How APICS Can Help Manufacturers With “Brain Drain”

How APICS Can Help Manufacturers With “Brain Drain”


Are you concerned about an aging workforce and the loss of institutional and technical knowledge as your teammates retire?

Per a recent study on the aging of the manufacturing workforce published by the Manufacturing Institute, “manufacturing firms are primarily concerned that the aging of the workforce will result in the loss of their older workers’ institutional and technical knowledge. Specifically, 97 percent of firms express at least some concern about brain drain, and almost half of firms indicate that they are ‘very concerned’ about the issue.”

Although the US population is aging overall and all sectors will be impacted to some degree, per the Manufacturing Institute study, the phenomenon is likely to have a particularly pronounced effect on the manufacturing industry due to unique factors including:

  • A workforce that is already older—and aging faster—than the overall U.S. labor force. This is in part because the industry has existed longer than many other emerging industries and manufacturers efforts to retain older workers.
  • Manufacturing often struggles more than other industries to attract younger workers due to perceptions, declining emphasis on vocational schools and geographic mismatch.

At APICS, our educational programs are designed to help supply chain professionals at all stages of their careers. Companies leverage our expertise and vast body of knowledge to train the next generation of supply chain leaders.

One such specific example is shared in an ASCM case study of Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) where they applied an employee education program based on APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) training to expand their supply chain knowledge base and enable significantly enhanced business performance.

Below is a summary of the goals, approach and results of their program:

Goals: ̥

  1. Develop supply chain knowledge and employee competencies in the materials organization
  2. Empower employees to create processes that drive growth and progress
  3. Improve business performance, particularly on-time delivery and inventory turns

Approach ̥

  1. Design and deliver a program of APICS CPIM training to all eligible employees
  2. Ensure people have access to the knowledge they need to improve performance
  3. Celebrate accomplishments and convey the vital role the program plays

Results ̥

  1. Inventory accuracy reached 99.5 percent, with inventory turns increasing by 2.5 points and overall inventory dropping by 60 percent
  2. On-time delivery doubled to 70 percent
  3. The division’s logistics footprint decreased by 30 percent

Overall the comprehensive training program provided through the APICS framework not only helped deepen the supply chain knowledge of the team, but it produced tangible results! Per Lorenzo Romagnoli, Supply Chain Director, “Business results kept improving steadily as the program progressed.” More details on this customer success story and more can be found at:

At APICS Greater Detroit we offer many programs to help you deepen supply chain management knowledge within your existing team. This fall we are excited to offer the following globally recognized certifications with new virtual options and savings of 20% off historical prices!

  • CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) – The perfect certification for production and inventory management personnel. CPIM provides you with the ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory activities within a company’s global operations.
  • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) – The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.
  • CLTD (Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution) – The CLTD program helps you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics to set you apart from your peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners.
  • Customized Corporate Classes – We can create a proposal for your training, professional development, and educational objectives. Local organizations have found benefits training functional business employees within Supply Chain Management / Logistics / Operations, Sales and Marketing, Manufacturing, IT, Finance, and HR on Supply Chain processes and concepts.

APICS Greater Detroit chapter members receive discounts on all certification classes – click here to join today. We look forward to helping your company deepen operational knowledge and improve results in 2019!

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