Professional development: catch the crest of the wave in a growing economy.

Author:Varkonyi, Irvin

More than 200 operations professionals from the private and public sector completed two days of professional development at the APICS Six Packed Supply Chain Conference in Dallas, TX, last month. They came to make sure they catch the crest of the wave in a growing economy. No one can guarantee a booming economy in 2010, much less how quickly the economy will grow, but indications are clear that stakeholders in the global supply chain must prepare for an increasingly competitive economy as companies seek to make up for very challenging times. Conferences such as the Annual SDDC Training Symposium and the NDTA Forum will be equally important to stakeholders in two of the defense industry's premier logistics events.

Who attended the APICS event in Dallas?

Logistics managers, production managers, IT managers, and other operations professionals, representing companies throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Northern Mexico attended APICS Six Packed. For the most part, they represented manufacturing organizations, but distribution firms were also present. Many of the attendees work for military contractors or subcontractors. Most were US-based and owned firms but many are owned by companies headquartered outside the US. These attendees had begun to see a pickup in orders and anticipated continued growth during the year.

Session leaders and panelists were industry professionals who shared their experiences. Certified instructors came from many states and diverse backgrounds in commercial and government operations. This author presented a session on "Global Supply Chain Performance Measurement in an Uncertain World." NDTA similarly reflects APICS' tradition as an educational organization. For APICS members and instructors, they pride themselves as a leading source in the body of knowledge in operations management, including production, inventory, supply chain, materials management, purchasing, and logistics.

What workshop topics were presented?

The Dallas conference divided into six topics:

* Globalization and flexibility

* Cost reduction

* Planning

* Empowering people

* Lean out your supply chain

* Inventory investment

These topics are not only among the most important to APICS members, but are equally important to military acquisition and logistics professionals. By their success, the private sector's ability to optimize these industrial imperatives will positively impact military sustainment.

For example, my session focused on utilizing tools that allow...

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