Faculty Bring Real-World Experience to BTC Students
August 31, 2018
From building kitchen countertops to driving stretch limos to coaching rugby in South Africa, one particular BTC faculty member brings an eclectic set of experiences to the classroom. Andrew Panici is an apparel and hard parts buyer for LeMans Corporation by day and a Supply Chain Management adjunct instructor by night. Supply Chain Management was launched in 2017 and will graduate its first class this spring. The program is offered entirely online via MyEdChoice flexible learning options. It was designed and implemented to meet the growing demand for quality workers in our local transportation and logistics industry.
Once a struggling student, Panici is now a professional who manages millions of dollars of inventory for a large distribution company. While pursuing his MBA, Panici worked full time as a college academic advisor and part-time as a limo driver. He knows all too well the struggles of work-life-school balance. Although he no longer has to juggle being a student with multiple jobs, his students gain from his experiences. “I have survived what most of my students are currently experiencing with going back to school and working full time,” says Panici.
BTC hires faculty who can bring courses to life. “Faculty like Andy help students understand the realities and challenges of the industry. He brings practical experience to the classroom to help better develop students in the Supply Chain Management Program,” says Jeff Kropp, Department Chair of the BTC Business Division. Panici has many roles at LeMans Corporation, one of the largest distributors of aftermarket parts in the power sports industry. He plans, forecasts and manages over 8,500 parts with an annual revenue of over $10 million using Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) and other programs.
In order to be successful, Panici must collaborate with sales, marketing, and development teams. Together they develop new products, evaluate current inventory, and establish forecast goals and future contracts with over 20 vendors all over the world. Many of the products he buys come from overseas so he is constantly monitoring tariffs and duty rates which may increase costs, which then increases dealer and retail prices.
He attributes his success to words of wisdom from his father who encouraged him to have a professional backup plan. He explains, “My father always said that you need to have something to fall back on in case your first option doesn’t work out.” In a time when many employers are struggling to find and retain a quality, skilled workforce, Panici has survived many economic hard times by leaning on his vast experience and skillset. Now, he takes pride in helping his students.
He says, “It sounds cliché, but I enjoy the students; there is such a hugely diverse population at BTC, and I am often learning from them just as much as they are learning from me.”