An interesting and to some extent surprising announcement in the past week that APICS and the Supply Chain Council are merging.
APICS, an acronym that once officially stood for the American Production and Inventory Control Society, was formed in 1957, is of course most associated with its various certifications, such as the flagship one in Production and Inventory Management, with "CPIM" noted on tens of thousands of business carts and emails signatures across the globe.
The Supply Chain Council was formed as organized in 1996 by consulting firm Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM), later acquired by PwC, and AMR Research, later acquired by Gartner. The mission was to create a detailed process model for the supply chain, along with associated metrics, which led to the initial Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model, and its familiar Plan-Source-Make-Deliver framework, with hundreds of defined sub-processes at various levels below that.
For example, underneath "Make" would be the sub-processes of make-to-stock, make-to-order, and engineer-to-order. There was then a level 3 process map underneath each of those processes with all the real detail. The models were mapped out with the help of dozens of companies.
That model has been extended in depth and breadth over time, adding a "returns"
process to the core model and then branching out into other models such as general management and even sales.
Though at one level widely used, and with major proponents such as HP, use of the SCOR model arguably just never gained significant traction. Another issue was that companies would join to get all the SCOR documentation, and then fail to renew again once the materials were acquired.
At the time of the merger, the Supply Chain Council was down to not much above 500 corporate members.
APICS, on the other hand, is best known as indicated for its certifications, to which in the last half decade or so was added a supply chain certification beyond the original CPIM. APICS has some 28,000 thousand individual members and active roundtables in many metro areas.
But APICS too has had its share of criticism, with some believing that for too long the association was simply milking its revenue from certification training and exams and not really a driving force in the industry.
So will the combination create some sparks that will put some giddy up in the new organizations together and individually?
Rich Sherman, a former analyst at AMR Research and later executive at the Supply Chain Council, believes so.
(Supply Chain Trends and Issues Article - Continued Below)