Supply chain research and education group APICS said Sunday it has launched a trade group designed to help corporations and professionals share supply chain ideas and best practices, and announced it had won a $5 million grant to help improve public health supply chains in Africa.
Known as the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the group is fashioned as an organization to support supply chain organizational transformation, innovation, and leadership, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi said in a statement. The move is APICS' latest move to grow since it merged with the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L) in 2015.
ASCM will continue to provide the certifications and training programs that APICS has been known for, such as the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), and Certification in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD)programs. Those certifications will keep the APICS brand and be distributed as part of ASCM's larger product and service offerings, the group said in an email.
In addition, when it completes its launch in 2019, the group will add new services such as a corporate designation that enables organizations to assess their supply chains in key areas for maximum sustainability, scalability, and competitive advantage, according to ASCM.
Under the terms of its grant—awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—ASCM said it will help foster the development of a regional supply chain management association, manage the evolution of a frontier supply chain maturity model, and introduce globally recognized and locally adapted methods that will improve last mile availability in public health supply chains.
"ASCM believes that by improving supply chains, we have the opportunity to help improve lives, especially when it comes to underserved markets like those in Africa," Eshkenazi said in a statement. "This grant recognizes the significant collaborative opportunity we have to implement global operating models that will not only improve public health supply chains, but also foster the overall advancement of end-to-end supply chain management in the region."