Supply chain professionals are responsible for maintaining South African supply chains, even as Covid-19 brings massive challenges. To do this, they need to ensure the efficient supply and distribution of food, basic goods and medicines, while mitigating the risks posed by the pandemic, the challenges of lockdown regulations and the associated extraordinary consumer behaviour like stockpiling and panic buying.

To ensure that the supply chain profession has the necessary resources and support needed for its vital role in helping to beat the coronavirus crisis, SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has launched a number of special support initiatives that include a supply chain management helpline, a tool kit and a collaboration platform for the profession.

“SAPICS’s important contribution to the supply chain management profession is needed now more than ever before,” says SAPICS president Kea Mpane. “As the professional body for supply chain management, SAPICS’s mandate is not only to develop and build skills capacity in the profession, but to provide support and guidance where we can.

“We may not be an official essential service during the lockdown, but SAPICS’s role in facilitating collaboration, knowledge and resource sharing, in offering support and guidance, and in disseminating information and education to supply chain professionals is absolutely vital at this time.”

SAPICS is working with and has secured the support of internationally renowned industry professionals, subject matter experts and global education organisations. Leveraging their experience, expertise and insights, SAPICS has developed a Supply Chain Management Toolkit that offers a range of resources to provide supply chain professionals with relevant information and support during the pandemic.

SAPICS boosts resources with toolkit

SAPICS has also established a team of local and international subject matter experts who have volunteered to provide guidance, answer questions and offer advice and recommendations to assist supply chain professionals with their challenges and questions during this testing time.

“It is our responsibility as supply chain professionals to work to counter the catastrophic effects that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on South African supply chains. Collaboration is critical,” Mpane stresses. “We, as a supply chain community, need to work together.”

To this end, SAPICS has launched a collaboration platform on LinkedIn.

“The idea is to share solutions that SAPICS members are already implementing or working to implement in our South African supply chains, to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. These include supply chain management learnings as well as measures that are being implemented to ensure the safety of the employees that are the vital link in every supply chain,” explains Mpane.

“We are all in unchartered waters. We need to do everything that we can to work together, to ensure that essential goods get to South Africans when and where they are needed, and to ensure the ongoing operation of essential services,” she adds.

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