1824 was the year Beethoven’s ninth and final symphony premiered. But when the orchestra stopped playing at the end of the performance Beethoven mistakenly kept conducting. At this point in his life he was almost completely deaf. One of the soloists turned him around to see the thunderous standing ovation from the audience who threw up their hats and scarves in appreciation.
Today, Beethoven’s 9th is considered to be one of the greatest symphonies ever created. It was the first to ever feature the human voice. The words are based on ‘Ode to Joy,’ a celebratory German poem addressing the unity of mankind. Beethoven’s masterpiece inspired future composers to break with convention and explore new possibilities.
A similar evolution is taking place in the supply chain industry. The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) has relaunched with the mission to make the world better through supply chain management. “We really believe that supply chain can touch people,” said Elizabeth Rennie, a vocalist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Editor-In-Chief at the new ASCM.
New ASCM Reaches for Something Higher
Once a vocalist with the National Symphony Orchestra performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Rennie turned her passion to writing about supply chain. “ASCM is about improving communities by helping businesses and supply chain professionals create ethical, efficient and profitable supply chains,” she explained.
The new ASCM does not replace or rebrand the original APICS. Instead, it brings the 80 year association into the future by organizing it into three pillars. These include Learning and Development, Corporate Transformation and the new pillar of ‘Making An Impact.’
“Creating a better world through supply chain is what I am personally most excited about,” emphasized Rennie. This new division includes their K12 STEM initiatives that give students real life experience in managing a supply chain. This can help them get into college or start on the path toward a supply chain career.
Further, ASCM is the recipient of a three year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This lets them help countries like Africa develop and implement critical components of their supply chain such as monitoring and data collection. The goal is to help them deliver the healthcare and products their people need most.
A Voice for Supply Chain Professionals
‘SCM Now’ is the association’s new magazine that’s sent to its 45,000+ members. It has the same goals as its predecessor, APICS magazine. As well as the core content of production, inventory control, warehousing and logistics, the magazine will feature future forward topics. Added Rennie, “I want to find those topics that are going to transform the way supply chains work.”
Eighty percent of the content comes from members and other volunteer contributors. The remainder is written by ASCM staff and around 30% of the submissions received are accepted. Rennie said she sometimes discovers contributors at industry conferences such as ASCM.org taking place in Las Vegas.
The quarterly SCM Now magazine is developed months ahead of schedule. By the time the Q2 magazine is ready to go to press, Renie has already planned Q3 and has a few stories in the queue for Q4. So, submitted content will not be published for 6 to 12 months. Blockchain is one of the topics that interests Rennie. She noted, “It’s very future forward and helps people combat problems in a totally new and exciting way.”
What Kind of Content to Contribute
The three types of articles included in SCM Now include ‘Feature’ articles at 2,000 words, ‘Lessons Learned’ articles at 750 words and ‘Case Studies’ at 750 words. Lessons Learned are unique in that they give contributors more leeway to express an ‘aha’ moment or interesting experience.
Rennie also accepts contributions for their blog called ‘ASCM Insights.’ Blog articles are typically shorter at around 500 words and cover a variety of topics. For example, a blog could be from someone who used to work in the military and wants to share a lesson learned that’s applicable to supply chain. Other types of blog content could include mini case studies, interviews or how-to articles. Content from both the magazine and blog are promoted on ASCM’s social channels.
An ASCM membership is not required to contribute content. “The whole point is to be focused on learning and development,” clarified Rennie. Contributors should be aware they must sign all content rights over to ASCM. It’s not acceptable to repost the content or print copies and hand them out at a trade show because of the investment they put into production. However, you could publish a link to the content on your website.
Another advantage of being published in SCM Now is that you may be asked to present your content in an ‘SCM Now Live’ webinar. Such an event could compliment your story and would be advertised in their magazine.
How You Benefit as a Member
Joining ASCM gives you access to a network of smart driven people. “Members want to know how to advance their supply chain and everyone is talking about blockchain,” said Rennie. Membership includes access to ASCM training seminars and corporate programs. And there’s a directory where you can look up members.
Member benefits include certification maintenance, an online subscription to SCM Now and access to value chain networks including Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model. Free for students, core memberships for professionals start at $180 per year. Their PLUS package is $220 and provides discounts on training and certification.
Their ‘Supply Chain Channel’ is still currently on the APICS site and will be improved when moved to over to ASCM.org. It currently offers a range of communities on different supply chain topics where people can network and chat with other members. Mentorship programs are also available where senior supply chain members mentor young professionals and college students.
Be Part of Something Special in Supply Chain
Like Beethoven’s 9th symphony, ASCM seeks to start something great by making the world better through supply chain. Their aim is to inspire greatness in future generations through educational programs, communities and global initiatives.
Even if you’re not a member you can participate by contributing content to an upcoming issue of SCM Now or a blog to the ASCM Insights section of their website. Your content will reach an audience of 45,000+ supply chain advocates on the web and through social media.