December 2020 Print

President's Report

December 2020, Happy Holidays!

Well, here we are, in the last few weeks of the year 2020!  While this year will without a doubt be one that is memorable for most of us, I do look forward to putting it behind us. My hope for us all is that we can look back at 2020 as the worst we have ever had to live through. For those who have experienced worse, you have my sympathy and respect for getting through it. 

I hope we are all able to take some time this holiday season to rest, relax, and recharge our batteries. While travel might not be recommended, whatever plans you may have, please remain safe and healthy! 

APICS PRSJ will not be holding a PDM in December.  It would have been held on 16Dec, but this year we have decided not to meet, virtually or otherwise. I do look forward to a time when we can once again gather in person, share a meal, network and hopefully learn something new. 

I do want to give a little notice of some exciting activities coming up in 2021!

  • In January, Mr. Dave Hollinger will speak on the importance of visualizing information flow and decision processes in a company’s processes.  Dave will present a case study of how NJMEP’s “Learn and Do” concepts helped identify and solve problems for a distributor of home goods, everything from Living Room End Tables to Bed Frames.   
  • Also in January, we will be celebrating the one year anniversary of our Young Professionals group.
  • In February, some of our Student Chapter members from Rider University will be presenting.
  • For March we are trying to arrange some virtual tours.
  • April and May are still in the works, but in June we hope to once again be able to hold our Top Management Night in person.


Keep an eye our chapter website for our upcoming offerings!

We are working hard to provide networking and educational opportunities for our membership. If there is something you are interested in, please don’t hesitate to reach out. This is your chapter. We are here for you!

Happy Holidays!

Stay safe and be healthy!  

James K. Cohen, MBA, CPIM
[email protected]

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In Other News

PRSJ Membership – OCTOBER 2020

Achieving Certification in CPIM, CSCP or CLTD is a great accomplishment, but your learning does not stop there. Every 5 years your APCIS credentials need to be Re-Certified.  We frequently get questions about how to maintain an APICS certification, so I would like to talk about the APICS Certification and Certification Maintenance Process

One of the reasons that many members have joined APCIS is for its education and certification programs.  APICS’ reputation for excellence in these areas continues to grow and is a source for enriching one’s career.  PRSJ has a full range of course offerings to support preparation for the certification exams.    The CPIM, CSCP and CLTD certifications are the start, but re-certification is a critical part in continuing your education and building on that knowledge base. 

For those who are not aware,

  • CPIM (Certification in Production and Inventory Management) is attained through completion of 5 exams.
  • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) is achieved by successfully passing an exam.
  • CLTD (Certified in Logistics and Transportation and Distribution) can be achieved by passing an exam.

Each of these are recognized as valuable certifications by employers and have provided many APICS members with skills and knowledge that they need to be successful in their careers.   These certifications must be kept current if you employer checks with APICS to confirm. 


Once certification is achieved, APICS requires Certification Maintenance every 5 years.  This is to ensure that members keep up to date on industry topics and continue to be educated in the field of Supply Chain and Operations Management.   Annual membership in APICS earns points toward your certification maintenance.  So when you receive my email reminder to renew your annual membership, remember that this is not only to keep you active with the chapter, it will also keep you working towards your certification maintenance. 

Additional points towards certification maintenance can also be earned in many other ways including:

  • Attending PDMs
  • Attending APICS National Conference or other Conferences or Seminars
  • Continuing Education through courses, workshops or home study
  • Presentations and publications
  • Membership in other professional organizations
  • Participation on the chapter or district boards


This link will bring you to the APICS website with additional information about Certification Maintenance

The chapter is always anxious work with members to keep them active, involved and getting the value that they expect out of their association with APICS and PRSJ.   Visit our pages on Linked in and Facebook, to start a discussion or to reach out to other members for assistance with day to day Supply Chain issues.   



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Special Feature

Bill’s Building Blocks

The Missing Connection

Sometime between midterms and finals university students tend to lose their focus on academics. This year seemed particularly bad with Covid-19. My best students slipped in their grades, while my struggling students disappeared altogether. They were late with
their assignments, did poorly on their quizzes, and stopped making comments on Zoom. In my case, the professor has only the university issued email address with which to make a student connection outside of Zoom lectures. The assumption is that since the student has made an investment to buy this education, the onus is on the buyer to do the work and make the connection. Here is the rub. Sometimes the student may be overwhelmed with balancing family, work, and studies; or sick; or unemployed with small children; or food insecure; or taking care of an elderly family member; or missing a high speed Internet connection; or trying to get by with just a smart phone. When a student does not answer repeated attempts at email, the connection is broken. Student advisors with phone
numbers and work email addresses then have to attempt to reestablish a connection.

There can be some parallels in the connections within your supply chain. There are two extremes in the architecture of connections between a buyer and a seller. When you hear the excuse, “I could not get back to you sooner because we are implementing a new system”, you should worry.

One extreme is more like a diamond shaped relationship. Here the buyer’s purchasing connects directly with the seller’s sales, the buyer’s engineering connects directly with the seller’s engineering, the buyer’s supply chain connects directly with the seller’s supply
chain, the buyer’s payables connects directly with the seller’s receivables, etc. The downside with this arrangement is that it is difficult for the buyer’s program management to coordinate multiple, sometimes conflicting conversations.

The other extreme, called a “bowtie” relationship forces all communication through an account manager at the seller. This person may or may not be technically oriented. All purchasing, engineering, supply chain, accounting, and sales issues are routed through the account manager acting as a bi-directional conduit for all information and transactions. The downside of this arrangement is that the account manager becomes overloaded especially when one person is responsible for a dozen accounts. The account manager’s
bandwidth shrinks in its capacity for specific buyers. Then, like an academic advisor, senior management has to step in to attempt to re-establish communications.

©2020 William T. Walker, CFPIM, CSCP-F, CLTD-F, CIRM has 42 years practitioner experience, authored Supply Chain Construction and Supply Chain Architecture, and teaches Supply Chain Engineering at NYU Tandon plus Demand Planning at Rutgers. He is a 40-year ASCM member and APICS E&R Foundation past president. email: [email protected]

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