Sapics offers skills development, knowledge sharing, networking, and support

Sapics offers skills development, knowledge sharing, networking, and support

Effective transport management plays a critical role in the efficiency of global supply chains. Recognising this, SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management) is committed to building excellence in individuals and enterprises involved in every component of supply chain management, including transportation and logistics.

Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS – through its network of authorised education partners – has become the leading provider of superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, and comprehensive resources for individuals working at all levels in the broad and diverse supply chain management arena, as well as for organisations operating in this sphere. The SAPICS supply chain community includes transport and logistics specialists who leverage the body’s offerings to stay abreast of the latest industry developments, trends, and technologies and to build skills, share knowledge, and network.

Education and skills development

In Southern Africa, SAPICS offers the APICS “Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution” (CLTD) designation. This provides a comprehensive body of knowledge, best practices, and standards for the logistics, transportation, and distribution industries. Graduates gain an in-depth understanding of how to streamline logistics, transportation, and distribution – including order management, inventory management, and warehouse management. The CLTD designation serves the needs of both professionals and employers by reducing the impact of industry skills gaps, as well as assisting employers in developing the personnel needed to meet customer demand and impact bottom-line results.

Empowering SMMEs

Connecting and empowering small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs), including those in the transportation and logistics industry, is another focus area for SAPICS. “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,” says SAPICS president MJ Schoemaker.

She stresses the crucial role that SMMEs have to play in the economy, as major sources of employment and drivers of inclusive economic growth, but notes that they are not adequately supported. “Their growth is hampered by a lack of capital and limited access to skills development,” Schoemaker explains. “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.”

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

As well as 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. Certifications offered include warehouse control, inventory replenishment principles, operational planning and scheduling, lean manufacturing principles, and supply chain and materials management. The programme also includes webinars covering supply chain management, demand planning, and sales and operations planning. Case studies and success stories are shared, while the programme offers insights from business leaders and supply chain experts. A SAPICS SMME Support Line, meanwhile, enables small business owners to access valuable advice and assistance.

Networking, knowledge sharing, support, and community

Belonging to a professional organisation like SAPICS does not only afford training and skills development opportunities. It also offers members a platform to connect, discuss challenges, and share knowledge and learnings, as well as providing crucial support, stability, and a sense of community.

“The networking and skills development opportunities provided by membership of a professional body are important for businesses and individuals at every stage of their career,” says Schoemaker. “This is especially true in a dynamic, ever-changing field like supply chain management, where cutting edge technologies – including artificial intelligence, blockchain, robots, and drones – are increasingly being used to optimise supply chains and logistics.”

She adds that SAPICS provides training and education geared towards addressing the specific needs of members and advancing the profession, while attending events enables SAPICS members to grow their networks beyond their own organisation and their colleagues. “They have opportunities to build relationships across a diverse range of industries and discuss trends and innovations. Connecting with like-minded members of a professional organisation can open doors to new career opportunities,” expands Schoemaker.

The annual SAPICS Conference is one such event. Established in 1978, it is Africa’s leading education, knowledge sharing, and networking event for supply chain professionals.

The conference features powerful presentations from local and global specialists and industry leaders; the theme for this year’s conference is “purpose-driven supply chains”.

“More than ever before, organisations are looking to become purpose-driven – to deliver value and profit to stakeholders while maintaining a focus on responsible practices that affect the planet and people,” says Schoemaker. “Supply chains are the real opportunity to enable change. By highlighting this theme at SAPICS 2022, we encourage the sharing of experiences and knowledge in creating and sustaining purpose driven supply chains.”

SAPICS 2022 will be hosted at Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town, from June 12 to 15 and is likely to include some online elements.  “The SAPICS conference provides an excellent platform for supply chain professionals in Southern Africa to exchange knowledge and practical experiences. The content and thought leadership created from these conferences is exceptional,” enthuses Schoemaker.

SAPICS’s collaborative partnerships with associates across Africa and around the globe deliver enormous value for members; SAPICS connects its members with the global supply chain community.

To find out more about SAPICS, including membership options, education, and events, visit:

SAPICS can be found on social media at:


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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publication in southern Africa.
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