More than 1,000 supply chain and operations management professionals from around the world will gather at Sun City for the 33rd annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition being held between June 26 and June 28, 2011.

Following the unprecedented success of last year’s event, SAPICS president Reuben Badana believes that this year’s event will be even bigger.
“This year’s conference is particularly important, as we have organised an exceptional line-up of international speakers, and also added new fast-track 30-minute presentations in addition to the traditional 50-minute presentations of yesteryear,” he explains.
Over the past decade, the Annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition has consistently proven itself to be the leading event for operations management, logistics and supply chain professionals in Africa, and can certainly hold its own against other international events.
“Our unrivalled educational content, together with fantastic networking opportunities, makes the event truly valuable to all those who attend. What’s more, companies that send employees to the conference are able to claim back on skills levy grants, as SAPICS is an accredited training provider with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA),” Badana continues.
SAPICS’s strong emphasis on education ensures that delegates who attend in their individual capacities will also benefit in terms of training, as attendance to the conference constitutes points towards the internationally-recognised Certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) qualifications.
“Workshops covering topics such as ‘Using the Customer Experience to drive Continuous Improvement’ and ‘Forecasting Strategies for Demand Planning’ will be held throughout the three day event, in order to ensure that delegates take in as much as possible during the function,” Badana continues.
Topics relevant to the profession, including skills shortages, optimisation within the supply chain, lean practices and environmental applications to industry, will all be covered over the course of the conference, with industry-leading experts set to present in-depth insights into issues currently affecting the market.
Commenting on pertinent issues currently affecting the industry, Badana notes that: “Both locally and internationally, organisations are under pressure to reduce costs in the face of product complexity, shorter product lifecycles, and increased regulatory compliance while striving to achieve future growth.
"Although companies apply a broad range of supply chain strategies to address these challenges, success is ultimately incumbent on manufacturing’s ability to keep up with dynamic supply chain objectives.
"Therefore, there needs to be a fundamental redefinition of the role that manufacturing plays in today’s supply networks, underscoring the need for a paradigm shift to new metrics and continuously adaptable business processes that enable demand-driven manufacturing and agility.”
SAPICS’ association with the Supply Chain Council has ensured an excellent line up of international and local speakers in the Supply Chain Council Track of the programme.
Top of the agenda will be global operations and supply chain management expert and futurist, Dr Jack Bacon, who will present his paper "Nonlinear Thinking for a Nonlinear World", and address the challenges of functioning and succeeding in an unpredictable global economy.
BASF Corporation business process education manager, Alan Milliken, will hold a presentation focusing on enterprise resource planning systems, and how to optimise them for maximum efficiency.
In addition, Simon Jacobson, research director at Gartner, will be presenting a paper on “Manufacturing 2.0: Redefining Manufacturing’s Integration with Supply Chain”, with a focus  on the goal of a demand driven value network (DDVN), which is to profitably meet customer demand in a predictable and repeatable fashion.
“Together with these presentations, the conference and exhibition programme will include numerous workshops, learning, games and panel discussions, combined with cutting-edge technological products and services.
"Industry experts agree that the SAPICS conference has grown into an event that provides valuable content and educational opportunities for industry professionals, and 2011 is set to be another memorable milestone,” Badana concludes.
Sponsors of the SAPICS Conference are MTN Business, BTS, IMPERIAL Logistics, Oliver Wight, UTi, Value Logistics, Absa, EOH and Volition Consulting Services.