June 2018 Print

APICS Twin Cities Chapter Newsletter

This newsletter has the latest news and updates for 2018.

Click here to view the formatted version of this newsletter now! (best viewed using Firefox web browser.)

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Professional Development Meeting

MSP Reimagined
Inside the Award-Winning Airport Experience

Presented by: Kate Webb, Manager of Airport Contracts & Proposals

Tuesday June 12, 2018 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm


Join us and wrap up the APICS year with this informative presentation about our local airport leading in the nation! Kate Webb's presentation will cover the following:

  • Why MSP Airport decided to take on this major overhaul
  • What hurdles the vendor concessions team had to overcome
  • What changes are being made with customer service 


Earn 1 Certification Maintenance Point for attendance at this event!

Members: $35.00, Non-Members: $45.00, Full-time Students: $15.00


Registration Deadline: 5:00pm on Thursday, June 7, 2018, or until Sold Out! (Registrations after 5:00pm on Thursday, June 7, will be accepted on a "space available" basis.  Please call the Chapter Office at 763-413-2513 to register after the posted deadline.) 



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October Seminar: Adaptive S&OP 
 Presented by Carol Ptak and Dick Ling
October 23, 2018  |  DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis - Park Place

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Member News

 Check out the Certification Comparison Chart Now! 

Check out this webinar:

"Which APICS Certification is Right for You?” 

Supply Chain is where it's at...

Check out these current articles that we found quite interesting and relevant:

Supply Chain News: Target Testing Extreme New Lean-Oriented Store Replenishment Model with "Flow Centers" - Supply Chain Digest

The Lean Thinker - check out Mark Rosenthal's blog!

APICS Salary Survey Confirms Supply Chain Management’s Rising Compensation - Supply Chain Management Review

Thinking Supply Chain - check out the APICS Blog - Insights, analysis and ideas to advance your supply chain. Join the conversation.

Feel free to share your interesting reading on our LInkedIn page

Your Chapter is Platinum!


Chapter Management Excellence is an integral component to enhancing the member experience. Successful APICS chapters provide their members with opportunities for stellar education, career development, and networking.

The APICS Chapter Benchmarking and Reporting (CBAR) program recognizes chapters that have exceeded minimum standards and exemplify excellence in overall chapter management. We are proud to announce the APICS Twin Cities Chapter received the 2016 CBAR Platinum Award designation, an admirable accomplishment for an APICS chapter. As a member of an APICS Platinum Award Winning Chapter, the CBAR designation signifies your chapter’s commitment to providing an exceptional membership experience. APICS Twin Cities Chapter has been recognized with this award for the past 23 consecutive years!

We are pleased to make the benefits of APICS student membership even more accessible to our future leaders in the industry!

APICS Education Selector

Discover Which Program is Right for You!

APICS offers a variety of education, certification, and endorsement programs to enhance your professional career and improve your organization’s bottom line. Whether you need to streamline your supply chain, master the basics of materials and operations management or build your knowledge in logistics, transportation and distribution, APICS has the right program for you.

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Calendar of Events

  • June PDM - MSP Reimagined: Tuesday 6/12/18, 5-8:30pm @ Jax Cafe, Registration Deadline - 6/7/18
  • CPIM Certification Review Part II: Thursday evenings, 6-9pm, 6/14/18 thru 9/20/18 (no class on 7/5), 14 weeks, Registration Deadline - 5/30/18
  • CPIM Certification Review Part I: Monday afternoons, 1-5pm, 7/9/18 thru 8/13/18, 6 weeks, Registration Deadline - 6/22/18
  • Demand Driven Supply Chain Fundamentals (2-day Workshop): Wednesday & Thursday, 7/18 & 7/19/18, 8am-5pm, Registration Deadline - 7/11/18


>Link to the Events Calendar.

Learn about:

CPIM - CSCP - CLTD - Continuing Education - Inv Mgmt - IHE -Seminars


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Welcome New Members

April 2018:

FirstName LastName Company
Kedric Curtis  Ecolab
Leakhena Ly All Flex Flexible Circuits
Junior Martinez All Flex Flexible Circuits
Destinee Mashl Wurth Adams
Shaun O'Hara Metro Hardwoods
Christian Olson  
Eric Reddy  
Daniel Ruenger  
Danielle Schouviller  
Jordan Tanck Graco Inc.


March 2018:

FirstName LastName Company
Xavier Balderas Olachea  IMRIS
Alex Briesemeister  
Eric Button  
Karina Canales Ruiz  
Karen Cavanaugh  
Dan Deeb Federal Cartridge Company
Greg Gardner Chandler Industries, Inc.
Joshua Grulke US Coast Guard
Chad Herrmann Federal Cartridge Company
Woochan Kim  
Staci  Lamminen Hearthside Food Solutions
Thomas McKenzie Suez Water Technology & Solutions
Abdirizak Mohamed Reell Precision Manufacturing
Awaizulla Mohammed UNT
Prathika Shetty University of Minnesota
Chet Stuewe  
Sanket Tabib Cummins Inc
Ramiro Torres Rodriguez Parasole Restaurant Holdings


February 2018:

FirstName LastName Company
Cynthia Becker Plastech Corporation
Inez Brugger  
Jennifer Derheim Spectralytics, Inc
Olivia Geiwitz  
Reid Jaeger Interstate Power Systems, Inc
Olga Krohn Lifecore Biomedical
Marie Lunderberg United Technologies Aerospace Systems
Jeff Martens Interstate Power Systems, Inc
Michael Piepkom Jack Links
Vickie  Pondell Bailey Nurseries
John Scrivener Nonin Medical Incorporated
Aaron Swenson Landscape Structures Inc
Benjamin Weber  Service Ideas


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Congratulations Newly Certified Members




May 2018
  • Kyle Gearman, CSCP - SPS Commerce

April 2018 

  • Gerald Vetsch, CPIM - J & B Group 
  • Shawn May, CSCP - 3M 
  • Ryan Semrow, CSCP - CH Robinson 
  • Misty Clark, CSCP - CyberOptics Corp 
  • Kedric Curtis, CSCP - Ecolab 
  • Katelyn Moon, CSCP - CH Robinson 
March 2018

  • Jody Netzloff, CPIM - Midwest Rubber Service & Supply 
February 2018

  • Daniel Casey, CPIM - Bimeda, Inc. 
  • Callan Brown, CPIM - United Technologies


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THE UN-COMFORT ZONE with Robert Wilson

Bottom-Up Innovation Starts With Top-Down Commitment
A culture of innovation only works when everyone is included.

A few weeks ago my son shared a story with me that was just the sort of case study I was seeking for an article on bottom-up innovation.

The chronicle was about a major toothpaste company that had a problem with their factory. It seems that a number of boxes were being shipped without a tube of toothpaste in them. Retailers were complaining, and word got back to the CEO. He ordered the maintenance department to investigate the trouble.

The mechanics couldn’t find a specific problem in the production line and recommended the company outsource it to an engineering consulting firm. The consultants studied the factory and came back with a solution. They would install a computerized measuring system that would employ a precision digital scale to detect underweight boxes. Upon finding one, the computer would automatically shut down the production line, and sound an alarm bell with flashing lights. A factory worker would then remove the empty box from the scale then press a button to restart the line. All told, it took six months and eight million dollars.

One of the new benefits of the system was that it generated a daily report that was delivered to the executive office. The results were everything they had hoped for; after the scales were installed there were no more empty boxes shipped to the stores.

After several weeks had passed, the CEO decided to review some of the daily reports. He saw that after three weeks the electronic scales were not detecting any empty boxes. They should have been catching several dozen a day. He sent his quality control department to look into it and they returned stating that indeed all the boxes on the conveyor belt that passed over the scales were full.

The perplexed CEO could not accept that a chronic problem of empty boxes had simply disappeared, and decided to go see for himself. When he got to the section of the factory line with the new scale, he noticed that a few feet ahead of it was a $20 desk fan blowing the empty boxes off the conveyor belt into a bin. When he inquired about it, one of the factory workers admitted it was his idea because he got tired of being frequently interrupted from his work just to go over and restart the line every time the alarm went off.

Of course the conclusion I want you to draw is obvious: if the company had consulted the factory line workers first they could have saved millions of dollars. A consultant’s motivation may be to make more money from a complex solution. A common sense solution, a low-tech “simple solution” is more likely to come from someone who is closer to the problem on a daily basis. The question is how do companies go about getting ideas from their everyday employees? I’ll respond to that in a moment.

First I want to note that I diligently sought the origin of the above story and the name of the toothpaste company, but all I could dig up was Snopes reporting that it is a legend. Nevertheless, it still has verisimilitude because there are many stories like it. Sometimes the downline suggestion or idea is appreciated, but many times it isn’t.

Here’s one that was reported on Reddit.com in 2014 by kaosChild: “I worked at an aluminum products company while I was a student on part of a machine production line. The machines jam fairly frequently and in order to stop it on this particular day I found a way to take a 4"x4" piece of cardboard to a belt that made the machine run perfectly. My supervisor came after several hours and got mad at me when she saw the mod and took it out. The machine promptly went back to jamming every 3 minutes, but policy was that people can't do that sort of thing. I understand some people might come up with bad mod ideas, but when the machine jams it spits out aluminum shards that do occasionally end up in the product. My production went down, my quality went down, the amount of unjamming I had to do went up.”

Here are two stories where the ideas were valued: the Swan Vesta match company was looking for a way to save money, when a frontline employee suggested that they remove the striker strip from one side of the matchbox. The idea was implemented and millions of dollars were saved. At the El Cortez hotel in San Diego, originally built in the 1920s, a bell boy during the 1950s suggested they add an elevator to the outside of the building. The idea was applied and the hotel built the world’s first glass-walled exterior elevator which immediately became a sensational attraction.

Unfortunately, at many companies ideas and suggestions get shot down, ignored, or worse - punished! Yet those same companies claim they want new ideas that will improve the bottom-line. And, in today’s competitive world marketplace - all companies need new ideas. The problem is overcoming red tape, regulation, and control; and as is often the case: the bigger the company - the bigger the bureaucracy! The solution is creating a culture of innovation.

In order for a culture of innovation to succeed, employees - all down the line - must believe that the company appreciates their intelligence, resourcefulness, and creativity. They also must believe that the company wants and values their ideas. Without these factors a company will not be able to generate the stream of ideas they need to stay competitive.

In addition, there needs to be a system for suggesting ideas, along with a system for testing and implementing them. The system also needs to acknowledge and reward those suggestions - even if they are not accepted or utilized. Employees are motivated to contribute their insights if they see that their ideas are taken seriously. If they are not, then the flow of ideas will stop. People naturally seek out ways to save time and materials, as well as other efficiencies, and if encouraged they will share these observations with management.

Toyota is a good example of a company with a successful culture of innovation. The average Toyota employee makes over 100 improvement suggestions every year. With thousands of employees that adds up to millions of ideas that have made Toyota one of the most successful automobile manufacturers in the world.

Amazon will reward its employees for an idea - even if it fails - if they have put time and effort into developing the idea. Now that’s a concept that has driven Amazon’s explosive growth.

In order to generate bottom-up innovation, there must be a top-down commitment from a company’s management to maintain a culture of innovation. Without the commitment, it just won’t work.

Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. is an author, humorist/speaker and innovation consultant. He works with companies that want to be more competitive and with people who want to think like innovators. Robert is the author of ...and Never Coming Back, a psychological thriller-novel about a motion picture director; The Annoying Ghost Kid, a humorous children's book about dealing with a bully; and the inspirational book: Wisdom in the Weirdest Places. For more information on Robert, please visit www.jumpstartyourmeeting.com.

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ASCM Conference

The Flagship Conference from the Premier Supply Chain Association

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