The annual SAPICS Conference, Africa’s leading event for the supply chain profession, has the proud distinction of being one of few conferences to offer impactful workshops as a value-add. The 2023 SAPICS Conference, which takes place in Cape Town from 11th to 14th June 2023, has 10 interactive workshops for attendees to choose from.

This year’s 45th SAPICS Conference features an exciting collaboration between SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management) and the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF), which will co-host the event. There is also a global public health supply chain track running throughout the conference programme for the first time. The not to be missed workshops are on Sunday, 11th June 2023.

Warehousing Summit

A brand-new addition to this year’s SAPICS Conference workshops line-up is a “Warehousing Summit” that will explore future proofing warehousing. Experts in the field will address issues that include warehouse automation, and whether this is really viable in South Africa. The industry leaders who will share their insights are Martin Bailey from Industrial Logistic Systems, Andrea Taverna-Turisan from Equites, Verena Stierschneider from KNAPP AG and Kerr Walker from Interroll.

Healthcare supply chains and supply chain finance will also be discussed in workshops this year, along with tools like the newest version of the Supply Chain Operations Reference Digital Standard (SCOR DS) and Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP). 

Strengthening public health supply chains

Private sector engagement is critical for strengthening public health supply chains, and there are several ways the private sector can participate. They can provide financial resources, technical expertise, digital solutions as well as provide services such as transportation or warehousing for the distribution of medicines and vaccines. However, it can be challenging for private sector companies to identify the best way to engage in the public health supply chain; build strong public-private collaborations; and understand the processes for accessing donor funding. A SAPICS Conference workshop led by the Africa Resource Centre, Kasha, USAID and Village Reach will help private sector companies overcome some of these challenges and learn about new ways to engage the public health supply chain.

Supply chain finance

According to supply chain finance expert and 2023 SAPICS workshop presenter Christiaan de Goeij, from Windesheim University in The Netherlands, supply chain finance warrants more attention from supply chain professionals. “The world is experiencing many financial disruptions of supply chains in the aftermath of the pandemic and as a result of geopolitical tension. Large companies extended payment terms to their suppliers in most parts of the world and requested suppliers to hold onto larger amounts of inventory. At the same time, the smaller suppliers in particular have trouble securing loans. The results are very visible, including delayed deliveries, longer production times and supplier bankruptcies,” he states. In his SAPICS Conference workshop, De Goeij will discuss how supply chain finance can be used to deal with disruptions, how to improve the financial health of suppliers and improve sustainability.

Fostering resilient people

The soft side of supply chain resilience will be discussed in a workshop that takes the form of a practical coaching session by Jolanda Pretorius. “In our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, organisational resilience is key to adapting, surviving and thriving. A key ingredient to create resilient supply chains is fostering resilient people. Developing people who are resilient and do not just bounce back but bounce forwards is crucial. Most experts are obsessed with ‘soft’ issues, such as culture and motivation, but focusing on these issues alone won’t bring about change resilience,” Pretorius warns.

More information about the SAPICS Conference, including the full workshops programme, can be found on the SAPICS conference website:  Delegates need to pre-book their workshop seat, and there is a nominal additional cost to secure a place at the workshop of their choice. To register for the 2023 SAPICS Conference, call the Conference Secretariat at Upavon Management on 011 023 6701 or email