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Case Study

Flexibility of ASCM Vital to GE Vernova – Gas Power’s Multiyear Training Program

12 years of APICS training  

350+ employees trained in APICS courses globally

10+ countries in the global training program

Around the globe, many countries depend on GE Vernova - Gas Power to keep their power grids up and running. GE Vernova - Gas Power not only builds the turbine engines for these grids – the GE Vernova - Gas Power team works closely with its global customer base to provide on-site service with both planned and emergency replacement parts to keep power plants running 24-7.

That customer service level is the goal of Lorenzo Romagnoli, a longtime executive in Materials Management at GE Vernova - Gas Power. To achieve this, he has been using ASCM’s APICS learning modules and certification courses consistently for the last 12 years to train more than 300 employees globally.

General Electric

“I’m responsible for inventory performance for the entire GE Vernova - Gas Power Service organization and am managing an international materials management team that has a big operational and financial impact,” Romagnoli says. “We always have to have the right parts at the right moment. At the same time, I need to be aware of our finances and balance the supply and demand.”

“With a redesigned Sales and Operation Planning process (S&OP) we’ve improved our ability to plan the “right parts” at the “right moment” to support our global customers in their outage operations. This is possible because our global commercial teams have a strong understanding of the demand while our supply chain team has a strong understanding of the supply side.

General electric

The Power of Speaking the Same Language

When Romagnoli started his leadership role at GE Vernova - Gas Power, he led a strategic transformation integrating forecasting demand with materials supply and inventory.

“The professionals are absolutely great, but the organization was mostly centered on the supply side with a limited view across the entire S&OP Planning process” he says.

Romagnoli received his Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation through ASCM in 2014. The CPIM provides learners with a 360-degree view of the supply chain planning process, helping professionals to work across all functions of the supply chain, from finance to customer services, in addition to learning how to better respond to emergencies and handle risk.

The experience of becoming certified himself convinced him that the same training would help unify his department. One major advantage of the courses it that everyone can use the same language when strategizing about demand and supply challenges.

“For example, the S&OP process uses terminology in which most professionals have limited knowledge,” he says. “If you haven’t taken the learning modules, that might mean that you will have a limited impact on your demand and supply operations and inventory optimization.”

Romagnoli recognized that standardizing the language among employees brought great value to his work and his teams.

The Power of Speaking the Same Language

Broadening the Scope

At GE Vernova - Gas Power, more than just the core staff of supply chain professionals are CPIM certified. Project managers and order managers go through CPIM training as well.

“Expanding the training program globally is a foundation for business operations sustainability and developing your team to a higher professional level,” he says. “Even with people who are not directly dealing with MRP Planning with factories or suppliers but interfacing with customers. If you know the basics of CPIM in terms of supply and demand, you can better understand how to solve customer problems and potential future challenges.”

When everyone shares a common base of knowledge, it’s easier for the different departments to collaborate and ultimately improves  both customer service and inventory management.

“This knowledge strengthens our domain expertise in the evolving energy industry. The skillset CPIM provides can be easily applied in our daily operations. At GE Vernova - Gas Power we believe, we can learn the most from on-the-job challenges and projects, and APICS-trained colleagues will feel more confident to face and solve business challenges.” – says Boglarka Marjai, HR Business Partner responsible for Global Parts Material Management and Forecasting team, managed by Romagnoli.

GE Vernova - Gas Power ASCM

ASCM Flexibility and Increased Value Over Time

Since his decision to implement APICS credentials with his professional staff more than a decade ago, Romagnoli has continued to introduce the ASCM training to each one of his teams as he took on new roles throughout GE and the world.

“APICS is the program that helped me to accelerate the transformation of my operations and the evolution of the professionals who were working with me,” he says. “Each new team gave me different challenges and different supply chain issues, but the one common way I found to succeed was to start planning training for my colleagues and using APICS.”

Romagnoli estimates that more than 300 GE Vernova - Gas Power employees have gone through APICS training under his management, with approximately half earning their CPIM designation. And, just as technology and supply chain management has evolved, so have the training courses from ASCM.

“Obviously, it's not the same CPIM that people took 12 years ago,” says Romagnoli. “It's had to expand. It's advanced and changed along with the times. You can rely on the fact that it’s always cutting edge.”

The pandemic caused a major shift in consumer demand and put a spotlight on supply chain vulnerabilities. Planning is now more important than ever, and the current CPIM reflects that.

Along with updated content, ASCM increased the flexibility of its credentialing programs during the pandemic which proved so successful that the organization plans to keep those changes in place. Remote learning and testing are now available, allowing learners to achieve certifications without traveling to a testing center. A maintenance point dashboard makes it easy for individual learners to track their progress through the various courses.

Multiyear Training in the Works

Romagnoli will continue to use the resources from ASCM for the foreseeable future to train as many employees as possible. In addition to CPIM certification, his multiyear plan includes having employees earn the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential, which helps professionals achieve mastery of supply chain issues within their organizations as well as manage the impact of outside economic, political and environmental changes.

“I currently have a four-year plan for employees, because there’s value in multiyear training,” he says. “People need to complete training in phases, and a selection of those will work up to a CSCP credential.”

Eventually, Romagnoli would like to see his entire team trained. HR also confirms APICS has already been implemented in the employees’ development plans and will become part of individuals’ growth and career discussions.

“We have the ambition to extend this training to 100 percent of our workforce,” he says. “And we can do this. Right now, I’m running the next wave of training globally – in three countries – and people can take part from any place in the world. If you invest in your people and people know that you care about them being better, you'll be amazed how quickly business improves.”

CSCP Ge Power

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