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News & Press: Published Articles

Put up your dukes! Let’s fight the supply chain skills crisis together!

Thursday, 14 February 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAPICS
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In his 2019 State of the Nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the importance of effective supply chain management in Government’s service delivery objectives. “In improving the capabilities of public servants, the National School of Government is introducing a suite of compulsory courses, covering areas like ethics and anti-corruption, senior management and supply chain management,” he said.


The image of the supply chain management profession has been marred by corruption, and skills development and the professionalisation of supply chain management has never been more critical than it is today, in our increasingly global, challenging, complex and dynamic business environment. The current shortage of skills is a major threat not just to supply chains, but to businesses and the economy. Supply chain management is at the heart of every organisation.  An effective, streamlined and skilled supply chain provides a business with a competitive advantage, but more importantly, is paramount to building thriving economies.


The factors contributing to the supply chain management skills gap include retiring “baby boomers”, our profession’s image and its changing job requirements. Many of the people who entered the supply chain management profession at its inception are now at retirement age. Because it is sometimes misunderstood and undervalued, the supply chain management profession is not attracting the young, emerging talent that it needs. Supply chain management is also a constantly evolving and changing profession. We are seeing the rapid introduction of new technologies, and businesses are struggling to find people with the required skills sets.


As The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, SAPICS is at the frontline in the fight to end the skills crisis, and ensure that supply chain professionals are equipped with fit-for-purpose education, training, knowledge and know-how. We are proud to be the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in Southern Africa, building supply chain management excellence in individuals and enterprises by offering superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide network of accomplished industry professionals who are committed to sharing knowledge, advancing and professionalising supply chain management.


Through the close associations that SAPICS has established with like-minded organisations both locally and internationally, we provide our members with access to a global network of supply chain knowledge and expertise.


One of our strategic partners, the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), was a sponsor of the recent Supply Chain Management Education Excellence Awards hosted by SAPICS. Ingrid Du Buisson, executive officer of the Forwarding & Clearing Chamber at TETA, told guests, nominees and award winners at the event that the Training Authority is proud to be working hand in hand with SAPICS to drive much-needed recognition and professionalisation of the supply chain industry. She said that while the shortage of skilled supply chain professionals is a threat that must be addressed urgently, there is some light in the “doom and gloom”. She said that recent advances include the establishment by National Treasury of the Interim Supply Chain Council, with which TETA is working to ensure quality and standards in supply chain training and certifications.


We believe that the high calibre of submissions in this year’s Supply Chain Management Education Excellence Awards is further evidence that while we still have a big battle ahead, there are some brilliant and committed people fighting the skills crisis alongside us. This year’s submissions were nothing less than extraordinary. They reflected individual growth and personal development, business transformation and improvements in efficiency, but also highlighted how education, training and skills development have in some cases been life changing.


Our Higher Education and Training Student of the Year winner, Marna Louwrens of Stellenbosch University, is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the profession. She successfully completed her BCom Hons and passed with Cum Laude, finishing top of her class and achieving distinctions in all her subjects. We have no doubt that she is going make a valuable contribution to the supply chain management profession.


Our Facilitator of the Year, Mpho Makaleng of UNISA, proved that she goes far beyond the call of duty for her students, contributes extensively to the supply chain community, continually strives to develop herself at every opportunity and works hard to ensure increased performance by her students. She thinks out of the box when it comes to enhancing the learning experience for her students.


This year’s Education Organisation of the Year, Centre for Logistics Excellence, offers a vast range of courses, learnerships, international certifications and education programmes spanning the entire spectrum of supply chain management at all levels of instruction. They strive to develop the community through outreach programmes that have changed the lives of the people that have been privileged to be part of them.  They are consistently improving and advancing their offerings and are innovative in the way that they deliver their education and learning programmes.  They have received glowing reviews and testimonials from their clients about the quality of their material and instructors.


Richard Dos Santos, our Supply Chain Professional of the Year, has gone beyond the call of duty by not only studying and engaging on a personal development path to improve his knowledge and skills base but has contributed to business improvement as a result. Richard is an extraordinary team player, who shares his knowledge with colleagues and peers through mentoring and coaching and supports and guides fellow professionals. He is a champion for supply chain management, always seeking new ideas, methodologies and opportunities to improve.


This year’s award for Corporate Educator of the Year was sponsored by Goscor and presented to Imperial Logistics, an organisation with an unwavering focus on skills development, to benefit the business and its employees.


With an outstanding line up of winners like these at the Supply Chain Management Education Excellence Awards, we at SAPICS feel confident that we can beat the skills crisis together. Thank you to our winners, nominees, sponsors and everyone who is rising to the challenge and tackling the skills shortage head on.   

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