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APICS providing foundation for ERP, LMP implementation

Dec 10, 2009

By Miranda Myrick (TACOM LCMC)

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Dr. Gary Landis began in November 2008 helping employees here acquire the foundation for a successful implementation of the Army's Logistics Modernization Program.

Long-time educator and president of G. A. Landis Associates, Landis was hired to teach applicable terms, methods and techniques to the depot's future LMP users before they learn how to steer the software-SAP, or Systems Applications and Products-that will run this new business system. His vast experience in manufacturing and production management has led him to teach on six continents and to develop graduate programs in operations management.

LMP is scheduled to be implemented at Anniston Army Depot in October 2010.

G. A. Landis provides consulting and education in operations management systems and uses APICS courses to teach companies and individuals how to use enterprise resource planning systems, or ERPs.

Not to confuse, APICS is the identifying acronym for The Association for Operations Management. Founded in 1957 as the American Production and Inventory Control Society, APICS promotes "Advancing Productivity, Innovation, and Competitive Success."

As an ERP, LMP will replace the decades-old Standard Depot System currently used here in the business of depot maintenance. LMP has already been deployed at three depots within Army Materiel Command.

"With SDS, the system is fragmented. Each office has its own system and is only concerned with the data used internally," said Landis. "LMP, on the other hand, is one total integrated system for everyone where all activities are affected by all the data entered."

The APICS curriculum used at ANAD teaches the fundamentals of four business areas: inventory control, planning, manufacturing control and operations management. At the end of this training cycle, about 300 employees will have been trained in APICS fundamentals, said Gilda Knighton, business transformation manager in the depot's LMP Office.

No previous deployment of LMP has offered the four APICS fundamentals courses prior to the site's LMP go-live date, said Knighton. She said each day of planning for LMP is another day that she is able to apply Landis' instruction.

"We see and talk to personnel everyday who, after having attended the APICS courses and the business design workshops, say that they're connecting the dots. It's all coming together," said Knighton.

Knighton said she expects that at least 20 employees here will have the opportunity to take additional training to become certified in production and inventory management, or CPIM, a certification offered by APICS.

Landis is teaching depot employees what will be going on "behind the screen" when LMP is deployed, said Knighton. APICS provides the frame of reference to better work with business areas like inventory management principles, safety stock, and replenishment strategies in LMP.

"This (APICS) teaches the fundamental processes within an ERP environment. He's (Landis) teaching what an ERP environment is and how it functions," said Knighton.

Many are interested to see how LMP will not only change the language used with data input, but the culture as a whole.

"LMP requires discipline," said Sonny Long, equipment specialist. "Implementation of LMP is going to require all of us to step up. We have to welcome it and work with it.

"And I believe the program itself is going to be the reward."

Landis said the best way to affect change is through education. APICS training, in particular, is already changing the way Lynne Kemp performs her job. She completed the final phase of APICS training in March.

"It's (APICS) been very beneficial when I go in the system at Marlton (N.J.) to look at the data from an LMP standpoint," said Kemp, who is on the team responsible for data validation, a process that lets the depot know whether or not the data currently being loaded into SDS is accurate, thus, whether or not the data will be accepted by LMP.

"They call it (LMP) a data-hungry system, and it really is," said Kemp.

"I've been impressed with the attitude and dedication of the people here involved with LMP," said Landis. Even though the depot's mission won't change, he said that learning the terminology in an ERP is essential if LMP deployment is to be successful.

"What they're doing will not change, they'll just be calling it something else," he said.

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