Challenges and Opportunities for ASCI as a Professional Accreditation Body

Mailchimp Header

In its quest towards Professionalising Supply Chain Management, any organisation that attempts to develop a formal professional accreditation scheme in this industry is typically challenged by the fact that Supply Chain Managers are often not on the workforce radar. Supply chain management is still not sufficiently recognised as one of the key components of the execution of corporate strategy and there is still a huge under representation on the executive level.

Supply Chain Managers face unique challenges such as the absence of clearly defined educational pathways that would result in recognised credentials; incomplete or lack of appropriate job descriptions; limited opportunities for Continuous Professional Development; and sometimes, very indistinct career paths.

The industry to date, does not have a Professional Accreditation Body that can work with industry to address these challenges in Supply Chain Management. ASCI has now fully established itself as the Professional Accreditation Body for the Supply Chain Industry.

The opportunities 

ASCI has developed a set of standards and a professional framework that will enhance the quality of the Supply Chain workforce. It will focus entirely on enhancing public trust and confidence in Supply Chain Managers, enable compliance with regulatory or legal requirements across the Supply Chain and enhance the status of Supply Chain Management as a career path.

Through its Ethics Management Program, it will guide the behaviour of Practitioners in the Supply Chain domain, especially when it comes to morally or ethically ambiguous activities.

ASCI, in collaboration with industry, will establish and standardise roles (and the associated knowledge, skills, and abilities) and pathways to better align supply and demand of Supply Chain Professionals and Practitioners, increase awareness of career paths, and facilitate recruitment and retention by employers.

ASCI has developed a Professional Accreditation Scheme that offers its members Professional Recognition of Competence towards Professional and Practitioner Registration.

To become registered or to join a professionalisation committee, please contact the ASCI National Office today at or visit our website:


Dr Pieter Nagel is Head of Professionalisation at Australasian Supply Chain Institute




The Power of Partnerships: Why customer-centric alliances are the future for all businesses

Simon Arch

Guest blogger: Simon Arch, Alliances Director, JDA Software ANZ

It’s no secret that most successful businesses around the world have customers at the centre of everything they do. In fact research by Deloitte and Touche discovered customer-centric businesses were 60 percent more profitable compared to companies that weren’t focused on the customer.[1]But how can companies create genuine partnerships with other businesses which put the customer at the centre of everything and why is this critical for business growth?

In my role, I am responsible for developing an ecosystem of partners that together provide the best value and best possible customer outcome. Together with a carefully selected group of partners, we develop aligned go-to-market strategies to present to prospective customers to help their businesses succeed.

It sounds easy, right? Wrong! It’s a constant juggle of individual personalities, goals and emotions. I often describe my role as part marriage broker and part marriage counsellor (!) as I get caught up in working with egos, changing business priorities, shifting budget expectations and quality of delivery.

The ongoing challenge I face on a daily basis is educating prospective partners and customers that no single business can provide all that’s required to deliver a successful outcome. There is no ‘one size fits all’ anymore. The problems we face are getting more complex and the end customer’s expectations are increasing all the time.

Our goal is to help our clients to understand they will get better value by bringing together each and every supplier. We find that’s a significant challenge, to set the customer’s expectations that there’ll be multiple stakeholders involved from day one. This is often a big cultural shift – customers have always dealt with just one supplier, why would they need to work with three or four? Once they see the value of working with a combined team of specialist suppliers though, the fears disappear.

Other challenges we face are to find the appropriate partners for the specific customer we’re working with and having enough partners with the right skills. We invest significant time in finding the partners, developing and training them on our software and keeping up with the demand as we grow our business. We’re always scanning the market and keeping our ear to the ground to find new partners.

We recognise that if we can combine in-depth industry and consulting knowledge with the technical knowledge from us about our software, then we’ll have a partnership made in heaven where we are able to expedite the solution and the deployment for the customer.

We also have an ongoing assessment of all our business partners, we often discover partners which may have been great years ago, may have changed industries or capabilities and may not be the right fit anymore.

The main things to consider before partnering with another business are to determine what or who is a useful partner? Is it one that has industry knowledge, technical capability or customer base? Alignment with your company is critical. A hunger to win business and a passion for the industry are key things I look for, but they are difficult things to discover without exploring the partnership first. Another point to consider is commitment – commitment to work with you and vice versa. We’re ultimately looking for a match of skills, passion and culture.

My top four tips for businesses who are looking to expand their alliance network and create a successful customer-centric partnership approach are:

  1. Carefully understand your requirements. Consider is it a gap in your own skills or is it a gap in your existing partner network? Analyse this carefully at the beginning.
  2. Work out what their capability is like. Do they have enough capacity to grow with you? Don’t forget technical delivery capacity.
  3. When you do find partners, prioritise, make sure you engage on every different level in their business from executive level engagement to the sales team and the technical delivery teams.
  4. Pick and choose who you are going to approach (potential customers) very carefully as partners like to see successes. When partners see that the partnership is working they are much more likely to want to do more repeat business with you.

Remember, action and patience are key when it comes to business partnerships.  At some point there will be issues – even from your own team – so you’ll need to counsel the stakeholders and above all be very patient. But when customer-centric alliances work well they can mean the difference between a thriving growing business and one which is going nowhere fast.



How Ingersoll Rand Revives Exhausted Products

By ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE

Industrial manufacturer Ingersoll Rand (IR) has long positioned itself as a company that prioritises efficiency, energy savings and productivity. As its website states, “With principled leadership and ethical business practices, our high-engagement culture delivers enduring results that lead to a sustainable world.” Recently, IR saw potential to create added value by helping its customers meet their own environmental challenges. As a result, company leaders are taking the conservation philosophy to a new level.

IR’s sustainability commitment includes the extremely ambitious goal of reducing not its own, but its customers’ carbon emissions by 1 gigaton by 2030. Greenbiz’s Heather Clancy reports that this is equivalent to the annual emissions produced by Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined. Much of the plan revolves around remanufacturing end-of-life equipment. (Read more after advertising)

APICS Premier Channel Partner

“[IR] has operated an aftermarket service organization in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1974,” Clancy writes. “After all, many metals used to make its Trane heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment have a demonstrable value, and there are well-established processes for recovering it. But in more recent years, the 183,000-square-foot operation … has become involved with activities focused on a different sort of mission: keeping older equipment in the field for as long as possible.”

Scott Tew, executive director for IR’s Center of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, told Greenbiz that the company is focused on the concept of a “customer for life.” He recounts the story of a historic hotel in Portland, Oregon, that needed to upgrade its Trane HVAC system but had limited access to remove and replace failing equipment. Engineers disassembled and transported components back to Charlotte for repair, then reinstalled them in the exact same footprint as the original system. IR expects them to continue functioning for decades.

IR says it will fully support this environmental strategy moving forward. In fact, the company has established a new-product-development requirement that directs engineers to design for sustainability. As Clancy writes, “That includes both efficiency considerations and materials choices.”

Far-reaching results

For years, IR has looked to the APICS body of knowledge as a source of best practices, the primary method for getting employees speaking the same language and a key method for working toward a unified supply chain strategy. In fact, the company adopted a policy that required all materials managers to become APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designees within 18 months of being hired.

Then, to sustain this investment in learning and development, IR rewrote its materials management job descriptions to require CPIMs for all incoming managers. In addition, staffing personnel began targeting CPIM designees for open positions. (Read more after advertising)


Today, IR has hundreds of CPIMs — and the finance team reports that this investment has paid off. A recent analysis found a direct correlation between materials manager performance and APICS certification. Most importantly, we’re now seeing that this training has led to initiatives that clearly aim to create a better world through supply chain. Learn more about what this globally recognized standard can do for your organization, your suppliers, your customers and beyond.

To find out more about APICS training, contact Australasian Supply Chain Institute (ASCI) National office at

7 Powerful Supply Chain Trends You Should Not Ignore

APICS Premier Channel Partner

Extract from an article:

Today’s technological disruption is fast and ruthless and it is transforming most of the industries including Supply Chain. Nothing new here.

So what are 7 big supply chain trends that you need to be aware of as a supply chain professional?

#1. Big Data will be big force you can’t ignore

Although “Big Data” has become a contemporary buzzword, it has significant implications supply chain, and presents an opportunity and a challenge to most industries.What makes Big Data unique is its:

  • Velocity:in real time
  • Variety:the data varies in time and in context, and is not a fixed data model to real time
  • Volume:the volumes are significant and require unique approaches

Volume can occur in many ways. There is more data because, among other reasons, the data is captured in more detail via current ERP & other software packages. For instance, instead of just recording that a unit sold at a particular location, the time it was sold and the amount of inventory at the time of the sale is also captured. Moreover, long global supply chains necessitate data capture at multiple points in the supply chain. In addition, there is now a proliferation of consumer sentiment data resulting from Tweets, Likes, and product reviews on websites. Such data must be analyzed and quantified.

The rise of the Big Data is a hot supply chain trend as revealed by Google Trends.

Do supply chain folks have strategy for big data analytics?

The examples of potential applications of big data within logistics and supply chain would be:

  • Manufacturerscan advise customers about improved notification of delivery time, and availability; based on historic and current manufacturing data.
  • Freight carrierscan reliably advise time of delivery, factoring in weather, driver characteristics, and time of day and date of arrival.
  • Retailerscan forecast and understand customer sentiment dataand use of mobile devices in stores

#2. 3D Printing is now needed to support product life cycle

Where does 3D printing fit in today’s supply chain trends? And what is your company doing to fully leverage this powerful and surprisingly versatile innovation?

3D Printing has been around for 3 decades and generally using additive manufacturing, however, commercialization at mass level still has to take off.It involves fabrication of products through the use of printers which either place layer upon layer of materials or employee lasers to burn material, resulting in a finished design.

Today 3D Printing is used within several industries such as used for making medical implants, jewellry, customized football boots, lampshades, racing-car parts, solid state batteries and customized mobile phones

While much has been said and written about the impact of 3D Printing, it is only now it is being used as a term in its own right as its interest is continuing to increase in trending as we can see in Google Trends:

What are the potential applications which impact supply chain?

  • Manufacturing the inventory of long tail “C Class” items to support customers at the end of product life cycle.
  • Providing vendor managed 3D Printer at customer siteby providing the software designs for products which customer can on demand as a licence or pay-per-print basis.
  • By providing design data to customer encourage customer to print using onlineits like shapewaysor sculpteo so they can print as and when needed.

The key benefits for supply chain

  • Drastically reduce lead timeand increase on-time deliveryperformance by closer provision of parts by installing printers on customer site
  • Simplify supply chain network
  • Reducing space requirementin warehouse
  • Reduce Excess & Obsoletefor high variety and low volume items.
  • Faster prototyping and samples
  • Agile and response supply chainto shorter product life cycles.
  • Possibly cheaper products to make and purchase for low volume items
  • Supply chain can support greater customization
  • And many more!!


#3. Internet of Things (IoT) – Industry 4.0

Can Internet of Things aka Industry 4.0 be a force for faster growth in an increasingly digital global economy? Most people who know about this will emphatically say “Yes”. Why such optimism? The IoT can boost productivity, drive the emergence of new markets, and encourage innovation.

What is the Industrial Internet of Things? The Internet of Things is the industrial application of a network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. In manufacturing, connected sensor networks already monitor logistics movements and machines such as mining equipment and entire utility plants, helping organizations reduce costs through more efficient operations. As a term its interest is still trending up.

The Internet of Things is driven by an expansion of the Internet through the inclusion of physical objects combined with an ability to provide smarter services to the environment as more data becomes available. Various application domains ranging from Green-IT and energy efficiency to logistics are already starting to benefit from the Internet of Things concept.  There are challenges associated with the Internet of Things, most explicitly in areas of trust and security, standardization and governance required to ensure a fair and trustworthy open Internet of Things which provides value to all of society.

#4. Moving supply chain to “Cloud”

Cloud computing can help your organization to realize major benefits by redefining traditional supply as it’s computing facilitates enhanced responsiveness to supply chain disruptions.Moreover, new technologies and service providers make it possible for companies to turn their supply chains into end-to-end business operating strategies. The connected cloud enables the real-time collaboration that makes this possible.

How can cloud-based computing make supply chains more competitive?

Cloud-based application can make supply chain to be more connected, Intelligent, Saleable and Rapid.The notable benefits could be:

  • Real-time visibility: supply chains become more dynamic, secure and interactive
  • Seamless collaboration: supply chain capabilities are harmonized beyond physical boundaries
  • Actionable insights: innovative data analysis supports advanced decision-making
  • Maximum efficiency: integration of people, process and technology
  • Organizational flexibility: digital plug-and play enablers provide natural “configure and re-configure” capabilities
  • Enhanced responsiveness: using better information and sophisticated analytics to interpret and react speedily to disruptions, including demand and supply signals
  • Proactive prevention:decision support, driven by predictive analytics, helps to confirm reliability and rapid adaptability
  • Last mile postponement: swift repurposing of organizational assets at short notice helps to ensure that supplies always meet changing demands.

#5. Gamification of supply chain

User adoption and the efficiency of future procurement systems will benefit from gaming methodologies. Such systems will give companies to assume a competitive persona, utilizing reward based psychology inherent in gaming to drive user behavior in the purchasing, logistics or materials management scenarios.

#6. Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in supply chain

Imagine MRP runs over night send PO to supplier based on a parameter setting, then send a reminder email before due date and if supplier is late call a supplier contact in the voice of “Siri” to ask why they are late and when they will actually deliver! Possible? I think very much possible even with existing AI and machine learning capabilities.

Artificial intelligence (AI) existing for some time and was introduced to develop and create “thinking machines” that are capable of mimicking, learning, and replacing human intelligence. Since the late 1970s, AI has shown great promise in improving human decision-making processes and the subsequent productivity in various business endeavors due to its ability to recognize business patterns, learn business phenomena, seek information, and analyze data intelligently. Despite its widespread acceptance as a decision-aid tool, AI has seen limited application in supply chain management as we stand today, but I think this will eventually become a mainstream technology in next decade or so.

#7. Augmented reality (AR) will soon be in your office

Most smart phone and mobile devices has some sort of app which deals with augmented reality (AR). Supply Chain systems integrated with AR devices could allow a buyer to point their smartphone at a product and receive instance information about its availability, pricing options, delivery time, lead time and more.AR could possibly become a way on how business can order their stocks, finding alternatives for out of stock items and download the information pack and data sheets. I think AR is probably the most under rated prospect amongst other supply chain trends.


The biggest challenge to embracing innovation and disruption these technologies will bring in your supply chain design – Forgetting old habits and adopting new, can be big challenge. Take the Jump!

This also means a life of continuous learning.


Contact the ASCI National Office e today for your information pack and quotation at