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2024 SCL Day: Justin Betancourt's Journey from APICS to Aviation

January 24, 2024

At the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), alongside the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute, the excitement is palpable as January 2024 continues.  

To honor this event, Justin Betancourt, an alumnus of the Master’s in Supply Chain program and former VP of Operations and Finance at the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), offered a treasure trove of insights and reflections about his impactful journey that started at ISyE. 

Currently, Betancourt works at Delta Air Lines as a Project Manager in Workforce Planning and Analytics, where he applies his supply chain expertise from ISyE in a distinctive manner. 

Automating the Aviation Workforce 

“I like to think of my role as managing the supply chain of manpower. My job revolves around staffing at various airports, ensuring we maintain a harmoniously balanced staffing system throughout the country”. 

Highlighting the significant improvements in efficiency brought about by automation, Betancourt believes that removing repetitive and manual tasks from the equation streamlines processes and substantially lowers the chances of human error. 

This change allows staff to engage in more meaningful work, thereby enhancing overall operational efficiency. 

Betancourt shared his insights on the transformative impact of data analytics and automation. "Sometimes, the airline industry is perceived as slow to adapt due to its complexity and regulatory environment, but what's truly revolutionizing our sector is the investment in data analytics and automation." 

In his vision, the future of the aviation industry, and indeed many other sectors, lies in the harmonious integration of automation with human ingenuity.  

Betancourt’s insights into APICS 

As a founding member of APICS at Georgia Tech, Betancourt's contributions were instrumental in shaping the then-nascent organization.  

While reflecting on his motivation for joining the organization, Betancourt reminisced, “I wanted to be involved in APICS to get people in the same room and get them talking about what they're learning in school, challenge each other and grow together by networking.” 

Faced with the unforeseen challenges posed by COVID-19, Betancourt and his team demonstrated remarkable resilience and ingenuity by combining virtual and in-person engagements to adapt to the new circumstances. 

During his time at APICS, Betancourt was notably involved in strategic collaborations, particularly with the Supply Chain Institute and its director Tim Brown, under whom he also served as a teaching assistant.  

Their synergy facilitated a series of insightful seminars and discussions, enriching the learning experience for students. APICS capitalized on these opportunities, ensuring students had access to cutting-edge knowledge in supply chain advancements and research. 

Betancourt fondly recalls a key event during his APICS tenure: hosting the founder of the Project Management Institute. This seminar, primarily a success due to the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute and Tim Brown, highlighted crucial project management principles  

Beyond academic enrichment, these initiatives served as dynamic platforms for student networking, connecting them with industry leaders, faculty, and fellow students, thereby nurturing a community dedicated to collective learning and development. 

SCL Career Fair’s Networking Power 

Betancourt recalls the SCL Career Fair, as a standout event for networking, especially for those pursuing careers in supply chain management.  

“The SCL Career fair is probably the best opportunity to network with Industry professionals. Since it’s specific to supply chain roles and companies, it feels a lot more unique and intimate” Betancourt said.  

Giving thought on his journey, Betancourt shares how the career fair's specialized focus on supply chain allowed for engaging, in-depth discussions with company delegates. He credits the fair for facilitating valuable professional relationships, which notably played a role in his eventual position at Delta. 

Regarding guidance for students aspiring to careers in supply chain management, Betancourt stresses the necessity of being forward-thinking and adaptable. He asserts, "Plan ahead, think critically, and stay resilient. These qualities are indispensable in navigating the complexities of supply chain logistics." 


Author: Atharva Anand Dave 


Justin Betancourt, PMP - Procter & Gamble | LinkedIn. (n.d.). 

  • Justin Betancourt
    Justin Betancourt
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Georgia Tech Supply Chain and
Logistics Institute
H. Milton Stewart School of
Industrial & Systems Engineering
765 Ferst Drive, NW, Suite 228
Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: 404.894.2343