Education, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

University partners with purchasing company on workshops

March 24, 2015
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University partners with purchasing company on workshops
WMU Grand Rapids’ downtown location is one of the Kalamazoo-based school’s eight regional locations across the state. Photo via

A nationally recognized undergraduate program and a purchasing services provider have partnered to develop a workshop series on purchasing for management and supply chain professionals.

Advanced Purchasing Dynamics in Plymouth, or APD, announced this month a partnership with Western Michigan University’s Center for Integrated Supply Management, or ISM, to offer the four-course supply chain management continuing education program in Grand Rapids.


The WMU and APD workshops were developed to help experienced and new buyers with the purchasing process.

The series includes four courses: Understanding and Managing Supplier Pricing and Costs; Developing Commodity Strategies; Effective Strategies and Analysis for Buying Capital Equipment; and Strategic Negotiations.

Throughout the courses, professionals will learn a number of management skills: control and reduce purchased cost materials through data-driven cost and pricing management; build, implement and communicate effective strategies that align with the overall company objective; and hands-on experience with segmentation methods to manage capital equipment and suppliers.


The series launches this Thursday at WMU’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the Understanding and Managing Supplier Pricing and Costs workshop. Participants can earn eight hours of continuing education credit, and the workshop fee is $539.

The second course, Developing Commodity Strategies, will take place on May 8 and also provides eight hours of continuing education credit for a registration fee of $539.

The Strategic Negotiations workshop will be held on June 4 at a cost of $489 before April 5, and the six-credit workshop Effective Strategies and Analysis for Buying Capital Equipment will take place on June 19.

The workshops are also held on additional dates and at a number of venues throughout Michigan: Embassy Suites Livonia; WMU Haworth College of Business in Kalamazoo; and Marriott Troy.

The partnership

Jeoffrey Burris, founder and principal of APD, said the company has been providing training since its establishment in 2004 and has been impressed with students over the years.

“They always seemed very engaged,” Burris said. “It seemed to be a good synergy and with Western Michigan University students, specifically — kind of stood out in terms of their ties to manufacturing. We provide not only the training, but also the practical tools they can take back to their desk and start utilizing.”

Ken Jones, director of educational and consultative solutions and WMU ISM faculty member, said after a national review of purchasing education options, the organizations believe the collaborative program will benefit purchasing professionals.

“All training events are action packed, applying best practices that will really elevate purchasing efforts in corporations large or small in any industry,” Jones said.

Both Jones, who is a certified professional in supply management and certified purchasing manager, and Burris will teach the courses and collectively have more than 40 years of purchasing leadership experience, working with various companies: Ford Motor Company, Roche Pharmaceutics, Rolls-Royce and more.

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