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APICS and AST&L announce merger plans

Two prominent supply chain organizations—APICS and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L)—announced this week they plan to merge. By Jeff Berman




Two prominent supply chain organizations—APICS and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L)—announced this week they plan to merge.

APICS and AST&L said they have signed off on an agreement in which AST&L will merge with APICS upon ratification by an AST&L member vote. Last August, APICS joined forces with the Supply Chain Council, a global, non-profit management organization focused on helping its membership make significant supply chain process improvements––has been made official.

Established in 1946, AST&L’s mission is to promote and ensure the highest level of global standards through professional certification in the field of transportation and logistics. AST&L certification programs are used throughout business, academia, and governments worldwide, according to a joint statement issued by the organizations.

APICS and AST&L said that this merger will “expand, extend and deepen the end-to-end supply chain body of knowledge that fuels APICS’s global supply chain research, education and certification programs.  Together, APICS and AST&L will offer unmatched content and subject matter expertise that will enable individuals and organizations to meet key supply chain and logistics challenges.”
 
And upon completion of the merger APICS will integrate AST&L with its existing operations. On the leadership front, Abe Eshkenazi will remain the chief executive officer of APICS and Laurie Hein Denham, AST&L president, will join APICS as a senior director.

An APICS official said in an interview there were various drivers for this merger.

“As documented in the Material Handling and Logistics U.S. Roadmap published in January 2014 [by MHI], there is a real and present need to develop the U.S. workforce to meet the needs of the materials handling and logistics industry, which is a rapidly growing employment sector,” the official said. “The industry is calling for education and certification programs that will offer individuals the skills they need to advance their careers and employers the trained personnel they need to meet customer demand. The combination will enable us to more effectively meet this demand. Our research shows that there are approximately 300,000 logistics professionals in the U.S., and growing at 4 percent annually.

What’s more, the organizations have a history together, with the official noting that APICS has provided “backroom functions” for AST&L since 2013 and during this time, APICS has learned first-hand about AST&L products and services, as well as the organization’s operational processes.

As for the membership benefits of this merger, the official said members from AST&L and APICS will now have access to unmatched content and subject matter expertise that will enable individuals and organizations to meet key supply chain and logistics challenges. APICS will expand, extend and deepen end-to-end supply chain body of knowledge.

“The merger brings together complementary organizations that have been working closely together to better serve the needs of students, professionals, organizations and the industry at large,” the official said. “AST&L has content within the transportation and logistics areas of supply chain, but as a smaller organization has less resources to update, develop and distribute this content. APICS has greater resources and the merger will add to their content in transportation and logistics. Together, they have the capabilities to provide members and customers with more comprehensive content and programs.”

AST&L has approximately 800 members and APICS has approximately 41,000 members worldwide. Together the organization will reach approximately 42,000 members.

“This agreement acknowledges the importance of transportation and logistics, and the tremendous innovation impacting delivery processes today,” said Alan G. Dunn, CPIM, chair of the APICS board of directors, in a statement. “It also reflects our commitment to keeping our content and capabilities at the forefront of our industry, providing our members, customers and the supply chain community at large with the most up-to-date, relevant and complete body of knowledge.”

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About the author
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman







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