Exceptional Programme Announced For 2021 SAPICS Conference, With Compelling Presentations, Panel Discussions, Exhibition and Networking

Organisers of the 2021 SAPICS Conference for supply chain professionals have announced a compelling array of presentations for this year’s event – from artificial intelligence and blockchain, to diversity and demand driven planning; from Lean and green, to healthcare and retail, leadership and risk management.

The annual SAPICS Conference is Africa’s leading event for supply chain professionals. Reflecting the challenges faced and overcome by the supply chain profession as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the theme for this year’s 43rd SAPICS Conference is “Refine, Rebuild, Reconnect”.  “Supply chains around the world have been challenged exponentially. Some need to be completely re-built. Others survived better; but the wise and determined know that supply chains keep needing to be refined. Supply chain professionals from South Africa and around the world will get to reconnect at the 2021 SAPICS Conference, to share knowledge and experience, to learn from each other and to ensure that global supply chains are perpetually resilient and able to keep the world turning,” comments SAPICS president MJ Schoemaker.

The renowned international and South African speakers on the programme for the virtual, three-day conference will share inspirational and educational success stories, enlightening case studies and presentations focusing on new concepts and technologies.

Are you paralysed into inaction through fear and indecision?

A keynote presentation by popular broadcast journalist and writer Bruce Whitfield will show delegates just how important it is to have a growth mindset in a deeply complex environment where we are often paralysed into inaction through fear and indecision. Entitled “The Upside of Down”, it explains why facts matter more than ever, examines in-built biases, and encourages audiences to confront widespread, but often inaccurate beliefs. “You cannot make good long-term decisions if you are overwhelmed by fear,” Whitfield says.

In his keynote presentation, Lloyd Keays, global senior director strategy-solutions engineering, at SAP in the Netherlands, will look at how blockchain is a game changer for corporates and their supply chains.

SAPICS 2021 keynote speaker Daniel Stanton is the well-known author of “Supply Chain Management For Dummies”. He is a supply chain executive, entrepreneur, and educator popularly known as “Mr. Supply Chain”. Stanton contends that there has never been a time in history when supply chain management was more important for society than it is right now.

How to stop leaking money through the supply chain

How to stop money leaking through the supply chain and draining the bottom line is the subject of this year’s SAPICS keynote presentation by supply chain risk specialist Jane Tierney, founder and CEO of Purple Link in the USA. She notes that many organisations struggle with poor supplier performance or strained supplier relationships. “Managers lose sleep over the discovered and unknown risks in their supply chain and fret that the current staff lack skills to tackle strategic objectives needed to improve year-over-year results.  To concerned executives, these sound like a faucet leaking money from the supply chain, draining the bottom line. This session will be a model for supplier management,” Tierney explains.

“Best Business Partners – How Supply Chain Leaders Can Play the Game” is the title of the keynote presentation by Temitope Ogunfayo, senior director, supply network operations, Babycare (IMEA), at Procter and Gamble in the United Arab Emirates. “A business partner sits at the table with all other functions and equally contributes to any business decision, providing solutions to business challenges,” Ogunfayo states. “They feel accountable for the overall business results and not only for their functional scorecards. Their primary objective is to maximise total shareholder returns. Becoming best business partners requires knowledge, skill and attitude. These attributes make up the success triangle of business partners.”  A perpetual favourite of SAPICS audiences, Ogunfayo wlll share his insights and vast experience in an informative and practical session that will equip SAPICS delegates with the knowledge, skills and attitude to be best business partners.

Supply Chain transparency, traceability and equity will be in the spotlight in the keynote presentation by Ashish Gadnis, co-founder and CEO of BanQu Inc. Global supply chains source billions of USD of raw materials and finished goods in Africa every day. Yet the poorest recyclers, waste reclaimers, smallholder farmers and workers, especially women who work in these supply chains, are invisible, unbanked, discriminated against and marginalised. BanQu, with global partners like Coca-Cola and AB InBev, has shown that there is a better way to manage supply chains; a way that is driven by both purpose and profit. Gadnis will share the BanQu success story with SAPICS delegates.

Biggest names in supply chain community will share deep experience

Two of the biggest names in the global supply chain community, Carol Ptak and Richard (Dick) Ling, who is widely regarded as the “father” of Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP), will be sharing their deep experience with South African supply chain professionals in a keynote presentation at the 2021 SAPICS Conference. Ling is recognised as the creator of Sales and Operations Planning and is a world-renowned educator, speaker and consultant. Carol Ptak is a partner with the Demand Driven Institute, a global organisation that was founded in 2011 to advance and proliferate Demand Driven strategies and practices.

SAPICS 2021 keynote speaker Kristen Cox is the world’s leading authority on how to apply the Theory of Constraints to governments and non-profit organisations. In her work as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget for the State of Utah, she achieved a 35 percent improvement across Utah’s USD20 billion executive branch.

Most South African supply chain professionals know the names Scott Luton and Greg White. SAPICS is proud to have this dynamic duo on the speaker line-up this year. Luton and White are the informative and entertaining hosts of “Supply Chain Now”, a powerful digital platform connecting supply chain professionals around the world through live streams, vlogs, virtual events and articles. In their keynote presentation, they will share their insights on what the future holds for supply chain management.

Exhibition and networking

The 2021 SAPICS Conference will not be just another webinar, according to SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management). “In addition to an outstanding line-up of speakers, the event offers an exhibition with a wide variety of exhibitors demonstrating products and services,” SAPICS president MJ Schoemaker reveals. “Delegates will be able to spend time with the exhibitors and make the most of the networking opportunities that the virtual platform provides. It even allows for delegates to enjoy face to face meetings.”

Panel discussions are an integral part of every SAPICS Conference, and this year will be no different, Schoemaker states. A panel discussion on the digital transformation of supply chains will be facilitated by Cobus Rossouw, executive vice president: digital and information technology at Imperial, South Africa. He will be joined by special guest panellist Sean Culey, who is a globally recognised business transformation expert and author.

Tonya Lamb, business development executive at SAPICS, will facilitate a panel discussion on the development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), including the enormous value of the exciting new training and support programme launched by SAPICS specifically to boost SMMEs by building their skills in the important area of supply chain management.

The 2021 virtual SAPICS Conference takes place from 24 to 26 August 2021. Visit https://conference.sapics.org/ for more information on the 2021 SAPICS Conference or to register.