What's In It For Me?
Donald C. Cota Jr.
Barry Jedic, CSCP
Bob Wetherill, CPIM
David Hollinger, CPIM, CSCP
Peter J Blok, PhD
by Donald C. Cota Jr.
You may find my next statement over the top , but it is indeed true.
APICS and it's teachings have changed my life.
As the Inventory Controller I was given the responsibility by The
Materials Director for our valued inventory at our main plant and as you
may imagine work was difficult. It was not until our new Operations
Manager, a member of APICS, introduced APICS taught concepts and proven
philosophies in managing our whole business that we were able to satisfy
the customer and provide a quality product. This change eventually
assured that the inventory promised to the customer was present and
discoverable while being able to load and ship on time.
For me personally I was overwhelmed during the implementing of these
APICS concepts and philosophies. I was discovering that just about any
situation I was encountering was covered through APICS body of
knowledge. I had to learn more. When my company offered me the
opportunity to begin taking classes to achieve my CPIM certificate I
jumped at the chance.
After 7 years with this company and many great successes the economy
began to take it's toll on our business and businesses as a whole.
Though we had to end my partnership with the company my desire for APICS
learning has not diminished. I can continue my education during these
hard times primarily due to the APICS Princeton South Jersey Chapters
willingness to extend this valued education free of charge while I am
unemployed. I owe a debt of gratitude to John Zoeller and Frank
Abatangelo, who is my present APICS teacher. I feel I have personal
guidance through the APICS CPIM certification process. Five modules are
being taught to me by Frank, at St. Anselm Church, an experienced
teacher that provides real world experience during our 3 hour long
sessions. I truly look forward to "picking" Franks brain weekly in
relation to the APICS concepts, formulas, philosophies, and life
business lessons learned during his years in the field.
Like the Inventory I once watched over I feel I have increased in value
and direction due in great part to APICS and specifically my local APICS
chapter, The Princeton South Jersey Chapter. To my fellow brother and
sisters in the association I thank you for being their and helping me be
the best I can be.
by Barry Jedic, CSCP
I was initially introduced to APICS through a former colleague I became
reconnected to during my current job search. She invited me to attend
one of our chapter’s Professional Development Meetings (PDM’s). Prior to
attending the meeting, after researching APICS on the web, I took the
plunge and joined in February 2009.
I felt APICS could provide a great opportunity to network and the
PDM’s would help provide some continuing education to aid me in my job
search. The first PDM I
attended covered the 5S methodology which I found to be very
At the PDM, I was introduced to the V.P. of Finance, Bob Wetherill. Bob
is a great representative for the chapter who can immediately make you
feel at ease. He asked if I was interested in attending the next
chapter’s board meeting, I said yes, and the rest is history.
At my first board meeting I met the board members, all volunteers who
want to see this chapter thrive and succeed. That camaraderie was a
great influence in my decision to volunteer to become the next
Newsletter Editor for the chapter.
In the brief six months I have been a member; I have already found
support and help in my job search, started building a number of new
friendships, and attended APICS’ 34th Congress for Progress. In
addition, I took a big leap in my continuing education when I decided to
go for my APICS CSCP certification. I took the course offered in March
2009, took the certification test in June and received my passing letter
and certification in July!
The CSCP course has allowed me to put my 20 plus years of work
experience and time as a global supply chain manager into perspective
and has armed me with new knowledge and a new set of tools for my job
My APICS experience to date has been very positive and I look forward to
my continuing participation with the chapter and supporting our
membership through the newsletter.
by Bob Wetherill, CPIM / V.P. Finance
I have received many benefits as a member of APICS. Having joined APICS
in 1982, I have been involved in many different ways.
APICS helped me launch my career in Supply Chain back when we used terms
such as Inventory Control, MRP, CRP, DRP, JIT, MPS and so on! I was able
to get well grounded in these areas and was able to use APICS as a
catalyst in career advancement and job placement.
In addition to the education, the networking opportunities abound in the
APICS community. From International conferences to Congress for Progress
to Professional Development meetings, there are many ways to hook up
with fellow workers who have the same experiences, good and bad in the
Supply Chain arena.
Serving on the board of directors for our local chapter has offered me
opportunities that I would never easily get in the workplace. From
fiscal duties to secretarial skills to leadership and public speaking,
the experiences gained from serving on a board are "second to none".
Lastly, the friendships that I have gained through APICS round out my
experiences and are a great take away from being involved with APICS.
by David Hollinger, CPIM, CSCP
Back in 1992, when my boss said we would get a one-time $500 raise if we
were certified as an APICS CPIM, I didn’t know what APICS or CPIM was.
However the opportunity to earn a little more money certainly got my
I worked for MAI Basic 4 as an implementer for their MRP product,
Manbase. Dave Besse, our manager, explained that he would help us learn
the material and get certified. At the time there were 6 modules. He
himself was not certified, so we began an in-house education routine
with APICS materials, reading and studying. There were 8 of us, so we
had lots of opportunity to share the learning experience and debate
ideas about inventory and planning.
Several of us took 2 exams every time they were offered and in about a
year of hard work, I received my CPIM certification, along with Dave and
a couple of others. The company followed through, and I got the one-time
That was the beginning. I began to participate in APICS with Monmouth
county chapter, but work traveling to manufacturing sites to implement
software meant I was away from home quite a bit. With my APICS knowledge
I became a better consultant and teacher of material control, inventory,
As the world changed, I changed jobs several times, and without a doubt,
APICS and CPIM certification helped me get the job and helped me offer
valuable knowledge to my customers and co-workers. Eventually I began to
learn about Lean manufacturing as a result of implementing an MRP system
at Wiremold, in West Hartford Connecticut. Steve Maynard, in charge of
the implementation for Wiremold, said he would teach me how Lean worked.
That began more learning as I tried to balance Lean & MRP. I became a
Lean convert and began to educate others about Lean.
When APICS offered the CSCP certification, again I had to study hard. I
was able to use my experience and APICS education to pass the
In 2000, my work focused on New Jersey, and I connected with the PTMO
chapter, and began to participate as a board member. The PDM’s are a
continual source of additional knowledge. Of course, the friendships
I’ve developed in the chapter are very valuable.
Currently, I continue to work with small to medium size manufacturers,
as a Lean consultant with NJMEP (http://www.njmep.org), educating people
about Lean and about material and inventory control using the APICS body
of knowledge. I am able to blend practical experience with APICS
education to offer a variety of solutions to any issue. Certainly APICS
has benefited my clients, my family, and me.
by Peter J Blok, PhD
My career has been a gift in many ways, moving from R&D, to process
development, to production and commercial operations. I wish I could say
it was all by brilliant design but frankly some of it was a bit of luck.
I fell into the pharmaceutical business in 1983 after a tour in the Navy
and a short stint in chemical engineering. I was befriended by an
operations guy who introduced me to APICS in northern New Jersey.
I remember going to meetings whe reclasses would start at 5 pm and PDM’s
at 6:30 pm. Dozens of people were in classes and what seemed like a
hundred people would be at the meetings. I was a bit overwhelmed. I was
a process development guy at the time and my operations management skill
set was sad to be kind. Those meetings opened my eyes to a world one
doesn’t often see as a young person. A mix of young pups like me and old
hands from dozens of companies all sharing friendships and ideas. All
sharing a common passion, finding ways to do what they do every day
I’ve been in and around APICS now for over 25 years. I’ve been a member
of a few different chapters over the years depending on where my job
was. But there has been one common theme – get better at what you do –
for yourself and for your employer.
What does APICS mean? Of course the training & education. But also the
exchange of ideas at the meetings. The PDM presentations are, of course,
very informative, but also the informal interchange. Meeting other
practitioners of the art of operations management from other companies
has been of great value. I’m met many people, some from my own industry
and some from other industries. The dialog always sparks and idea or two
that I can apply to by day-to-day job. So what does APICS mean to me? In
way the best word to describe it is enrichment.