When Homero Escandón left the military in 2008, he had accumulated 11 years of valuable experience in distribution and logistics, and he had earned his first professional certification in manufacturing performance improvement. Today, Homero is vice president of manufacturing—operational excellence and supply chain at Biotix Inc., a San Diego manufacturer of equipment for research labs.
If it’s up to Homero, many others will join the rapidly growing supply chain industry, and education will lead the way, particularly through professional certifications.
“The last figure I saw was that for every six open positions, we have one qualified candidate,” Homero says. “Due to globalization, supply chain management jobs are in demand. One of the main reasons we have a talent shortage is that a lot of young people don’t even know about this career path.”
Homero established a strong base in the field during his military service, and his next career move was to make a commitment to education. In the past dozen years, Homero completed a BS in Organizational Leadership and an MBA as well as seven additional professional certifications in supply chain operations and manufacturing improvement.
Homero Escandón, Vice President of Manufacturing - Operational Excellence and Supply Chain, Biotix Inc.
Certainly, the two degrees would have been sufficient to fuel his steady rise in supply chain management, so why the certifications?
“Certifications are typically quite focused,” Homero says. “In day-to-day work, I’m able to call back some of the things that have been covered in my certifications and provide some coaching in those areas. And I’m also able to go back and open up a book as a point of reference for something I may not have had as much exposure to but I know we covered in my certifications.”
Homero also uses his expertise to give back generously to the industry as a mentor, an instructor and a volunteer. Not only has he taught a number of the courses in which he holds certifications, he is also president of the APICS San Diego chapter, a professional industry association and supply chain education provider. At CSUSM, he has been an instructor for the APICS-partnered Operations Resource Management program.
Homero encourages others to consider certifications as part of their career growth. “If you can align the right candidate to the right certification, it’s something they can turn around and use immediately,” he says. A nonprofit organization, APICS works to expand its outreach into the community through partnerships such as with CSUSM on education programs for CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management), CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) and ORM (Operations Resource Management).
As a career to consider, the importance of the global supply chain became immediately evident to the public this year as manufacturers around the world ramped up or pivoted product supply in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our world is about supply chain nowadays,” Homero says. “A few decades ago, a huge focus was on operations management, or managing what was inside your four walls. Now, one manufacturer can have multiple-tiered suppliers across the globe, so it’s about managing upstream and downstream. And that is where the opportunity for supply chain talent is coming from. Talent is in demand.”