KZN: Continuous Professional Development remains high on Agenda

Bernie Vn and Alan Low with attendees.jpgDespite the economic downturn, the bumper attendance at Commerce Edge and SmartProcurement’s KwaZulu Natal Roadshow has affirmed that continuous professional development remains high on South African supply chain professionals’ priorities.

Presenters, Alan Low of Purchasing Index and Bernie van Niekerk of Commerce Edge (3rd and 2nd from right), with delegates at the Road Show venue in Durban. Photograph courtesy of Hanck van Laar.

The KZN Roadshow’s Durban and Richards Bay breakfast sessions attracted over 60 procurement and purchasing & supply chain professionals and practitioners as well as several CPOs from leading organisations in the private and public sectors.

Their attendance confirms that during these challenging economic times the training and up-skilling of procurement personnel is a high priority as it has an immediate and sustainable impact on the success of South African businesses, especially considering South Africa’s position as a commodity supplier when global economic recovery begins.


Margaret Richings of Commerce Edge, with road show guests (from left to right) Shakes Njapa of the University of Zululand, and Awie Maree and Albert du Plooy from Richards Bay Coal Terminal. Photograph courtesy of Hanck van Laar.

During the two morning sessions of 13 and 14 May, Commerce Edge and SmartProcurement presented to their fellow procurement colleagues in KZN’s P&SM community the strategic factors that are expected to continue to affect businesses until 2016.

The role that formal procurement competency management frameworks play in attracting, retaining and developing top supply management talent was highlighted. Such frameworks offer the an effective strategy for retaining supply management talent, Bernie Van Niekerk, CEO of Commerce Edge told SmartProcurement.

Leading world class procurement trends in Supply Management were discussed and their significance as highlighted in recent research conducted by the Centre for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) together with 270 large global organisations was plotted.

Sourcing strategy will change from mainly cost reduction to include value creation.”

Several of the economic drivers that contribute to a positive outlook for South Africa were also discussed.

These included the cushion that the significant infrastructure expenditure of the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup has provided South Africa from the severest edges of the economic downturn and the role that the National Credit Act had in protecting South African consumers as the credit crunch began.


Commerce Edge guests networking at the Protea Hotel, Richards Bay.jpgA MEETING OF MINDS
The Roadshow offered Commerce Edge guests the opportunity to exchange ideas at the Protea Hotel Richards Bay. Photograph courtesy of Hanck van Laar.

Other drivers to South Africa’s positive purchasing and supply outlook are the International Monetary Fund making $1-trillion of interest free loans available to emerging economies like Africa’s, the progress in resolving the Zimbabwe impasse, which will benefit both economies because South African goods are fast filling Zimbabwe’s empty shelves, and the declining inflation trend and associated interest rate reductions.

Commerce Edge business associate Alan Low, CE of PI, the benchmarking specialists, introduced a novel spend-management tool, which found immediate rapport with Roadshow guests.

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