Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”.

The site visits lined up for the 2019 SAPICS Conference for supply chain professionals will offer attendees a hands-on opportunity to learn and gain inspiration from the supply chain successes of leading South African and global organisations, the event’s organisers have announced. They include an excursion to South Africa’s oldest wine farm, Groot Constantia, and a tour of a proudly South African ship builder that is committed to supporting local industries and entrepreneurs.

“This year’s tour of Damen Shipyards Cape Town is a highlight of the site visits line up,” says SAPICS president Mungo Park. “Damen Shipyards builds ships in Africa for Africa. To date, the yard has constructed and delivered 40 vessels to the African continent from its base in Cape Town, including offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and platform supply vessels.

Among Damen Shipyards’ notable achievements is a recent order from Armscor, for three Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPV) that are 62 x 11 metres in size. The vessels form part of the South African Navy’s Project Biro, which aims to develop South Africa’s maritime security, ensuring that the country has the capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-efficiently to maritime threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing. This is a not-to-be missed site visit for SAPICS delegates,” Park enthuses.The site visit agenda also features a trip to the Montague Gardens distribution centre of leading retailer Woolworths, including a walkabout tour of the campus that will showcase its perishable and long-life food facilities and Woolworths’ success in implementing methodologies like paperless picking.

Over nearly 150 years, Kimberly-Clark has become a world leader in manufacturing, driving capability at all levels of its supply chain. SAPICS delegates will have the opportunity to learn from its success at this site visit, says Park, adding that it includes a presentation on lean manufacturing and the benefits that Kimberly-Clark is deriving from key logistics partnerships.

Lying in the shadow of Table Mountain, the port of Cape Town has evolved from a staging post on a major east-west trade route into a modern, full service general cargo port renowned for deciduous fruits and fish exports. “The site visit to Transet Ports Authority will offer SAPICS delegates a birds’ eye view of the port control tower, a guided bus tour of the port facilities and opportunities for some roof top photography of the spectacular scenery,” Park expands.

Sportswear and outdoor clothing manufacturer K-Way has shown that South African factories can compete successfully with the rest of the world, and SAPICS is proud to offer a site visit to K-Way’s manufacturing plant. “Attendees will have the chance to learn how the K-Way factory overcame the challenge of competing against cheap imports from Asia – and the threat of job losses and factory closures – to transform into a developer of top-quality technical garments.”

Park notes that it will not be all work on the SAPICS site visits, as this year’s line up also includes a beer experience, game viewing and wine tasting. “Attendees will enjoy a fantastic beer experience and a taste of history by joining one of SAB’s fully guided tours. They will be taken behind the scenes with a brief overview of the history of the company and the operation’s footprint in South Africa, including the SAB supply chain and procurement processes, planning and plant scheduling. Established in 1820, Newlands Brewery is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa. We will end the tour with a beer tasting and a couple of pints at the brewery’s historic pub.”

The SAPICS 2019 site visit to Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary and Wine Estate will include a game drive through the Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Koelenhof, followed by a cellar tour and wine tasting at Villiera Wine Estate. At Groot Constantia Wine Estate, which is the oldest wine farm in South Africa, SAPICS attendees will have the chance to explore the original Cape Dutch manor house and visit the famed Cloete Cellar during a cellar tour that includes a wine tasting and presentation by one of the estate’s expert winemakers.

Now in its 41st successful year, the annual SAPICS Conference is Africa’s leading knowledge sharing and networking event for supply chain professionals. Hosted by SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, it takes place in Cape Town from 9 to 12 June 2019.

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