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Keeping Up Means Getting Ahead

March 12, 2007
Training is key to one woman's success.

Jan Steiner, director of distribution and logistics for Westell Technologies, credits APICS ,The Association for Operations Management ,for a large part of her success. Her career has taken twists and turns and each move upward was preceded by education and training that she received from APICS.

"To move up at any job, especially in the telcom industry, you have to be more than knowledgeable. You need to be an expert. And that holds true especially for women as they are still in the minority in this field," explains Steiner. Westell Technologies, based in Aurora, Ill. manufactures broadband/DSL and VoIP technology.

See more on women in manufacturing, including additional articles and educational resources.
Steiner's career began in accounting -- but she moved into software implementation, then to ERP systems, process improvements systems and eventually into distribution and logistics, where she is now. "At every turn I looked to APICS and got the training I need all the while greatly increasing my salary."

Certification in various specialties, such as CPIM and CSCP, has given Steiner the confidence she needs while she competes in a field populated largely by men. "I can stand toe-to-toe with anyone on Lean and Six Sigma given all of my operations training," she says.

Jan Steiner, director of distribution and logistics for Westell TechnologiesIn addition to education, speaking and leadership skills are key to forging a successful career; especially for women who will have greater opportunities in the field of change management, says Steiner. "Given the collaborative nature of today's highly fluid manufacturing environment in which the product on the drawing board becomes obsolete by the time it hits the manufacturing floor, managers must be flexible. I see managers who posses these skills moving up to the executive level and it's a great opportunity for women to move up."

For information on APICS programs visit

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