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Archive for the ‘President’s Message’ Category

President’s Message
October 2012

President’s Message
February 2012

President’s Message
November 2011

President’s Message
June 2011

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

It sounds trite to say that time is flying by. But even if it is a cliché, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!!

The Brandywine Valley APICS Chapter is wrapping up a very successful 2010-2011 program year that has gone by VERY quickly. Our combined membership of professional and student members is 385 strong. Our education programs for CPIM and CSCP certifications are healthy. We have the financial resources to maintain student scholarships at Widener University and begin a new scholarship at University of Delaware. In addition, we provide substantial support for the APICS Scholars program and Congress for Progress. Several members went to the International Conference in 2010. And, our Board has enjoyed the participation and leadership of 13 dedicated individuals.

A few highlights from the year past:
– The start of a new student Chapter at the University of Delaware. With the leadership of Lori Eagle (CSCP) and Dr. Chris Kydd at UD, we had a very successful lunch and learn series that brought about 20 students together for each of the 4 programs to learn more about supply chain and operations management roles in practice. My thanks to everyone involved. Let’s do it again!!
– Steve Boyd was named Member of the Year. Steve is stepping down from our Board after many (20+) years of involvement as Chapter President, Instructor, Education Leader, and most recently, VP of Marketing. Essentially, this is a lifetime achievement award for Steve. But this is not a eulogy……we will be seeing Steve in the coming years at our events!!
– DuPont was named Company of the Year in recognition of their active and on-going support of APICS and our Chapter. DuPonter’s represent 40 % of our membership and are very active in CSCP and CPIM certification programs. DuPont is also well represented on our Board of Directors.
– We have 128 members who have earned their CSCP Certification, 111 with have CPIM, 4 CFPIM (Fellow) and 6 CIRM certifications. Many members hold dual certifications. Overall, a whopping 60% of our professional members hold one or more APICS certifications.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to say that David Julius will taking over as Chapter President. He is a long time APICS member and a well known and respected Instructor for our Chapter. Please welcome David in this new role. As for me, I will be staying on the Board in the role Executive Vice President.

Enjoy your summer, and I will see you at our Professional Development Meetings and other activities in September.

Cheers,
Alan R. Leigh, CSCP, CPIM
President, APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter

President’s Message
January 2011

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

As I write this, there is turmoil in Egypt. People are demonstrating on the streets and the end-game for the government is in doubt.

It reminds me of the risks that our long supply chains face. Do any of your products or incoming materials go through the Suez Canal? It is likely that some of them do with an estimated 8% of the world’s seagoing trade passing through the canal that provides a key link between Europe and Asia.

We can’t prevent world events, but we can anticipate and manage the risks by applying sound risk management techniques. First of all, we need to stay alert and aware. If we know of a potential situation that is a risk, we can make plans to manage it. That means we have to communicate quickly and effectively throughout the organization any events that can interrupt our supply chains. Second, once we are alerted to a potential risk, we need to act quickly to put our plan into action. This is the plan that we developed earlier, remember? When we had time to think it through and assess the plus’s and minus’s of the different scenarios we envisioned. There are at least 2 reasons to act fast. The first is obvious…we want to protect ourselves and our customers. The 2nd may be less obvious….. when we are putting our contingency plan into action, our competitors are likely doing the same thing. It is also likely that we have similar thoughts of going after the same resources, which all of a sudden have become valuable and potentially scarce. Getting these resources working for us quickly could mean the difference between a manageable interruption, and a fiasco.

I hope and pray for the best for the people of Egypt. For the rest of us, let’s check the condition of our risk management plans.

Cheers,
Alan R. Leigh
President, APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter
CSCP, CPIM, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Murphy’s Laws Updated
September 2010

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

(as related to Lean, Six Sigma and Supply Chain)

This month, let’s take a light-hearted look at process improvement. All supply chain leaders and professionals deal with “Murphy’s Laws” each and every day. Right? Here are some extensions of Murphy’s Laws that may have bit you recently.

You recall the original Murphy’s Law, right?

“If anything can go wrong, it will.”

It was named after Captain Edward Murphy, an engineer working on an Air Force project.

So, with respect to Captain Murphy and all his proponents, here are some extensions and corollaries of Murphy’s Law that we can relate to our continuous improvement journey in supply chain and operations:

Team Meetings:

Murphy says: “A meeting is an event where minutes are kept and hours are lost”.

Lesson: The savvy Continuous Improvement (CI) leader always comes into a meeting with an agenda and a time limit. The meeting begins and ends on time. Your team will love you for this.

On Process Mapping:

Murphy says: “Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the process will do as it darn well pleases”

Lesson: Take the time to understand the ‘real’ process you are trying to improve. If there 20 different opinions on what is really happening, there is no real process. It’s just a collection of practices. It’s time for some standardization!!

On Data Analysis:

Murphy says: “Always draw the curve you want, then plot the data.”

Lesson: Please, I don’t have to comment on how wrong this is, do I? Use data and facts for good, always. Not to manipulate the system. (especially when it comes to forecasting!)

On Improved Solutions:

Murphy says: “New processes generate new problems.”
“If you can’t understand it, it’s intuitively obvious.”
“The primary function of the CI leader (or Master Scheduler, or Demand Planner, or Black Belt) is to make things difficult for the people actually running the process.”
“A failure will not appear until after final inspection.”

Lesson: a) Always, always do a risk assessment. Figure out before-hand what might go wrong. b) Always run a pilot. It’s easier to upgrade a solution on a small-scale than to discover items overlooked on a global scale. c) Always listen to the people who actually run the process for improvement ideas.

On Lean Supply Chain Thinking:

Murphy says: “Empty what is full. Fill what is empty. And scratch where it itches.”

Lesson: This sounds sort of like a kanban mentality. And its simplicity appeals to me.
The simplest solutions are often the best.

If you have comments on this message, or other real-world examples of Murphy’s Laws, write me at aleigh6s@aol.com.

Al Leigh, CPIM, CSCP
President, Brandywine Valley Chapter, APICS

President’s Message
August 2010

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

It’s nearly time for back-to-school and it’s nearly time for the APICS-Brandywine Valley Chapter’s fall schedule of Professional Development Meetings and Course offerings. Among the topics and speakers we are lining up for our monthly Professional Development Meetings are the subjects of Change Management, an S&OP Role Play, Global Supply Chain Planning, and Stadium/Team Operations at the new professional soccer team, the Philadelphia Union. Also in the works is a tour of the Tastykake Factory in South Philly. Stay tuned to our website for more information.

The first Professional Development Meeting will be Tuesday, September 14th. Save the date!! Details on the location and speaker will be posted on our website in the next week or so.

We also are scheduling a full lineup of Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and CPIM courses beginning in September. These will all be held at the Widener School of Law. Click here for the details.

I would like to welcome our newest Board member, Kathy DiEnno. Kathy is a Customer Account Manager at AstraZeneca. For us, she is the co-Vice President of Programs. We are already seeing the benefits of her ideas and energy in the Programs for this year. Welcome aboard, Kathy!!

From everything I can see and read, supply chain and operations management is becoming more important and more relevant for every business and organization. It’s through effective supply chain management that business’s can truly optimize the balance between customer service, inventory and cost. If quality, flexibility, dependability, speed and cost are important to your customers and your business, you owe it to yourself to find out more about supply chain management. The Brandywine Valley Chapter of APICS is a great place to start.

If you have comments on this letter, or suggestions for future topics or seminars that you would like to learn more about, please don’t hesitate to contact me at this email: president@apicsbrandywine.org

Cheers,
Al
Alan R. Leigh
APICS – Brandywine Valley Chapter
President
CSCP, CPIM, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

President’s Message
January 2010

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

The Wall Street Journal this week carried an article about the “Bullwhip Effect” that is coming as the economic recovery picks up steam. Does that seem far-fetched? Perhaps. For many folks the recovery is still a hoped-for gleam in the eye. But from a manufacturing standpoint, and Caterpillar in particular, this article makes a couple of key points:

  • Most companies have downsized their inventories in a big way. So even if their sales stay the same in 2010, they will need to produce more just to maintain their inventory target at the new low level
  • But some companies (eg, Caterpillar) are saying that it is time to begin their inventory build-up now, so they will be ready when their customers start to buy again at higher levels. For Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers, the impact will be even greater!!

So it is time for some courageous decisions. Does your company want to anticipate the recovery, and be there first when the orders pickup? Or will it follow a lag strategy, and miss out on the first months of increased orders. This is true all the way up the supply chain, and the bullwhip effect will become more than just an illustration in a CSCP course.

On another topic, please join us on Wednesday, Feb 10th at the Widener University Campus in Chester for our joint Professional Development Meeting with the Widener University Student Chapter. Not only will you be able to meet our future leaders of tomorrow, but also hear a leading-edge talk on using social networking media, such as “Linked-In”, to further your career, improve your ‘brand image’ and enhance your network and networking skills. In today’s world, none of us can be passive. This is a way to make yourself known among a wide-variety of people in many industries. And who knows, they may be potential employers at some point!! Rebecca Leyson, our speaker, is the President / Founder of RallyPoint Consulting and Co-Director of Career Services at Goldey-Beacom College. Visit our website for more information and registration.

Al Leigh CSCP, CPIM
President, Brandywine Valley Chapter

President’s Message
December 2009

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

We welcome in the New Year, 2010, with exciting new happenings from your APICS Chapter. First, we are changing our name to the Brandywine Valley Chapter. Why the change? Simply, we want to be more representative of our many members in southeastern Pennsylvania and to be more recognizable for potential members in Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. We think our Delaware members will understand!! Your Chapter will continue to offer top-notch expert speakers at our Professional Development meetings, along with excellent networking opportunities with supply chain experts. We continue to offer CPIM and CSCP Certification courses on a regular basis…APICS Certifications set the standard in the supply chain industry. Did you know that this Chapter is one of the top providers of CSCP education in the country (and the world)? It’s true!

Second, we are exploring partnerships with other organizations to extend the awareness and availability of our educational offerings, our certification courses, and our networking potential. Collaboration is a key performance indicator (KPI) for successful supply chains, and we are looking to do the same with like-minded organizations. More on this exciting development as it progresses.

Third, we are looking to enhance our support of our student chapter at Widener University by hosting a Professional Development Meeting on campus in February. Our topic is how to utilize social networking tools such as Linked-In to “brand” yourself in today’s on-line world. This is not about finding friends. It is about finding better jobs and enhancing your current position in a tough market. People who are the best at it can showcase their skills and experience to enrich their careers. Is this targeted for university students about to enter the market place? Yes. Is it also for young and/or experienced supply chain and operations professionals looking to enhance their careers? YES !! Come hear our dynamic speaker, Rebecca Leyson, speak on “Powering Your Career in the 21st Century.”

Finally, this is our last newsletter. We are “leaning-out” our communication process by going directly to website updates. Visit our new website (www.apicsbrandywine.org) often. You will also be seeing email links to alert you to significant new postings, or just visit regularly. Our content is updated often. I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2010.

Cheers,
Al Leigh CSCP, CPIM
President, Brandywine Valley Chapter

Your APICS Chapter – Making its Mark
October 2009

Al Leigh
APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter President
Al Leigh
CPIM CSCP

I just got back from the 2009 International APICS Conference in Toronto. As usual, it was a dynamic and fulfilling experience. In addition to the many opportunities to learn, there were many more opportunities to network. I enjoyed the chance to renew friendships and meet new people that will become a welcome part of my network. Is networking important in these uncertain times? You bet, now more than ever.

In addition, it became clear to me that our Chapter is making its mark on the national level:

  • Our chapter ranks in the top 10 in the world in CSCP Learning Systems purchased. We are currently training our 100th – plus CSCP student, and the certification rate for our students is over 90% (well-above the world-wide average). That means we are meeting our objective of providing meaningful training for our membership.
  • We had three speakers at the International Conference from our membership. Peter Murray; CIRM, and Janice Gullo, CSCP, CPIM (Executive VP) spoke on “Building the Foundation for a Demand Driven Enterprise”. I heard nothing but positives for their presentation. Janice was also on the panel for an open discussion on Women in Operations. I joined with Anne Haberkorn, CSCP, CIRM, CFPIM (Fox Valley Technical College) to speak on “Growing Assets with Visual Management and Lean Six Sigma”.
  • Our Chapter just received the “Gold” designation for our 3rd consecutive year by the National APICS organization.
  • A recent weekly APICS newsletter written by Abe Eshkenazi (President of the APICS Society) featured the visit he recently made to DuPont in Wilmington, DE. DuPont is doing an excellent job of building and improving their integrated supply chains, and Abe highlighted some of the activity and benefits. APICS education is key part of this effort. More than 600 DuPont’ers have taken or are currently enrolled in an APICS certification class. 192 have earned certifications and 17 hold multiple certifications. Most of these are current members of our chapter and are engaged in making us stronger and better. As DuPont addresses the “new normal”, APICS supply chain principles and education is playing a key role.
  • Our chapter sponsored 2 students to the International Conference. There was a large student presence in Toronto, and they added a welcome dynamic to the entire event.

One final note on the International Conference: Although attendance was lower than in previous years (yes, due primarily to the economy), there were more than 500 first time attendees. This is a spectacular number! It shows the growth and interest that companies and individuals have in learning more about best practices in the supply chain.

Al Leigh, President APICS-SDELV




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