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News & Press: Published Articles


Friday, 29 March 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Claire Shale
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From the supply chain challenges of United Nations peacekeepers in Somalia to those faced by the producers of reality TV show “Survivor”, from robotics to risk management, and from Coca-Cola to life-saving medicines, the 2019 SAPICS Conference for supply chain professionals will offer a diverse array of informative and inspiring presentations.

Now in its 41st successful year, the annual SAPICS Conference is Africa’s leading knowledge sharing and networking event for supply chain professionals. Hosted by SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, it takes place in Cape Town from 9 to 12 June 2019.

Speaker Herbert Pechek, who is the supply chain management principal at the United Nations’ support office in Somalia, was the main architect of the transformation of the organisation’s complex, multidimensional peacekeeping operations into an efficient horizontal supply chain. He will explain to SAPICS Conference delegates how the often seemingly chaotic cluster of tasks has been assessed, analysed, and moulded into a new framework aligned to standardised supply chain processes and practices over the past few years. “My presentation outlines the journey that the United Nations has taken so far and the challenges it has encountered along the way,” says Pechek, whose career has been spent optimising operations and supply chains in challenging regions like Somalia, Haiti, East Timor and Kosovo.

Presenter Antoinette Tebbutt is known to the South African public as "Toni from Survivor". She was the outspoken castaway on Season 6 Survivor South Africa, which was filmed in the Philippines and aired in 2018. Tebbutt has worked in logistics for over 15 years and says that as a contestant on Survivor South Africa, she was fascinated by the logistics of it all - from moving contestants and crew around, to transporting and building challenges on different islands, to building a set on the sea for the tribal councils. “All of that was then sent back to South Africa to recreate the set for the live finale show. It is incredible,”she enthuses. One memorable moment saw the show bringing Steers to the contestants in the Philippines as a reward meal. “The Steers team brought all their own equipment (including an ice cream machine), food and even their chef to set up a Steers station in a cove on a stunning uninhabited island for us to enjoy. This really made me realise how vital the supply chain is,” says Tebbutt, who will share her experiences and insights at the SAPICS Conference.

Sean Culey is a world leading futurist, author and globally recognised business transformation expert. He is an award-winning speaker and popular contributor to SAPICS events. The launch of his latest book, “Transition Point – from Steam to the Singularity”, gave him an ideal opportunity to return to the SAPICS stage to share and update his insights, Culey says. “We live in disruptive times. The world is changing faster than ever before, leaving people dazed, businesses struggling, economies floundering and societies fracturing. Transition Point is the result of over five years of research to establish why, and what is next,” he explains. In his SAPICS Conference presentation, Culey examines the drivers of technological change, the social, economic and political factors that both enable or suppress it, and the impact that technologies like robotics, blockchain and AI will have on our businesses, our economies and our society.

Supply chain disruptions are widely regarded as one of the greatest risks facing manufacturers and have become a top concern of global insurance providers. A glitch in its supply chain can cost an organisation up to 10% of its shareholder value, and even put the company out of business. Dr Robert Besseling, founder and chief executive of EXX Africa, is a risk expert who will share his expertise and insights with 2019 SAPICS Conference delegates. He specialises in forecasting political, security and economic risk to African natural resources and associated infrastructure development.

Coca-Cola’s demand driven journey into Africa is the topic of the presentation by Barry Anderson, demand and supply planning specialist at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. “As the first corporate to take Demand Driven Materials Requirement Planning (DDMRP) beyond the borders of South Africa, the team responsible will share their journey and the learnings gleaned from the experience,” Anderson reveals. “The rationale behind the adoption of the DDMRP philosophy and the process of gathering information and knowledge on the subject to the initial trial of the model and the ultimate roll-out of the Demand Driven Operating Model into the various countries in South and East Africa will also be outlined,” he explains.

The challenges of navigating the last mile in extreme environments will be examined in a SAPICS Conference presentation by Joseph Roussel, director and private sector engagement group lead at Village Reach in Antwerp. VillageReach is a non-governmental organisation that is striving to improve communities’ access to healthcare and life-saving medicines and vaccines in remote rural areas in developing countries. “There is a lot to learn from what is being done across the African continent to increase access to healthcare at the last mile,” Roussel says. “VillageReach’s work leverages private sector best practice but also adapts and tests private sector ideas - often yielding innovations. My presentation offers some thought-provoking insights on how to scale innovations in frontier markets, how to train customers to improve 3PL operations, how to adapt supply chains to local contexts and configure multi-modal delivery to reach hard to access consumers. I look forward to taking SAPICS delegates on a journey into uncharted territory!”

For further information or to register for SAPICS 2019, call 011 023 6701 or email Up-to the-minute information is also posted on the SAPICS Conference website:


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