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StarChapter of August: APICS San Antonio

APICS San Antonio an organization that provides educational services, networking opportunities, and events for the Supply Chain and Operations Community in San Antonio and surrounding south central Texas areas.

With several decades in operations, the SCTX APICS Chapter offers APICS certification classes, in-house classes, seminars, professional development meetings, plant tours, and many other services to enrich the professional and personal development of its members.

We were able to connect with Rod Cantu, their Board President, and Roy Vasquez, their Webmaster to learn more about how they are expanding their student presence, partnering with other organizations and utilizing StarChapter to keep their success going.

1. What was APICS San Antonio’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

We implemented a strategy that was flexible in engaging new members. First, we expanded our partnerships with professional organizations in our area. This has allowed us to promote APICS membership and educational offerings to a larger group of individuals and companies. Second, we targeted our training engagements toward mid-to-large size companies thus reaching numerous students at once. Students were encouraged to join APICS. Third, we continued our collaboration with local universities whereby our instructors teach relevant supply chain material at local campuses and thus promote APICS membership. We currently have two active student chapters that has allowed us to increase our student memberships. Lastly, plans are in progress to create a Student Chapter Liaison position for the 2019-2020 APICS fiscal year. Our plan is to continue evolving our agile approach to engage new members not only in our course offerings but also in other professional development and networking opportunities.

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year.

In collaboration with another professional organization, we formalized, planned, and executed a successful professional development meeting in Spring 2019. The event was titled, ‘Women in Supply Chain Forum.” The breakfast event was held at the AT&T Center and sponsored by the San Antonio Spurs Sport & Entertainment Group. Attendees had an opportunity to hear from a panel of women address questions regarding their specific career paths in supply chain and leadership. Participants qualified for a raffle of great gift prizes at the end of the meeting. Further, attendees had a tour of the AT&T Center facility. A fascinating topic was the logistics involved in converting the facility floor to meet basketball, ice hockey, and concert events requirements. We drew upon our member and non-member databases along with the member database from the other organization and received a great turnout.

3. The APICS San Antonio network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other chapters?

Yes.  In fact, just a few months ago, APICS’ National Chapter organized a Chapter Leadership Forum to help APICS Chapter leaders strengthen their skills which focused on chapter development and best practices.  The target audience was for North American APICS Chapter leaders which includes nearly 1,600 individuals from 186 chapters.  The forum was held in two locations, Houston, TX and Washington D.C., to draw from the vast amount of chapter leadership. APICS’ National Chapter has also created an online community for North American chapter leaders to connect, share ideas and best practices to encourage chapter growth, governance and innovation.

4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?

APICS board volunteers gain in several ways namely, building relationships, enhancing leadership skills, and staying relevant in an ever-changing supply chain field. A key point is that one gets out of our involvement as much as what we put into it. Do not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Other board members with more experience will help guide you along the way. Ask questions. As Francis Bacon once said: “Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.” Volunteering provides a sense of satisfaction that you are giving back to the community. Thinking back to your own career, you can identify select-few whom were instrumental in getting you to reach your potential. Bottom-line, an APICS volunteer helps change lives.

5. What is in store for your members this year?

We will continue to promote our educational offerings, professional development meetings, seminars and plant tours which is our product.  Our social media sites are currently being updated to uphold our networking opportunities with our members and to attract prospective members.  Furthermore, one of our board members suggested that we try a lunchtime webinar as another alternative to connecting with our members.  This webinar would focus on topics that fall under the APICS Body of Knowledge.  Another chapter has offered a 30-minute webinar meeting to their mailing list to discuss different topics and we are entertaining the idea of using this medium.

6. How have you been able to utilize StarChapter to run the APICS San Antonio chapter and reach its goals?  

StarChapter has been a successful platform for our chapter.  The email and meeting/event registration functions have been great for us.  Several of our Board members have become familiar with the functionality of the website and have been able to update items that they are responsible for.  This year we also utilized the Member Survey feature for the first time and found it to be user friendly.

Would you like to share the success story of your chapter with other board volunteers? We'd love to feature you! Fill out this form to let us know.

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