Supply Chain Support for Small Businesses

SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management in Southern Africa) has reinforced its commitment to the development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) with a training and support programme geared towards boosting SMMEs by building their skills in the important area of supply chain management.

When it comes to reaping the benefits of supply chain optimisation – including efficiency enhancements and cost savings – SMMEs are being left behind because they lack the necessary skills and resources, according to SAPICS.

“SMMEs have a crucial role to play in the national economy as major sources of employment and drivers of inclusive economic growth. However, they are not supported and their growth is hampered by a lack of capital and limited access to skills development. A major contributor to the growth and development of SMMEs is an understanding of operations and supply chain management best practices,” comments Chanti Wilson, chairperson of the SAPICS SMME task group.

“Small businesses have so many responsibilities and so many things to consider, that the critical supply chain function is often overlooked. But it can make or break the business and is increasingly important in today’s complex and volatile business environment,” she expands.

SAPICS has a dedicated team working with both SMMEs and the large corporates that they supply, as well as SAPICS’s network of authorised education providers, to offer accredited skills development opportunities that will deliver mutual benefits and enable job creation.

In addition to contributing to the growth, success and sustainability of small businesses through the provision of education and training, SAPICS aims to be the conduit for big corporates to support SMMEs and participate in the development of their suppliers.

SAPICS’s SMME Programme includes accredited training for entrepreneurs covering all aspects of business management with a strong focus on operations management. Warehouse control; inventory replenishment principles; operational planning and scheduling; lean manufacturing principles; and supply chain and materials management are among the certifications offered. The programme also includes webinars covering supply chain management, demand planning and sales and operations planning. Case studies and success stories will be shared and the programme will offer insights from business leaders and supply chain experts. A SAPICS SMME Support Line will enable small business owners to get advice and assistance. The SAPICS Conference, which was established 43 years ago, is the leading education, knowledge sharing and networking event in Africa for supply chain professionals. The 2021 virtual SAPICS Conference takes place from 24 to 26 August 2021.

Photo: SAPICS SMME task group chairperson Chanti Wilson 

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