percentage of damage—quantifiable, data-based approaches that can be benchmarked against other providers and historical figures. At the highest level, service is measured by days in transit, which is linked to the transport mode chosen and the geographic locations of origin and destination. Thus, overall sourcing is closely linked to the proximity of customer or supplier: The longer the duration of a trip, the lower the cost, as the service provider can leverage economies of scale, transporting more items and using more fuel-efficient methods. 


Measuring the direct costs of transportation is relatively straightforward. Often, companies express these as cost per hundredweight or cost per cube of product. But the indirect costs of transportation are more difficult to measure: Delays cause excess inventory; slower transportation modes increase days-on-hand inventory as it moves through the supply chain; and varying customer satisfaction levels can lead to higher or lower sales, depending on customers’ experience with the carriers of choice. 


After taking all of this into account, it is easy to see how higher service levels increase transportation costs and lower transportation costs reduce service levels. Lowering your service levels might even be appropriate if the parties involved aren’t expecting the level you normally provide—if you still match industry norms or if the positive effects (cost reductions) offset negative impacts in other areas. 


Arriving at value

Considering costs and service levels as a backdrop for overall transportation management, the following are three essential components that a TMS must have to establish basic transportation competence in the current business environment. 


Controlling costs is less about cost reduction and more about avoiding increases.


Transportation planning and shipment optimization. Traditionally, shipment optimization involves weighing the characteristics of inbound, outbound, and inter-facility orders to arrive at a transportation plan that adheres to predetermined service levels while keeping costs to a minimum. The typically used areas of planning and optimization are order consolidation, shipment consolidation, mode selection, and through-point optimization. The savings derived from these are easy to measure and often become the main means of justifying a TMS purchase. 


Collaboration and automation. Automation of transportation and logistics processes includes order availability, shipment tendering, pickup and delivery notifications, and freight invoicing and payment. They are necessary attributes for any TMS to function within a properly staffed transportation department. 


When these capabilities are present in a TMS, personnel are able to take on more value-added projects and, in turn, provide more benefit to the enterprise. Additionally, the ability to interact with interested parties using automation is a significant benefit to the transportation team, as the very nature of transportation is collaborative. Because transportation involves items being sent from one party to another—typically by a third party— sharing information and creating processes supported by technology increase the overall efficiency of the operation and the satisfaction of all involved. 


Freight payment. An often-overlooked area of transportation is the auditing and payment of freight bills. When present in a TMS, the subsequent savings can cover the entire purchase and implementation of the system. Basically, freight payment involves checking invoices electronically against shipment records and determining if this matches what the system expected to pay. In the case of a match, vouchers are sent to accounts payable and checks are cut. Otherwise, the TMS will take a series of configurable actions, such as invoice decline, short vouchering, and alerting appropriate parties. 


It’s a journey, not a destination 

On their transportation journeys, many leading companies adopt less common processes and practices to create value and move beyond mere cost management. Cost management can find its way back into the project; but, when it does, it’s not as integral to the conversation, and stakeholders can more easily accept it because the program no longer hinges solely on it. 


With that idea in mind, following are some of the more interesting concepts and technologies being deployed in transportation today. 


Global, local, central management. Advancements in technology enable organizations to manage large, complex, and global networks more effectively. Visibility across the entire logistics network makes it possible for enterprises to manage operations using a central system and with local domain expertise, personnel, and practices. This eliminates the need for multiple systems and technology costs while enabling cross-functional decision making and creating relationships that result in greater efficiency. This “command center” model has been adopted by only a handful of organizations and third-party logistics (3PL) providers, but it is a relatively new concept.


Executives face pressures to measure, manage, and mitigate the environmental impacts of transportation. 

Extended logistics processes Fleet management, global trade management, performance management, and cooperative routing historically have relied on separate, silo-based processes and systems. This no longer is the case, as technology has evolved to the point where these areas can be supported with a single platform. Adopting these functions into a TMS provides incremental value beyond core transportation management. Consider each function in turn:

  • Fleet management: For years, owning a private fleet meant using a separate system to manage it. Inevitably, demand spikes and dips would create resource challenges that could not be resolved with a single system. This would require manual intervention under major time constraints, resulting in cost overruns and service interruptions. Managing both private and for-hire transportation with a single system reduces these challenges, eases strain on overburdened information technology departments, and creates value for the organization.  
  • Global trade management: Until a decade or two ago, many professionals outsourced international transport to 3PL companies. Many companies now are reconsidering this approach. There are clear synergies and advantages to controlling both domestic and international transportation with a single system. Integrating global trade processes can help ensure government com executives face pressures to measure, manage, and mitigate the environmental impacts of transportation. 
  • Performance management: Gathering transportation intelligence, creating scorecards, and sophisticated reporting are increasingly important functions for a TMS. These capabilities help monitor progress through agreed-upon metrics and offer a link to the sources of performance glitches. With performance management integration, companies can compare logistics performance to industry benchmarks to evaluate where they stand among competitors. 

Cooperative routing: With continuous moves, companies gain the ability to link full truckloads together to generate a lower per-mile rate, rather than treating each shipment as an individual move. This approach lowers costs and strengthens carrier relationships, but its management can prove challenging. Some companies assess their transportation operations to identify and create strategic opportunities by planning alongside customer service and purchasing departments. With cooperative routing, carriers also are brought into the discussion to fill in the missing links. Currently, only leading TMS solutions support this strategic and tactical evaluation. 


Sustainable and lean transportation. Increased environmental awareness has drawn attention to—and, in some cases, scrutiny of—the fact that transportation is a significant contributor to environmental degradation within the supply chain. Today, executives face pressures to measure, manage, and mitigate the environmental impacts of transportation. Progressive companies are focusing on these transportation goals—striving for clean methods using lean principles. With the right balance of each, companies can meet environmental goals without losing sight of operational efficiency. 

Consider these sustainable and lean principles for focusing sustainability programs in transportation: 

  • Eco-efficiency: reducing environmental impact and cutting costs by increasing transportation efficiency in existing business operations.  
  • Eco-innovation: designing or redesigning transportation processes to reduce costs and increase revenues while lowering environmental impact. 
  • Eco-transparency: measuring and reporting on environmental factors to drive ongoing process improvement, comply with regulations, and minimize risks.  
Technology-enabled transportation management practices deliver significant cost savings and service improvements through automation, collaboration, visibility, and decision support. Integrating core transportation management processes and associated best practices with other logistics areas—such as global trade, fleet and asset management, and sustainability— can provide significant dividends for companies. By taking a holistic approach that considers people, processes, technology, and performance measures across business units, functions, and geographies, companies can achieve world-class transportation excellence. 

Maha Muzumdar is vice president of supply chain marketing at Oracle, where he formulates, defines, and drives market strategy for supply chain applications. He may be contacted at [email protected].



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Social Media

NEW LinkedIn Company Page

We are excited to announce the roll out of our new LinkedIn company page!  Follow us to receive curated supply chain articles, as well as information about chapter events, right in your LinkedIn news feed!  Share with your friends and colleagues to help them stay connected!


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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.

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Board of Directors

Angela DeVries, CPIM


Pfizer, Inc.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Michael E. O'Neill, CPSM, CPIM

President-elect, VP Programs

Eaton Corporation

MichaelEO’[email protected]

[email protected]

Viswanathan "Raj" Rajagopal, CPIM

VP Administration

Pfizer, Inc.

Ed Huver, CPIM

VP Finance

Pfizer, Inc.

[email protected]

[email protected]ICSSWMI.COM

Michael Merling

Director of Finance

Jeff Taft

VP Technology


[email protected]

Andrew Barnett

Director of Technology

David Rench

VP Education

Manchester Industries

[email protected]

[email protected]

Mike Manchester, CPIM, CPM, CSCP

Past President, Director of Education

Pfizer, Inc.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Federico Conde, CPIM

VP Membership

Kellogg Company

[email protected]

Scott Lemons, CPIM

VP Marketing

Humphrey Products

[email protected]

[email protected]

Megan McFadden, CPIM

VP Communications

GE Aviation

M[email protected]

[email protected]

Cindy Troyer, CPIM, CPM

VP Quality

Eaton Corporation

[email protected]

[email protected]

Rian Caldwell

VP University Relations

American Axle & Manufacturing

[email protected] 

Ashley Kordish

Director of University Relations

Ralph Moyle Inc

Robert Montgomery, CPIM

Director at Large

Manufacturing Mgmt. Assoc.


Brian Flahie

Director at Large

Eaton Corporation

[email protected]


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