Supply chain management is one of the world’s largest professions and plays a critical role in virtually every industry. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of proficient supply chain management to keep essential services operating and to ensure that people have access to food, basic commodities and medical supplies, including COVID-19 vaccines. Despite this, however, the profession is unregulated in terms of competence, skills and ethics.
At its 2021 annual general meeting (AGM), SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management in Southern Africa) reaffirmed its strategic focus on the professionalisation of supply chain management in South African and on the African continent. Outgoing SAPICS president Keabetswe Mpane presided over a well-attended AGM and shared with members a summary of the activities undertaken in 2020.
SAPICS has been at the forefront of the drive to professionalise the supply chain management profession in Africa for several years. The professional designations that SAPICS is working to implement will legitimise the role of supply chain professionals, raising the career profile and improving the image of the profession of supply chain management, Mpane says. She contends that professionalising the industry is essential to address corruption and malfeasance in procurement and supply chains in the private and public sector. “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.”
Mpane reported at the AGM that during the past year, SAPICS continued to promote supply chain education and certification, with comprehensive education offerings from its international partners as well as from local organisations. “Since it was established in 1966, SAPICS has been building supply chain management excellence and developing individuals and enterprises through education, training and events, comprehensive resources, and networking opportunities with a community of accomplished industry professionals. Capably pivoting to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, SAPICS introduced a myriad of online events throughout 2020 and also participated in a number of international events. We hosted the first virtual SAPICS Conference, which received outstanding feedback from delegates who were from all industries, from the public health sector to lecturers from universities as well as private sector organisations. Our South African youth and their studies and experiential learning have been affected by the pandemic; but SAPICS did not neglect this vital sector of its community. An engaging youth development programme was put in place and student membership and engagement is flourishing. The future of our supply chains rests in these dynamic minds that must be nurtured.”
The annual SAPICS Conference, which is now in its 43rd year, is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals. The 2021 SAPICS Conference will also be a virtual event from 24 to 26 August 2021.
Mpane’s term as a director and as president of SAPICS came to an end at the AGM. Director MJ Schoemaker succeeds her in the role of SAPICS president. SAPICS directors Richard dos Santos and Kamogelo Mampane have been joined on the board by David Crewe Brown, Solly Engelbrecht and Chanti Wilson.
Schoemaker has been a director of SAPICS for two years. She has extensive end to end supply chain and business excellence knowledge built up over 30 years of international corporate exposure at organisations including Ricoh, Lego and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson & Johnson). Her business, ProSCE2E, helps organisations and their people to achieve excellence through maturity assessments, consulting and coaching. Her passion is to drive business excellence through creating synergies between departments and people that contribute to business growth. Shoemaker is currently working within the health sector to drive differentiated delivery in response to COVID-19 and with SMMEs to improve systems and processes.
New SAPICS director David Crewe-Brown believes that the supply chain is the lifeblood and foundation of any organisation. As a professional industrial engineer, he has gained extensive experience in supply chain management within South and Southern Africa across the private and public sectors.
Solomon Engelbrecht, who joined the SAPICS board at the AGM, is the logistics executive for the SPAR Group and has responsibility for key elements of the company’s supply chain involving FMCG and building goods throughout South Africa and a number of European countries.
A supply chain consultant with over 20 years of experience, new SAPICS director Chanti Wilson brings experience in a range of industries, including FMCG, automotive, agricultural and packaging. She is chairing the SAPICS SMME Project and her passion is developing skills that will grow the South African economy.
“As an organisation, SAPICS is exceptionally fortunate to have a legacy of strong leadership,” comments SAPICS chief operating officer Jenny Froome. “Thanks must go to outgoing SAPICS president Kea Mpane for her contribution over eight years as a director of SAPICS and two years as president. Her passion for the profession shone through in everything she did during her tenure. She made a valuable contribution to advancing transformation and to the development of the comprehensive supply chain competency framework that will anchor the professional designations for the supply chain profession. Our future is looking bright and we are fortunate to have new leaders with deep supply chain knowledge and experience combined with a passion for service excellence and professionalisation. We are confident that SAPICS is in good hands and we look forward to the year ahead under MJ Shoemaker’s guidance and leadership,” Froome concludes.