by maurisha

The supply chain is the one function in an organisation that touches all others and supply chain optimisation can drive bottom line improvement. Companies lose millions of rands in their supply chains every year, but there is ample evidence to show that with properly trained and educated staff, these losses can be substantially reduced, says William Schneider, a supply chain specialist and member of the SAPICS supply chain community.

SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management) supports and drives the elevation, empowerment and education of supply chain professionals across Africa, to address the skills deficit in the field, to build organisations’ supply chain capabilities and to grow economies. There is growing recognition that effective supply chains are the heartbeat of any economy.

SAPICS offers education, training, and internationally recognised certifications via its network of Authorised Education Partners (AEPs), as well as comprehensive resources and an expansive member community of individuals and businesses that share a commitment to advancing supply chain management. Among SAPICS’s education offerings are short courses that have gained recognition over the years and are increasingly sought after, particularly since the COVID-19 crisis and other disruptions highlighted the importance of supply chains to everyone. From being a field that was not well understood and sometimes undervalued, working in the supply chain profession is now something to aspire to.

SAPICS short courses are designed to help individuals and organisations to get the supply chain basics right, and also offer new entrants to the field an understanding of the diverse career opportunities and varied paths available in the supply chain sphere. These courses have been assisting companies and their employees since 1982, when the SAPICS “Basic Stores & Stock Control” (BSSC) and “Principles Of Production & Inventory Management” (PPIM) short courses were first introduced.

Aimed at warehouse employees, supervisors and managers

The SAPICS BSSC course is aimed at warehouse employees, supervisors and managers. It promotes stores efficiency and sound management practices. SAPICS’s PPIM course provides learners with a sound understanding and base knowledge from which to advance their studies in the field of operations management. The “Basics Of Manufacturing & Operations Management” (BMOM) is a SAPICS course that offers a basic insight into production and inventory management systems and helps develop learners’ inter-departmental understanding and communication.

Schneider asserts that the value of the SAPICS short courses lies in the fact that they are structured in such a way that “they prepare the learner for the challenges of the 21st century and the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) supply chains that we are dealing with now.”

In addition, the courses are designed to prepare students to advance their studies by obtaining a college or University qualification, or an international certification, he explains.

“One of the hallmarks of the SAPICS short course material is that it is constantly updated to deal with the rapid changes in the dynamic, ever-evolving supply chain field, despite the fact that the core concepts have not changed. The courses are written and presented to give the learner an insight into not only what they are doing, but perhaps more importantly, why they are doing it,” says Schneider, who has four decades of experience in developing the skills of supply chain personnel, both through education and training and consulting in the supply chain, industrial engineering and operations and logistics management fields.

Flagship supply chain course in South Africa

He rates the SAPICS BSSC as the flagship supply chain course in South Africa. “Just about every business has a warehouse facility somewhere with stock that needs to be properly managed. This programme is aimed at the team members working in the warehouse.

“Second in importance to the field is the PPIM,” Schneider contends. “This course’s primary purpose is to provide a fairly in-depth understanding of the total supply chain from the nth tier supplier through to the nth tier customer. This programme is aimed at the supervisory and management level. It is also a forerunner to obtaining the APICS supply chain qualifications.

“The BMOM is designed to give those in the supply chain who are not directly involved in the warehousing discipline an insight into the profession in South Africa,” Schneider expands. “This progamme introduces the learner to the field of supply chain management and prepares them for the PPIM.”

He says that a SAPICS short course can help a supply chain practitioner to advance in their career. “Over the years we have seen our students practice the skills and knowledge that they have learned on the programmes and they found their way up the ladder, from being an entry-level store man or operator to becoming a warehouse manager or a production manager.

“Companies that have supported the programmes and can attest to this include Mercedes Benz South Africa , Toyota, Plessey SA, Aspen Pharmacare, Transnet Rail Division, Transnet Harbours and Eskom to mention only a few,” Schneider concludes.

For more information on SAPICS short courses, visit: https://www.sapics.org.za/certifications-courses

For more information:

Tel:         +27 (0) 10 013 3442

Email:    info@sapics.org.za

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