5 Benefits to learning via Virtual Classrooms

The future of education is content delivered via virtual classrooms, especially in Australia where the tyranny of distance and increased traffic congestion hinder the opportunities to learn in residential classrooms.  These virtual classrooms are held online where participates can communicate, view presentations and interact with facilitators and peers.  To sum it all up, virtual classrooms are very similar to traditional classrooms, where the teaching is still the same but it is delivered in a convenient format.

So, how can individuals benefit from these virtual classrooms?

  1. It is flexible, you can stay at your work desk and log on for a few hours.  You can participate in the lesson via a laptop, PC or tablet/iPad.  With just a few hours duration needed at a time for a virtual class, students do not have to take out a whole day for learning.  This benefits employers as well, as they avoid roster shuffling and extra staffing.
  2. Chat boxes and polls will be available during the class to allow students to interact as they would in a residential classroom.  Polls allow for facilitators to gauge the knowledge and understanding of the class.
  3. Similar to a traditional classroom, the facilitator is in control of the style of content delivery.  They are able to mute and un-mute students.  The facilitators can chose when question time is or when students can be interactive.  This gives the feel of the familiarity of a traditional classroom where the facilitator runs how the content is delivered.   As well as, gives the opportunity for students to share their stories.
  4. It allows participants to learn and be able to immediately applying what they learn to their job, while it is fresh on their mind.
  5. No cancellations – there are no limitations to numbers.

We hope these 5 benefits of virtual classrooms have given you a better understanding of the concept.

apicsAU has designed a series of Summer Virtual Classrooms which have been developed from the Best of the Best short course offerings from 2016.   View our summer virtual classes at: http://us12.campaign-archive2.com/?u=9b12daa3124e6a910a9170caa&id=e277b0c905

Special offer! – Register for three or more short courses and receive 20% off.

Do not forgot our early bird discount offer.  Register before 21 December 2016 to receive $50 off short courses and $100 off certifications. – http://us12.campaign-archive2.com/?u=9b12daa3124e6a910a9170caa&id=f5e4f82cdf

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What do lean and seat belts have in common?

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The fundamental change that has occurred in the wearing of seat belts has been used as an analogy to describe the lasting change that is required for a successful lean transformation.

This analogy was shared in today’s apicsAU webinar Deploying, consolidating and Sustaining a Lean Transformation by guest presenter James Hildebrand.

Today, even pets travel safely within the restraints of custom-built seat belts in cars.

James says that the approaches society has taken to bring about the successful seat belt-wearing transformation should be used by organisations who want to implement lean and achieve world class efficiency.

Transformation is also achievable through the professional development of our people.

To help you create a baseline knowledge of lean within your organisation, we’ve drawn from the APICS Body of Knowledge to identify 10 things your organisation needs to know about lean inventory:

  1. The concepts of just in time and lean, and how they apply to the management of inventories
  2. Why implementing lean and lean structure is important
  3. The three major sources of operations waste
  4. The difference between value-added work and waste
  5. How to manage inventory effectively in a lean environment
  6. How to explore the lean inventory flow analogy
  7. The impact of inventory reduction
  8. Lean pull-system basics
  9. How to calculate the number and work with kanbans/containers
  10. How to review the calculation of production, move and supplier kanbans

These ten points are also the learning objectives of a popular corporate training session within the APICS Principles of Operation Management Series. APICS qualified facilitators are provided to facilitate discussion and learning of lean inventory theory and practice. Customisable training sessions are available, based on the skills gaps within your supply chain team. Check out our free Supply Chain Competency Model launched in our blog last month.

apicsAU’s Regional Symposiums Navigating Your Supply Chain Into The Future are now short executive breakfast sessions to allow for you to invite your organisation’s decision makers to participate in supply chain issues which will, in turn, accelerate approval for your team’s professional development.

Seat belts on and let’s go!

The 7 Tests of True Mastery

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It appears we have never had so many experts roaming the planet than in our modern age. As I trawl through the LinkedIn profiles of my contacts, everyone it seems is a ‘specialist’, ‘sought-after authority’ or ‘expert’ at something – some even manage to specialize in pretty much everything!

Naturally, this is part of the necessary game of personal branding – one which I myself feel compelled to play to an ever-increasing extent (my own LinkedIn bio copy is evidence enough of this).

And yet I was recently reflecting on the notion of mastery. Not mastery in the more modern marketing form but in the traditional ‘master and apprentice’ sense. What are the tell-tale sign that someone has been around the block enough times and derived enough experience and skill to truly be a master at something.

Some would say that mastery is merely a function of time. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell is often credited for coining the 10,000 hour test which suggests that you have to do something for 10,000 hours before you are truly an expert. While this certainly has the ring of common sense about it, I can’t help but wonder if simply using time to determine mastery is a bit limited. After all, I know lots of people who are highly experienced but are neither experts or masters.

Reflecting on the many individuals in my sphere who, in my view, have truly achieved a level of mastery in their given field, there are 7 the characteristics that are common to them all:

1. They are rarely surprised – there is a positive sense that the truly experienced “have seen it all before” and therefore can remain calm, clear-headed and confident when the exceptional occurs

2. Their skills are not circumstantial – in other words masters are adept and comfortable in a wide variety of situations and contexts because their skill and expertise is second nature

3. They move beyond rhetoric and long-windedness – Paradoxically, I often find that it is people who use the most complex language who know least about a topic of body of knowledge. Those with superficial or merely academic understanding tend to find intellectual security in rhetoric and jargon. In contrast, those who truly understand a topic tend to use language that is refreshingly simple and concise. As Albert Einstein said, If you can’t explain it to an 6-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.

4. They have added to knowledge – rather than simply consuming or re-hashing existing knowledge and insight, true experts get to a point where they create and contribute new knowledge

5. They are constructively contrarian – Anyone can throw stones and attack another’s views but true experts can offer a contrary view without any need to be either aggressive or defensive. The goal becomes to improve the quality of thought rather than to score points

6. They are humble and open – True mastery engenders a wonderful humility, openness and a hunger to constantly grow and learn. In contrast, those with limited skill, knowledge or expertise often have the most rigid views and firm opinions. There appears to be something about the road to true mastery that wears away hard edges and dissolves arrogance.

7. They actively seek to apprentice others – Finally, I see time and time again that a key mark of mastery is the innate drive to invest in and mentor the next generation. There seems to come a point where the goal for those with mastery is not to simply build their own success but share what they have learned with those coming behind them – just as someone had likely done with them at some stage. This desire to leave a leave a legacy and pass on a heritage of skill and knowledge is perhaps one of the most powerful dynamics to witness – when an expert becomes an elder.

I don’t know if you find the above list as challenging as I do. As I draw closer to my mid-30s, I am increasingly aware of the tendency for age and experience to ossify my views, dim my optimism and even breed selfishness.

Bearing this in mind, I for one am committed to pursuing mastery in the true sense of that word. I don’t want to merely be experienced, I want to become an expert: secure in my convictions but ever-curious, open and looking to share and serve.

How about you?
michael mcqueen
Michael McQueen is our guest blogger.
Speaker | Author | President at Professional Speakers Australia – PSA | Leadership Coach | Social Researcher

Accessing training funds will get you on the Government’s radar

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Act now to showcase your organisation’s growth by accessing training funds and you will get onto the Federal Government’s radar for potential future funding.

This was the compelling advice given to our supply chain community this week during an exclusive apicsAU Thought Leader Series podcast interview with an Industry Skills Fund Adviser.

The topic of our podcast addresses accessing funding for training to fill skills gaps in supply chain and logistics but the message was clear: no matter the size or industry, your organisation will benefit if you apply for the funding, if nothing else but to “get onto their books” now.

The Industry Skills Fund, provided by the Department of Education & Training is a key element of the Australian Government’s strategy to boost business productivity and increase competitiveness across the economy. Companies can be reimbursed for their training costs by up to 75 cents in the dollar, depending on their organisation’s headcount or location, if evidence of a growth phase and technical skills gaps are identified and proven.

Our Corporate Partners have access to our free competency model which outlines skills required for each supply chain, procurement and logistics role, helping identify gaps.

And a highly skilled workforce that is able to adapt to rapid technological and structural change and to meet new business opportunities is a priority for Australia.

The podcast is a must-download for any business as a first step in the process of accessing this funding. Help is provided (skills advice and training grants) particularly to micro and small business, so they can continue to power the engine room of the Australian economy.

If you are looking to upskill and train employees to meet the future challenges, there is an upcoming Symposium, Navigating Your Supply Chain into the Future,  which is a must-attend one day event in Melbourne on 19 October and Perth on 24 November 2016.

apicsAU is at the forefront of changes for your supply chain. We are a premier non-profit, professional membership community providing leadership and innovation, education and training and professional development for the Australian supply chain, procurement and logistics community. apicsAU membership includes corporate partnerships and individual memberships.

APICS short courses, certifications and endorsements provide a specific solution to filling skills gaps in the supply chain.

The Government website for the Industry Skills Fund provides the first step in the application process. Now, over to you!

 

 

 

The world through a different lens

 

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As supply chain professionals, we see the world through a different lens. We delight more than others when our products and services are delivered on time or when the quality of the products and services meets our expectations. So when supply chains let us down, we feel very passionate about it.

This week’s Government meetings regarding Murray Goulburn pull at our heart strings. Do we buy the $2 milk or boycott it? Our thoughts go out to the supply chain professionals in the dairy industry and every supplier caught in the industry’s current situation. If you missed the Four Corner’s episode Milked Dry on Monday night, it offers a very balanced view of the industry’s current state of play.

As supply chain professionals, we are also acutely aware of the rules of business. So we do our best at solving very complex problems to uphold integrity. APICS has release a great three-minute video Raising the bar on supply chain management which captures our profession. It gives us a sense of pride and belonging.

The global supply chain industry is undergoing one of the largest changes in apicsAU’s 53 years in the industry. apicsAU has been working closely with APICS and its global Channel Partners to address these changes and determine how they affect the future career development needs of the supply chain professional.

If you review the APICS competency models for supply chain roles, every one of our roles requires higher order problem solving, planning and organisation, decision making and analytical thinking. As we move through change, these qualities will be much needed.

Here are five elements to a future-proof and supportive professional industry membership in supply chain:

  1. Global perspective

A global supply chain requires membership to a global professional body. It is our responsibility to apicsAU members to deliver a global outlook on their professional career in supply chain. Connecting our members with APICS will allow us to provide a truly international professional membership.

  1. Innovation

The global supply chain industry is undergoing one of the largest changes and yet locally, we’ve seen our manufacturing industry contracting, with the associated loss of jobs. The Government has made several announcements recently about the future of employment in our country and the fact that innovation will be an integral component to jobs in Australia.

apicsAU’s Supply Chain Innovation Report will keep members up to date on innovation and how to approach disruption. It’s close to completion.

apicsAU is working closely with Australian Industry Group to better understand the Industry Skills Fund and how employers can up skill their supply chain teams in a growth phase. If you would like more information about how the Industry Skills Fund applies to your business, please refer to our resource section. Look out for our podcast on the topic.

  1. Continual learning

Professional learning is about having access to resources, especially for those of you who are unable to attend our keynote presentations and site visits due to remote location or timing. We are planning a comprehensive calendar of local webinars, podcasts, whitepapers and reports to assist in your professional development.

We’ve launched a recording studio in our National Office to develop the apicsAU Thought Leader Series of podcasts. Download them to your preferred pod catcher today.

Come along to apicsAU’s Regional Symposiums commencing this month to explore seven vital elements to Navigating your supply chain into the future.

  1. Flexible learning offerings

The next generation learner requires a flexible and vibrant delivery of programs. At apicsAU we want to ensure that we appeal to young members and can incorporate the APICS material in such as way that engages with their learning style.

We are introducing block classes and Saturday classes for certification modules, site visits combined with keynote presentations, Closed Facebook groups for alumni and students, exam apps, Q&A forums and special interest groups all in the effort to deliver a learning format to suit differing needs.

  1. Career development

We are excited to announce a Career Portal which will allow you to look for jobs in the supply chain industry from your member portal. You will be able to post your own profile when you are looking for employment and employers will be able to post job ads amongst our 10,000+ community. Recruitment partners will also post jobs and are committed to offering valuable employment market insight, career advice and talent acquisition counsel to members.

Become an apicsAU member today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the supply chain needs mental toughness

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Mental toughness will be a common topic at the Olympic Games this week.

Mental toughness is a personality trait which is emerging as the key to understanding how people respond to and perform under stress, pressure and challenge. Mental toughness explains up to 25% in the variation of an individual’s performance.  It is also a significant factor in individual and team well-being.

In our volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous world of supply chain management, mental toughness is becoming a key requirement and competitive advantage to effectively handle the pressures of:

  • Customer demands, in Australia major retailers require up to 98.5% service
  • Supply chain complexity through outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions
  • Industry consolidation and dealing with multiple cultures and behaviours
  • Shortening life cycles as innovation is needed to make a point of difference
  • Growing product portfolio’s, with a growing almost unmanageable tail
  • Cross functional communication and issue resolution

Mentally tough individuals and teams look forward to challenges, stay confident and focused on their tasks and deal positively with setbacks to deliver on their commitments, whilst keeping their emotions in check. Mentally tough individuals bring their ‘A’ game to work every day and learn from their mistakes.

Mental toughness can now be measured on individual and team level. Professor Peter Clough developed the MTQ48, the world’s first valid and reliable psychometric questionnaire for mental toughness. Clough is chair in Applied Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University and a world-leading academic in applied psychology. The on-line 48 question survey is easy and take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Mental toughness in your supply chain team

Can mental toughness be developed in your supply chain team? You need four steps:

  1. Increase your understanding of the concept of mental toughness. Learn the definition, its history and its application
  2. Understand your mental toughness and your individual strengths and team improvement opportunities
  3. Understand tools and techniques to improve mental toughness and learn what the mentally tough do in real life situation
  4. Aspire to become more mentally tough, set goals to improve, use the tools and techniques, change your habits and hold yourself accountable, or use a coach to do so

Niels Van Hove

Niels Van Hove is a guest blogger for apicsAU and is founder of Truebridges. Niels has 18 years’ international supply chain experience and is an AQR accredited master trainer in Mental Toughness. He is presenting at apicsAU’s Regional Symposium “Navigating your supply chain into the future” in Melbourne on 19 October 2016. This is a unique opportunity for supply chain leaders to address seven key elements affecting their supply chains: strategy; standards; technology, leadership, workplace culture; HR legislation; and careers. Group discounts available and early bird discounts available until 30 September, 2016. Register now.