SAPICS director's continued success: offering local solutions to international challenges

Johannesburg, 11 Mar 2011
Read time 2min 50sec

2011 will see The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa (SAPICS) Director Colin Seftel continue to share his insights with supply chain and operations professions from around the world, after his successful presentation at last year's APICS Conference resulted in him being asked to present at the upcoming SMART Conference - Australia's leading supply chain conference.

The lessons learnt locally and presented at last year's APICS Conference have struck a chord with industry experts, so much so that SAPICS Director Colin Seftel has been invited to share his views and insights in Sydney, Australia, between 25 and 26 May at the bi-annual SMART Conference.

Seftel, who has more than 20 years' experience in the industry, presented his paper: “Is 'Best Practice' really best for you?” to delegates attending the APICS convention, in Las Vegas, and received strong, favourable reviews. The paper details lessons that Seftel has learnt from experience, and includes examples that focus on topics such as the initial enterprise resource planning implementation, the continuous adoption of lean principles over time, concurrent engineering, as well as other techniques.

Seftel hopes delegates will evaluate international best practices further before implementing them internally within their own organisations. “One of the biggest challenges facing the industry, both locally and internationally, is the lack of education on all levels of management. So many companies are struggling to survive just because they don't know any better,” explains Seftel. “Simply adopting international best practice policies may not necessarily add value to the organisation, especially if there is a lack of education on the most fundamental of levels.”

He notes that South Africa is not unique in the challenges facing its supply chain and operations industries, but that corresponding scenarios can be seen around the world, especially in developing countries. “Globally, many developing countries have similar challenges to ours. Furthermore, Europe and America are emerging from a heavy recession with less self-sufficiency in manufactured consumer goods, which is making their supply chains longer, less manageable and more risky,” adds Seftel.

In order to address some of the challenges, Seftel suggests that companies should invest in their human capital, then leverage this knowledge to transform their businesses. “In South Africa we are fortunate to have massive subsidies available from the Skills Development Programme, yet many companies don't make full use of it. SAPICS has always emphasised the importance of quality education in our sector, and the lack thereof is still a huge barrier to development,” he continues.

With the SMART conference taking place in May, Seftel has already set his goals for the event. “As well as giving what I hope to be a successful presentation, I'll be attending as many of the sessions as possible, networking with Australian supply chain professionals and representing SAPICS at the conference,” he concludes. The internationally-acclaimed 33rd Annual SAPICS conference will take place at Sun City from 26-28 June 2011.

Notes to the editor:

There are numerous photographs specific to this press release. Please visit and click the SAPICS Link.


The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa, SAPICS, is a professional knowledge-based Association that enables individuals and organisations to improve business performance. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide network of accomplished industry professionals. This network is ever expanding and now includes associates in other African countries. Web:

Editorial contacts
NGAGE Public Relations Benjamin Iwisi (011) 867 7763
SAP Africa Jenny Froome (011) 023 6707
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