Now in its 41st successful year, this event is hosted by SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management. SAPICS President Keabetswe Mpane says that it will offer an array of presentations and workshops aimed at building excellence in individuals and enterprises in the field. “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.

“This year’s internationally renowned presenters will cover topics ranging from the supply chain risks posed by Brexit to those faced by peacekeepers in Somalia and healthcare workers in remote African villages; from robotics, risk management and state capture, to reality television and water management,” she expands.

Keynote speaker Sean Culey is a world leading futurist, author and globally recognised business transformation expert. In his 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 businesses, economies and society. 

Risk expert Dr Robert Besseling is also a keynote speaker at this year’s SAPICS Conference. He contends that the main business and supply chain disruption in South Africa today is uncertainty – around the country’s power supply, as well as industrial action and key pieces of legislation – and will share his expertise and insights with SAPICS delegates.

Speaker Herbert Pechek is the supply chain management principal at the United Nations’ support office in Somalia. He was the main architect of the transformation of the organisation’s complex, multidimensional peacekeeping operations into an efficient horizontal supply chain. He will highlight the journey that the United Nations has taken so far and the challenges it has encountered along the way.

“The Supply Chain State of Capture” is the topic of a presentation by Schalk van der Merwe, who will share lessons learnt from a lack of governance processes in a business’s supply chain, which opened it up to significant procurement and supply chain risks, fraud and corruption risk. 

Recognising the importance of leveraging supply chain improvements to increase access to quality healthcare, especially at the last mile, SAPICS has lined up several powerful healthcare focused presentations. Joseph Roussel and Craig Usswald, directors of non-profit organisation Village Reach, will highlight some of the interventions that are solving healthcare delivery challenges at the last mile in extreme environments. The value of public and private sector partnerships in improving healthcare supply chains and in the fight against HIV/AIDS will also be under the spotlight. The scourge of false and substandard medicines will be examined in a panel discussion led by Dr Iain Barton, executive vice president – Healthcare at Imperial Logistics.

In line with the growing global drive for environmentally sustainable supply chains, SAPICS, has put water management in the spotlight with a presentation by water expert Professor Bettie Lodolo.

Presenter Antoinette Tebbutt is known to the South African public as “Toni from Survivor”.  She was the outspoken castaway on Season 6 of the reality TV show that was filmed in the Philippines and aired in 2018. Tebbutt, who has worked in logistics for over 15 years, will share her Survivor South Africa experiences and insights with delegates.

The 2019 SAPICS Conference takes place in Cape Town from 9 to 12 June.