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Experts to urge more focus on supply chain at SAPICS regional conferences

| Supply chain

SAPICS, a professional knowledge-based association for the supply chain community across Africa will be hosting their regional conferences, a compact and more intimate version of the SAPICS Annual Conference – in Sandton on 5 September, Durban on 6 September and Somerset West on 8 September 2017.

Each of the regional conferences will host a stimulating speaker line-up, including Olakira founder and former Shell SA managing director Tanya Kabalin.
According to Kabalin, as technology propels rapid changes in the way companies operate their supply chains, research has predicted that by 2020 as many as 83% of transactions with consumers will not involve any human intervention.
Having addressed the SAPICS 2017 national conference in Cape Town last month, Kabalin said trends like these are impacting profoundly on supply chain management (SCM), but many companies still do not incorporate SCM fully into their strategic direction. 
Referring to the global research report Future Agenda, she said the message going forward is that economic competition in the future will not be between companies but between supply chains. 
“SCM will be the differentiator and the core, unique selling proposition of the business,” she said. 
Further insights will be gained through US-based business scientist Keith Launchbury, who will demonstrate how to apply ‘lean’ across multiple enterprises running different systems.
“Many companies today do an impressive job of applying lean concepts to their own internal processes, yet they fail to do the same across their entire supply chains,” said Launchbury. “There is no question that the concepts of lean are applicable here, particularly when considering the wasted energy, material and time that are prevalent in many global supply chains.”
In his presentation, he will discuss the challenges of sharing accurate demand information in a timely fashion, and proposes strategies for establishing integrated and flexible product flow management.
Master SCM practitioner Claire Bloom, the founder of the non-profit organisation End 68 Hours of Hunger, will present a highly interactive session where delegates will learn 20 foundational concepts necessary for business success.
“Participants will leave with a new awareness and appreciation for the importance of applying these concepts in all areas of their professional life,” said Bloom. Her non-profit organisation confronts the 68 hours of hunger experienced by some children between the free lunch they receive in school on Friday and the free breakfast they receive in school on Monday.  
Speakers also include well-known author and scenario planner Clem Sunter, who shares his insights into ‘The World and South Africa Beyond 2017’. Sharing the stage during the day-long event will be Christo Cronje, cash supply chain manager at Nedbank, talking about creating efficiencies in inventory and transportation of cold hard cash. 
Dr Ivor Blumenthal, consultant at ArkKonsult, will also present to delegates the important steps being taken by SAPICS in ongoing efforts to professionalise SCM.
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