by Megan Trousil

Supply chain professionals

Sustainability guru to share his insights with SA supply chain professionals

John Elkington will present the first event in 2013's Supply Chain and Logistics Management Programme

United Kingdom-based John Elkington is a presenter at the first event in this year’s Supply Chain and Logistics Management Programme, which is a knowledge-sharing and educational initiative for supply chain professionals. 

The programme’s first conference for 2013 on “Sustainable Supply Chains with Economic Value” takes place on 6 February at GIBS in Illovo, Gauteng.

"Supply chain sustainability is increasingly recognised as a key component of corporate strategy,” comments IMPERIAL Logistics' chief integration officer, Cobus Rossouw.

“Managing the social, environmental and economic impacts of supply chains makes good business sense, and companies operating in the global marketplace are increasingly realising competitive returns from effective supply chain sustainability programmes and management.”

Keynote speaker John Elkington is the founder of SustainAbility, a global think tank and consultancy that works with businesses in the pursuit of economic, social and environmental sustainability. In an international corporate social responsibility (CSR) survey of the Top 100 CSR leaders, he was placed fourth – after Al Gore, Barack Obama and the late Anita Roddick of the Body Shop. Elkington has written or co-authored 17 books, including the million-selling Green Consumer Guide and Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business.

The second event in this year’s Supply Chain and Logistics Management Programme is a one-day seminar that will examine ways to manage supply chains and risk in volatile times. “In today’s increasingly volatile and competitive business environment, winning companies are those that are more responsive to their customers' needs than their competitors – with faster rates of innovation, bringing new products and services to the marketplace more quickly, and operating with shorter lead times and greater reliability,” Rossouw states.

Local and international experts who will be featured in the line-up for the seminar include Dr Richard Wilding, professor in Supply Chain Strategy at the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Cranfield School of Management in the UK. This seminar takes place on 16 April 2013.

It aims to develop senior managers and executives within the industry. Rossouw elaborates: “The growing global economy has redefined the dynamics of competition for modern organisations. Today’s leading companies need to be agile and innovative amid increasing business complexities and increasing customer demands. 

"With product life cycles shortening and worldwide rivalries increasing, success depends on effective local, regional and global supply chain management. 

"It is, therefore, of critical importance that senior managers and executives, across all functions, understand supply chain processes and their complexity, and are able to facilitate strategic decisions in developing effective supply chains.”

The executive development programme’s presenters include Dr John Gattorna, widely regarded as one of the most respected supply chain 'thought leaders'. Gattorna has spent a lifetime working in and around supply chains, in many different capacities: line executive, researcher, consultant/adviser, teacher and author, and he is passionate about the subject.

Also contributing to the programme is John Langley, a leading scholar in his field, having been involved in supply chain management and business logistics for more than 35 years.

“Knowledge sharing is critical for South African businesses aiming to compete successfully in the global marketplace, where increasingly complex supply chains, cost constraints and sustainability are among the challenges,” Rossouw concludes. 

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