SAPICS 2007 Conference Report Back

GaryBailey.jpg THE SAPICS 2007 Conference and exhibition ATTRACTED A RECORD ATTENDANCE OF LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES together with a powerhouse of commercial support. Hot on the heals of the highly successful IPSA Pan African conference, this year’s SAPICS Conference & Exhibition for supply chain and operations management professionals, "packed them in" earlier in June at Sun City…

Oracle was the principal sponsor of the 2007 SAPICS Conference and Exhibition, which was also co-hosted once more by the Supply Chain Council (SCC). The Council is proud of the value it added to this year’s event, in the form of six speakers, including SA soccer legend Gary Bailey (Pictured), who shared his vision for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

“Gary, sponsored by UTi on behalf of the SCC, gave an exceptional presentation on what the 2010 Soccer World Cup will mean for SA. It was incredibly well received by the large audience,” reports Alyda le Hane, the SCC Chairperson.

“His positive presentation highlighted the opportunities offered by 2010, and touched on the multiple and complex supply chains that will need to be in place for the event to be a success. The SAPICS delegates were very positive and enthusiastic about Gary’s call to rally the people of SA to make the occasion a success.”

 The organizers have announced that delegates rated this 29th annual event as the best ever, with attendance up to a record high of 969 attendees!

International delegates commented that SAPICS surpasses similar industry events held around the world, while many international presenters who were attending the African event for the first time were surprised at its size, quality and seamless organization, says SAPICS president Kent Titmus.

This year, the Terry Smee Award for the Best Speaker at the Conference was presented to Joseph Walden. A retired US Army Colonel, author of two supply chain books and currently the executive director of the Supply Chain Leadership Institute in the USA, Walden shared his insights on leadership and logistics in his presentation entitled "Back to Basics – Leadership Principles and Leadership Development".

The South African Breweries Award for the Most Innovative Presentation was this year awarded to Karen Feiling, manager, GS1 BarCodes, at the Consumer Goods Council South Africa. Her presentation discussed the revolutionary new technology dubbed “Reduced Space Symbology (RSS)”. Delegates learnt about the new range of smaller symbologies, useable from 2010, which have been announced by the international body that administers the bar code system.

SAB produced a striking new trophy to mark its sponsorship of the innovation award. “The sculpture of a kingfisher represents how important it is in all walks of life to ensure that we find ways to be the best in our field,” comments SAB’s supply chain director, Ingmar Boesenberg. “As a company that prides itself on always being innovative, we were proud to sponsor this award at SAPICS 2007, and to be part of this valuable event.”

The Volkswagen Award for the Best Paper from a Practitioner was presented to Alan Booth, operations director at Thermopac South Africa. His presentation discussed the use of world class manufacturing principles to gain competitive advantage, and featured a case study that showed how systems such as advanced planning had improved a company’s profitability from 9% to 22%.

Busiswe Makhubu, manager at Eskom Megawatt Park, won a CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) programme, sponsored by Bytes People Solutions.

Chris Visser, CEO of Visario, the SAPICS outsourced marketing organisation, was especially delighted that this high powered conference and exhibition also provided much needed publicity for “Employment Solutions”, a section 21 company that provides gainful employment for the disabled members of our society. “It is particularly rewarding for all concerned with this years SAPICS conference to see that space was provided for this unique and ‘Proudly South African’ supplier of outsourced labour intensive and menial activities; like data capturing and product assembly, ” says Visser.

What is especially significant is the increased levels of co-operation to be seen amongst the various representative bodies of Supply Chain Management professionals. IPSA CEO, Kraai van Kraaienburg, was present at Sun City to wave the flag for the Procurement and Supply Management segment of SCM.

During a recent interview with Karen Van Vuuren, IPSA Chairperson and CPO of Transnet, she enthused that the establishment of the FSCMA (Federation of Supply Chain Management Associations) has gone a long way to unifying the previously fragmented organisational structures. She follows on: “It has brought together 16 separate associations and institutes under one umbrella. This bodes well for the whole SCM industry as it has consolidated the top bodies in a single collaborative forum for co- ordinating industry standards and setting best practise guidelines. The co- operation of the various parties involved is phenomenal and, matters are proceeding smoothly under the capable chairmanship of Cobus Rossouw, CE of Volition.”

“The SAPICS Conference and Exhibition has gone from strength to strength since the very first conference was organised for 35 delegates by the 1975 SAPICS president Leslie Bergman, at a venue near Rustenburg,” comments association president Titmuss. “Next year marks its 30th anniversary, and we are planning an event to rival all others,” he concludes.

These two major events staged annually by IPSA and SAPICS/ SCC deserve the support of all personnel manning the country’s supply chains in both the private and public sectors. They are excellent forums for the continued professional development of our valuable manpower and, it is money well spent. Prepare for them in your 2008 budgets!

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