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Michael Zerby

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

When I started my CSCP in September 2013, I was already working as Purchasing Manager at Volvo Construction Equipment in Konz, Germany. My motivation for completing the CSCP certification was to learn more about the interdependencies between the different elements of the overall supply chain, and learn the supply chain language in order to better communicate the necessary change throughout that supply chain to serve the Volvo customers better.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

I passed the exam while in my current position.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career?

I could take the concepts and terminology I learned in CSCP to improve cross-functional work within Volvo, and also with key suppliers to make substantive improvements in the entire supply chain, resulting in better products and service for our customers. If I can highlight one of these concepts, it would be the conscious effort in all activities to increase visibility and velocity, and decrease variation – what I emphasize to my team daily, as well as to other internal functions and partners throughout the supply chain – simple and effective.


Mario Müller

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I worked at Siltronic AG for 16 years in several areas. I started as an Account Manager for Sales and afterwards was part of the Supply Chain Team and then first Head of E-Business, later on Head of Business Planning and E-Business, focusing on Sales and Operations Planning and Project Management.

As a member of the upper management team in the Supply Chain Center I joined our internal initiative to achieve the APICS certification. Our target was to achieve broader knowledge in the entire organization’s planning processes, get a better understanding of the dependencies and simply to make people willing to think outside the box. Completing an international and distinguished certification played the role of a kind of incubator for the Siltronic organization and I contributed my part to help bring the Siltronic team forward, this was my motivation.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

In my current position as Head of IT-Sales at Infineon Technologies AG the certification was definitively a plus.

Besides strong Sales experience combined with deep Supply Chain knowledge in several areas the certificate underlined the business view.

Business and IT have to be tightly aligned and a common understanding of both areas is an advantage to manage and deal with the challenges within an agile environment.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career?

At Siltronic we did an internal APICS training and I was part of the global internal trainer team. It was a lot of fun to inform and teach colleagues in different areas and levels of Planning and to support the enhancement of the entire mind-set in the organization. .


Clemens Keggenhoff

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

When I started my CPIM certification in 2008, I was working at Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. As a Supply Chain Manager, my main focus was project work in the area of Sales and Operations Planning as well as Inventory management.

At the time, I was working more and more in international teams, and therefore CPIM seemed to be a good addition to my degree in Business administration, which had been mainly in German language.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are currently in?

Today, I am Head of Planning and Demand at Catalent Pharma Solutions in Eberbach, Germany. At Catalent, APICS is also a well-established standard, which enables us to work together across sites and geographies and prevents misunderstanding. It was certainly an advantage for me to be CPIM-certified when I joined Catalent.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career?

Many of my projects would have been much more difficult without APICS – especially, when different ERP systems and planning tools are being used across an organization, a consistent terminology is the key for success. And for me, that has been APICS.


Thorsten Zedel

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

After successful completion of my academic studies in Operations & Supply Chain Management, I started the APICS certification process as Supply Chain Planner with Celanese Engineered Materials. Preparing for the certifications as CSCP & CPIM helped me to more efficiently transfer the academic theorie into practice, and integrate it into the daily routine.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are currently in?

I passed the exams in my current position.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

APICS offers valuable and practical approaches to optimize processes, process steps and process parameters.

Example Inventory Management: BSCM already shows a variety of potential solutions to the questions that every planner deals with in the daily routine: When do I need to order? How much do I need to order? What is the optimum safety stock and reorder point? How do I differentiate within the product portfolio? And how do I prioritize each individual material?

Based on the logic that is introduced in the BSCM, we revised the entire inventory strategy last year, as well as the planning parameters on SKU level, that helped to achieve substantial improvements in Service-Levels, while at the same time reducing unnecessary stocks.


Felix Haslimeier

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I was working at Sleepyhead Manufacturing in New Zealand as the Business Services Manager IT & Finance when – after a completed implementation of a new ERP system in 2000 – we started looking at fully utilizing MRP and aligning our shop floor processes. We brought in a consultant to assist with some generic in-house APICS style training before starting to move production supervisors and members in our graduate programme through the CPIM courses – to provide everyone with a common understanding of processes and terminology. The consultant suggested that I’d try out a paper in the now retired CIRM certificate as this was more relevant to my position at the time and I joined the local APICS chapter. I saw this as an opportunity to increase my understanding of the supply chain as a whole and it was the start of my journey! After having moved to the UK in 2005 and – temporarily out of manufacturing – I was looking for an opportunity to keep engaged and signed up for the new CSCP certification which I passed in 2006. In 2011 I gained my CPIM and since then have gradually become more and more involved with APICS and its business partners.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are currently in?

As a ‘gun-for-hire’/project consultant, the APICS certification have provide me with the recognition of my knowledge and understanding of production management and supply chain processes – both at a strategic as well as operational level. Together with my subject matter expertise and 20 years of experience in the field, this allows me to better support my company and customers across a wide range of IT, SCM, organisational change projects and process improvements initiatives. Further, my APICS qualifications allow me to ‘give back to the community’ by teaching CPIM and CSCP students – and in the progress, further my understanding of a wide range of industries and the challenges they face in today’s ever-changing environment. Also, APICS and the local chapters provide me with access to a network of fellow Operations and Supply Chain Management professionals.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

It has provided me with the ability to challenge and remedy issues encountered during ERP implementation (some as simple as data quality issues to eliminate), stock optimisation/reduction, and supply chain integration initiatives but also to act as a mentor for colleagues.


Thomas Gaal

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I was working at Nokia Siemens Networks and held the position of Senior Demand Manager. My motivation, to undertake a APICS certification, was to understand supply chain management holistically to get help in my cross-functional work in understanding the impact of planning / forecasting on the supply chain network.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

The education gave me the tools and understanding to reach a much higher performance level. This performance level is characterized by analyzing the trade-offs and financial impacts of forecasting decisions, but also allows me to drive improvement by understanding the interrelation of the three flows in decision-support activities.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

One current example; I’m leading a transformation project establishing the long range forecasting process integrated in the S&OP approach. The entire spectrum of my APICS education, CSCP and TTT, simply make me a much more effective supply chain professional.


Christian Weiser

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I was working in Purchasing Department of Philips EWS in Vienna when I got the opportunity to go to Hungary in order to setup a complete supply chain department for a new contract manufacturer from scratch. As my background was mainly purchasing I agreed with Philips EWS to do the APICS CPIM certification parallel to the startup of the new company. Learning all the theory from the course and having the possibility to implement it into the setup of the new company was a great advantage for the start of my career in supply chain management. Furthermore I was asked during the APICS course by Peter Merke to join PMI as a guest speaker. I very much appreciated the possibility to train people from different companies and areas of responsibilities.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

Currently, I am again working in Purchasing as Purchasing Manager for an automotive ODM. Being responsible for all suppliers- selection, relations and contracting activities as well as the setup and deployment of purchasing strategies I need all the knowhow of supply chain management to have an overall picture of the process. APICS CPIM is a very sound base for that. The 13 years of training and discussions with other participants always gave me new insights and as well ideas for my current work. I am looking forward to participating and training in the newly offered ISM CPSM course, which is a perfect match to my current position.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

During the setup of the MRP system in the new company we ran into the problem of systems “nervousness”. Of course we tried to be very customer oriented and implemented all quantity and type changes in real time into our production planning system. In the end we had a situation of constant re-planning the result being that the output of our manufacturing site dropped instead of increasing. By introducing strict rules for the re-planning frequency of MRP per week and a clear material and capacity check before releasing the MRP plan to the production we gained stability again and improved our output and customer service rate.


Stefan Zabka

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I started the APCIS-certification as Manager of Purchasing Logistics. My intention was to increase my knowledge of Operations and Supply Chain Management. Although I already had a lot of knowledge from my university studies (I studied production engineering) it was really helpful to do this certification, because when you are in the middle of the daily business of Supply Chain and Operations Management, the APICS theory, the trainers with their experience and the networking help a lot to get a better idea of how to improve your daily work.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are currently in?

Today I am Head of Production. The complete APICS CPIM certification helped open my mind further and to understand and see the complete picture and how several areas and tasks interrelate. Due to the fact that Supply Chain matters are of high complexity it is very valuable for me to have the APICS theory in the background. It does not help to solve the daily issues directly but it gives very important impulses to develop the Supply Chain and Operations business of my company.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

I initiated S&OP-Meetings in my company. Our issue was that it was very hard to match customer projects with our production program. The problems were unnecessary inventories, caused through “uncoordinated” starts in production. In the APICS course I learned about the S&OP-process, I tailored this process to suit my company and our business. Right now we have S&OP-Meetings on a regular basis. These meetings make the coordination between customer requirements (upcoming projects) and the production or the ability to deliver our products in time much easier.


Julien Atge

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

When I started with the CPIM certification I was SCM Project Engineer with WELEDA AG. The first step of my certification was an inhouse BSCM course initiated by my superior. I considered the program to be very valuable, thus myself and the Head of SCM decided together to complete the other CPIM modules as well. In the meantime, I have also successfully completed the CSCP.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

The CPIM certification was very useful to me when I applied for the position, Head of SCM, with WELEDA. To date I was largely involved in IT-focused projects. Owing to my certification I was able to reliably prove my SCM knowledge.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

Particularly the contents of the CSCP course were and are very helpful for my every day work. It´s much easier for me to understand the dynamics of Supply Chains and to successfully counteract traditional Bullwhip effects.


Thomas Meyer

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I am Head of Supply Chain Management at Glunz AG and responsible for
Planning, Scheduling and Logistics. Our business came from a more „old economy“ related manufacturing and sales processes but for several years there have been significant changes in the market. Customer relationship management, Service
and Flexibility are the new key success factors and generate new and sustainable business. It is essential to follow this change and we need to focus on robust
and sustainable processes. Basics for this are standards and APICS is offering these standards.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

The APICS Certificate enables me to discuss and prepare valuable decisions with my business partners. I generate more efficient processes and get more influence in company relevant processes.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

We have implemented the APICS philosophy at different levels of our company and we have „configured“ it towards our needs. We created our own „Glunz dictionary“ which is closely related to common APICS definitions. This helps us for a better understanding of fundamental business cases between our colleagues and sometimes with our customers. I also implemented some basics for demand management in preparation of S&OP. The purpose and the role of the demand manager, based on APICS explanations, is now fixed in our business.


Frank Weggen

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I have only recently, in December 2013, completed my CSCP. In my currect position as Director Global Manfacturing and Supply with Merck KgaA I wanted primarily to enlarge my supply chain knowledge so that, I had a better understanding of the adjacent areas and therefore the knowledge to cover the entire supply chain.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

I passed the exam in my current position so there is not really very much to say on this point.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

In the context of S&OP I questioned the point “sales return from customer” as “cost of quality” and challenged it. The initiated project resulted in a significant process of optimization and cost savings.


Andreas Kerst

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

I started the APICS certification process with DuPont after an internal job change as a regional supply-planner. As an engineer I was motivated to get a Supply Chain education in order to do the best job possible. I selected APICS based on the reputation as an industry standard, the agreement of management, and the course language being English, a necessity when working for an American company. For me the logical end of any education is the examination; therefore certification was never a question. I certified in CPIM and CIRM and later in CSCP.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

After the regional supply-planner job I became a global supply chain manager und changed between many of our plastics products over the course of several years. Currently I am an integrated business management consultant and work in our company project-based on the improvement of supply chains in all business units. Looking back, the APICS education and certification has been an obligatory process and the prerequisite to fill the position I hold today and to provide a qualified consultancy service.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

I could quote many examples, one of the two most frequent are questions on the topic of inventory, especially the options/variations of calculating cycle stock and safety stock. The second example is the visualization of the planning hierarchy from strategic / business planning to tactical planning in the area of master and asset scheduling that I frequently use to discuss the levels of planning and the integration of business processes with internal customers.


Andrea Walbert

Please tell us in which company and position you have been starting your APICS certification? What has been your motivation to complete the APICS certification?

My first contact with APICS was in 2003. At that time I was a consultant at BearingPoint and involved in IT and SCM implementation projects. I held the position of process expert for Demand Management and Forecasting, but I very often experienced a lack of knowledge in how to design and implement cross-functional end-to-end solutions and processes. Together with my colleagues, I started looking for an English spoken internationally recognized education program as this was required to uphold and continue working with our international customers. We decided to go with APICS and I started my APICS CPIM certification in 2003 and CSCP in 2006.

How did your APICS certification help you achieving the position you are
currently in?

From both certifications I gained substantial and valuable knowledge for my career. I obtained a broader understanding for problems and challenges within the entire supply chain.

Please tell us a concrete example, where you have applied the APICS knowledge in your career.

A lot of the content was able to be applied very quickly. I successfully applied this newly gained CPIM content as part of the process reengineering in a new IT project. I was now using the best practices learned in the APICS education. Without lengthy discussions we quickly implemented a stable new process to which everybody was fully committed.