The 40th annual SAPICS Conference wrapped up in Cape Town last week with the high point of this year’s event being the launch by SAPICS of Africa’s first professional body for supply chain management.
“For many years, SAPICS has been at the forefront of the drive to professionalise the supply chain management profession. It is with pride that we announced the achievement of our objective to establish the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management at this year’s conference,” says SAPICS president Mungo Park.
Explaining the rationale behind the launch of such a body, Park says the supply chain field is one of business’s largest sectors with touch points across virtually every aspect of every industry. It plays a key role in the success, sustainability and competitiveness of every organisation in the private sector as well as the public sector.
“It employs a vast percentage of the South African workforce but up until now, it has been unregulated in terms of levels of competence, skills and ethics. As the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, SAPICS aims to advance and standardise supply chain skills and practices across the continent,” he says.
By professionally designating individuals, SAPICS will increase supply chain management competence, knowledge and skills, and industry professionals will have prescribed values and ethics to uphold. The ongoing professional development required to maintain designations will ensure that African supply chain management keeps pace with global best practice, so that optimised supply chains can drive the competitiveness and growth of African businesses and economies.
SAPICS has launched the first two of five planned professional body designations for the industry. “The entry level ‘Professional Processor in Supply Chain Management (SCM)’ and the ‘Professional Specialist SCM’ designations have been launched. The other three designations will follow over the next few months,” says Park.
Among the other highlights of this year’s 40th SAPICS Conference was a car giveaway. “To celebrate 40 years of promoting supply chain excellence and professionalism, long-time supporter of SAPICS and conference Gold Sponsor Imperial Logistics gave 2018 delegates the opportunity to enter a competition to win a Renault Kwid. Stefan Moller of Protea Chemicals was the lucky winner.”
This year’s “Best Speaker” Award was presented to Amsterdam-based global blockchain expert Arjeh van Oijen, who shared his expertise and insights on blockchain technology’s applications in the supply chain arena.
The award for the “Most Innovative Presentation” went to Jeremy Basckin, managing director of Supply Chain Practice in the United Kingdom, whose powerful presentation focused on the fourth industrial revolution and the digital supply chain.
“The SAPICS Conference has gone from strength to strength since the first event was organised for 35 delegates in 1975. At this year’s 40th conference, more than 800 delegates applauded the launch of the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management.
The rise of the supply chain profession is underway and I believe it will gain momentum in the coming years, with the professionalisation of the industry and increasing recognition from businesses of the importance and value of the supply chain,” Park concludes.