APICS 2009 Convention: Day 1

Arrived in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) to attend the APICS international convention and expo—hats off to the Canadian weather (cold!!!!!!!). This first day is dedicated to the development and organization of APICS members and partners. We gained an understanding of the APICS footprint, internationally speaking, through the general session. 

The general session was a great way for us to meet the board of directors, as well as a variety of members, instructors, partners, and APICS volunteers (this year, APICS holds its first Volunteer Leadership Workshop [VLW]). The highlight of the general session was how the independent regional organizations of APICS were achieving their goals with small budgets.

Throughout the day at the VLW there were a variety of learning sessions and case studies about APICS, how it develops learning paths to help organizations, and how its members can become more efficient.

One of the fascinating case studies we attended covered Swisslog, and was presented by Honey Johnson (VP Professional Development at APICS, Colorado Chapter). Through 3 months and 1,700 hours of training, Swisslog’s operations and planning team of 18 individuals got a better understanding of operations, planning, sales, and inventory management, as well as improved communication and collaboration between departments and decision makers. As the result of the training, Swisslog achieved 1,000 days of accident-free shop floor days, and also realized that the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system they were using was not being used to its full potential.

At the end of the day, we realized that APICS training is not just geared toward supply chain and operational professionals. It can also be beneficial for other people involved in the development of work procedures, and even for business software development teams (like Oracle, SAP, or Microsoft) for manufacturing and distribution.
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