Coverage of The Association for Operations Management (APICS) Conference: Excellence is the new norm: Day 2
With an early wake-up call and scrambling to be there on time, my taxi arrived at the conference at 8 AM. No time for coffee, I took in a session about blurring the lines between manufacturing and service as my early cup of Joe. Boy, did it wake me up! All kidding aside, the session was great, and I’ve posted a few photos below to give you an idea of how it worked. I found it very interesting; a lot of interviews we’ve been conducting tend to agree with the idea that service and manufacturing go hand in hand in our global markets.
Next up: main speaker of day 2. This session featured speaker Bert Jacobs from Life Is Good, a $100 million company. He was fantastic—fun, interesting, and entertaining—and I’ve posted a few clips here. You can really believe that life is good listening to him talk. It happened that later that day I was one of the people who was partying with him later into Tuesday night (as you can see, my sleep paid off). But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Day 2’s lunch was better. The beef and the sauce for it was off the charts, amazing, I couldn’t get enough of it. APICS (the Association for Operations Management) clearly knows how to win the hearts of its attendants—through their stomachs . . ..
I also recorded a glimpse of an interview workshop for manufacturing operations managers. I think It applies to anyone in the field of OM. Please see it below if you’re curious on how to improve your resume. My camera work is not great, but hey, considering I am the only one who got this footage, it’s the best. It will be posted in our miscellaneous section of Videos, coming soon.
Next up was a session on Value Stream Mapping, which, not to bore you with details, is basically telling you that making a one-page picture is simple and efficient. Unless you are really into that stuff, it’s not exactly going to keep you on the edge of your seat; nonetheless, it was an interesting session. Following that was a Sales and Planning simulation. I got most of it and have posted the relevant videos.
Next up was DuPont and SherTrak presentation of Next Generation Sales and Operations Planning. Present by Greg Schlegel and Peter Murray . It covered what is next in sales and operations planing. Was an interesting presentation, covering how to get additional value from S&OP and reduce risks within process.
The last session of the day was Multi-Tier SC Collaboration. It might not sound very appealing, but I think it was one of the best and most innovative sessions of the conference. For one, speakers were in their mid-30s, while the rest of the conference panels were 40-75 and probably more on the high end of that range. It might seem that age is just a number, but this session showed that it also brings new visions and approaches. They brought concrete examples, great PowerPoint slides, and interesting presentations. It might seem like a small thing, but their charts really spoke volumes and were easy on the eye, whereas most of the other charts looked like they crawled out of a 90s website. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’ve posted a few pictures. Presenters are Mondher Ben-Hamida and Kwok Poon. The company they represent is E2OPEN.
After this session, I went with Jack, one of the conference attendees, to a sports bar at Wynn, the hotel where the conference was held. We had a few drinks and some good conversation. Around 7:30 Jack excused himself, and there I was, all alone. As I started making my way out of the sports bar, I heard laughter and chatter on my left, and lo and behold, I saw our general speaker with another five conference attendees around him, having a grand time. I decided to go up to them to say hi. I was welcomed with open arms, and the fun began. No one should say that operations managers can’t have fun; we had a blast.
Life is good. Bert decided to debate me about our company (OperationsManager.com) with a veteran of OM Wink. We introduced ourselves and had a good discussion of the issues. Then his right-hand man joined in and we had a hilarious, wide-ranging discussion, not really related to operations management but certainly way more fun, such as how did Russia lose the hockey match in the 1980s and what Miracles are all about.Of course, my defense was that the Zambonis were rigged. Then we reconvened in one of the conference member’s hotel rooms, while Bert was getting “Shirt with buttons.”
We had a few drinks there and headed to TAO, which is a very exclusive night spot; I’ve provided a short video of it. I had some great sushi and Asian-style cuisine, wine and plenty of fantastic dishes. Thank you, Bert, for picking up the check. I got a bit of a footage on my camera before my batter died, it shaky but should give you a feel for the night.
Apparently getting into the TAO restaurant gave us access to the night lounge LAVO, located in the same hotel. It still took us a good 15 minutes to make it there. Of course, we had distractions along the way, such as the slot machine, Sex in the City. For some reason, it was all the talk of the night. As soon as he saw one, Wink didn’t wait for anyone and pounced on it. He was down about $25 when he hit some Sex in the City special, won his money back, and then made some extra. On that note, we left and continued our search for LAVO, with different people giving us different directions as we were making our way through the hotel. Bert played a round of roulette, but no cigar, and a few minutes later we were in LAVO.
It was really packed, especially considering it was a Tuesday. Everyone started dancing. Sometime later, I got tired and decided to head back to my hotel to prepare for the next day of the conference. Thanks to Bert, Wink, Chad, and everyone else for the company (three of the other four people in the group were women, but their names escape me now).