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  - May 6, 2014 -  

Supply Chain News: Will Merger of APICS and the Supply Chain Council Rekindle some Energy in the Combined Association?

Key is to Leverage SCOR Model IP Under APICS Banner, Dan Gilmore Says

  by SCDigest Editorial Staff  

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.

SCDigest Says:

The Supply Chain Council was simply not maintaining enough member to really be a healthy independent association, and APICS' greater market presence may be able to recharge the use and relevance of the SCOR models.

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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)



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"The recently announced merger between APICS and the Supply Chain Council will be an excellent platform for operations personnel to develop their skills and aspirations in supply chain management," Sherman told SCDigest. "APICS is clearly sending a message that it is focused on offering truly multi-disciplinary research, education, and events to advance the supply chain management profession."

He added that "The challenge facing the organization will be to balance and leverage the strengths of corporate and individual membership programs. Well done, it will benefit individuals, companies, the association, and the profession. I would not be surprised to see additional consolidation among operations professional associations."

Our view: The Supply Chain Council was simply not maintaining enough member to really be a healthy independent association, and APICS' greater market presence may be able to recharge the use and relevance of the SCOR models.

Main Supply Chain Council SCOR Model


The challenge will now be for APICS to reinvent itself in a way that moves its programs more successfully beyond its certification focus to one that is more influential in overall supply chain research and education.

The new organization will retain the APICS name and its Chicago headquarters location, merging in the relatively small SCC operations that were once in Pittsburgh but in recent years heaquartered near Houston, Texas.

Abe Eshkenaz will remain the CEO of APICS, and Joseph Francis, the SCC's executive director, will serve as the executive director of the APICS Supply Chain Council. The merger is expected to be completed sometime in late summer, and it is also expected there will be some kind of combined membership plan before long, although APICS uses individual membership while the SCC has a corporate membership model.

Said SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore: "The key I think will be to find a way for APICS to leverage all the SCOR model intellectual property in a way that you might call making it more accessible for the masses. It also has to show more relevance beyond just the certifications. Maybe this is the start. 38,000 members is a big base to leverage."

What are your thoughts on the APICS-SCC merger? What can APICS do to re-energize itself? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section (email) or button below.

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Recent Feedback

Almost 3 years later; SCOR is now over 4 years old. No development notable.

Our company has moved on and adopted OpenReference. ( The community has been actively developing the management layer which was missing from SCOR and removed the awkward Enable and Return processes.

Bill Sutton
Supply Chain Architect
Jan, 06 2017