Logistics of growing the future today

Johannesburg, 30 Nov 2011
Read time 3min 00sec

Supply chain and operations management is a challenging and relentless industry to survive in. It is, simplistically speaking, about meeting daily demand on time, all the time.

SAPICS (The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa) and one of its silver sponsors, Volition Consulting Services - member of the IMPERIAL Logistics Group, realised that the challenges within their business milieu are not all that different from those that the disadvantaged in SA have to face on a daily basis. This inspired them to participate in the National Corporate Blitz Build Project, staged by Habitat for Humanity SA, in October 2011.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian organisation embracing the vision “of a world in which every person has a decent place to live”, and part of Habitat for Humanity International, which has branches in more than 80 countries around the world.

The week of 3 to 7 October saw one of the largest initiatives with a community of South African public/private employee volunteers coming together to build houses for communities in need. Thirty-four houses were built in the Orange Farm community, a township located approximately 45km from Johannesburg.

“My name is Alice. I am the mother of three children - 27, 23 and 16 years old. We live in Orange Farm in a one-room shack. I sleep on the bed with my daughter, and my two boys sleep on the floor. Our shack leaks and when it rains hard, it becomes impossible to stop the water. When the weather is windy, dust always comes inside the shack. To protect our few belongings against thieves, one person must always be in the shack.”

These words written by an Orange Farm resident motivated the staff of Volition Consulting Services - a member of the IMPERIAL Logistics Group - to mobilise a team to build a house for Alice and her family during the Blitz Build Project.

Andrea Brookstein, Managing Assistant in the Marketing and Project Office of Volition, commented on the experience: “It has been a great privilege and we are grateful that we could make a difference in this family's lives. It was such a humbling experience to witness them receiving the key to their own house.”

SAPICS representatives were involved for a day, and assisted the Volition team. SAPICS also donated olive tree seeds to the worthy cause, depicting the association's commitment to future growth.

SAPICS - The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa - comprises professional members from across the spectrum of South African industry. Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS has become a leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in South Africa.

The association is closely affiliated to APICS - The Association for Operations Management in the United States.

SAPICS is the South African custodian of two internationally accredited certification programmes from APICS - Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).

The association's education offerings are aimed at advancing industry's ability to succeed in a changing and increasingly competitive marketplace.

The Annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition is the premier educational and networking event in Africa for supply chain management professionals.

The 34th Annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition will be held at Sun City from 3 to 5 June 2012.

Editorial contacts
Denise Lourens (083) 268 5605
SAP Africa Jenny Froome (011) 023 6707
See also