Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  06 Sep 2009

MANAGEMENT: Sharpening Supply Chain Skills


Recent Western Cape Business News

The UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) is launching a new course this October specifically geared to advance global supply chain skills in South Africa.

According to Anthony Ross, co-director of the new Global Supply Chain Management course and Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, the economic crisis has forced companies to look at ways to better control their costs and renew their capabilities across their global supply chains.

Globalisation has led to many firms restructuring their procurement, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing/distribution functions, and the economic slow down has impacted nearly all industries. This pressures firms to continue cost-reductions and increase penetration into developed and emerging markets. Leadership development in firms will be critical to ensuring businesses are capable of meeting their supply chain challenges,” he said.

He added that, in summary, there are five key challenges now facing supply chain managers: 1) The lack of internal supply chain competency to manage partners; 2) Managing product quality and safety as corporate supply chains span multiple countries; 3) Improving operational performance in the supply chain (procurement, manufacturing, distribution, and post-sales customer support) while remaining flexible enough to respond to market changes; 4) Environmental and social sustainability initiatives; 5) Linking the income statement and balance sheet to supply chain performance since this is the best view between strategy and operational execution of that strategy.

The new two-day UCT GSB course is designed to help managers tackle these challenges and blends rigorous academic content and relevant content discussion with real-world experience in manufacturing or service industries from the participants.

This programme is intended for experienced managers and senior managers preparing to make the transition into a general supply chain or logistics role, but do not have any formal training in the area. It is also appropriate as a refresher seminar on the broad area of supply chain management,” said Ross.

The UCT GSB course will cover several pertinent supply chain topics, including Operations and Service Strategy; Global Trade and Investment for Emerging Markets; Integration and Strategic Sourcing; Elements of Service System Design and Quality; Warehousing and Transportation; and Outsourcing.

Ross added that African businesses face the same challenges as their global counterparts along with complexities associated with, in the case of some countries on the continent, being land-locked, extreme poverty, and a growing need for supply chain management capacity.

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