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News & Press: Published Articles


Wednesday, 13 February 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAPICS
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February is Oscars month. The 91st Annual Academy Awards will take place on 24 February, and in an unexpected and historic development, the superhero movie Black Panther is one of the nominees for Best Picture. This is the first time that a superhero film has been recognised in this category, and as big fans of technology-driven Wakanda, Black Panther T’Challa and the blockbuster’s other memorable characters, everyone in the SAPICS office is awaiting Oscars night with bated breaths.


If you are wondering what Black Panther and the Academy Awards has to do with supply chains and SAPICS, and whether a gremlin has perhaps crept into our first ever SAPICS blog, let me explain. As a supply chain professional, you undoubtedly understand the value of supply chains. Virtually everything that we use or touch every day has reached us through supply chains. They connect everything and really do make the world go around. Supply chains’ effects are so all-encompassing and they are so pervasive in our lives, that even as supply chain professionals, we might sometimes take them for granted. So, back to Black Panther; in this, our first SAPICS blog, we wanted to remind you of the power of supply chains and the supply chain management superheroes that fuel them.


Supply chains and effective supply chain management have the power not just to ensure the smooth flow of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption; but hold the power to save lives, to save the planet and ensure brighter futures for individuals, organisations and communities.


The supply chains that get us the smart phone at our fingertips, our morning latte in a recyclable, eco-friendly cup, or the tuna salad for lunch are among the obvious ones that we cannot do without. There are, however, supply chains that lives literally depend on.


The supply chains that ensure that vaccines and life saving medicines reach people and communities in remote parts of developing countries show the vast power of efficient supply chains and effective supply chain management. Patients, mothers and children must often travel long distances to get to medical facilities and clinics. A strong health supply chain and effective supply chain management ensures that an effective, quality product, in the right quantities, and in the right condition is available to them in the right place, at the right time.


While WE know that it is supply chain management that makes the world go around, there are some who believe it is money. We think that’s because they don’t understand supply chains, and may never have considered exactly what goes into every hassle-free cash withdrawal that they make from an ATM.


Cash is a product like any other and flows through the supply chain of banks. The banks’ supply chains must respond to the needs of customers, and forecasting and supply chain visibility, responsiveness and agility are critical to ensure that every ATM has the right amount of cash, with the right mix of currency denominations, to meet the demand, and ensure that there are never cash stock outs.


While health care supply chains have the power to save lives, there are also those that have the power to change lives. Over recent years, issues around the delivery of textbooks to South African schools have made headlines. In the Eastern Cape last year, the late procurement of textbooks was cited as the reason that learners at 214 schools did not receive textbooks. Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world. It follows that strong, effective supply chains for education essentials like textbooks are also part of the powerful arsenal in the fight to educate and uplift people and combat poverty and unemployment.


As The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, SAPICS is committed to building powerful supply chains, and to developing, informing and inspiring the superheroes that drive those supply chains; superheroes like you.


To enhance your supply chain super powers, make sure you register for the 2019 SAPICS Conference. Africa’s leading event for supply chain professionals takes place in Cape Town, from 9 to 12 June. Who needs Wakanda when we can look forward to an unrivalled line-up of dynamic presenters sharing their knowledge, experience and insights at this world-class event at the state-of-the-art Century City Conference Centre! We look forward to seeing you there.


SAPICS event management and business administration professionally powered by Upavon Management (Pty) Ltd since 1996.