State of SA’s supply chain
BARLOWORLD last week hosted logistics managers at a supply chain foresight breakfast in Umhlanga.
Marketing executive at Barloworld Logistics Kate Stubbs said the industry has long outgrown the perception that logistics are all about trucks and warehouses.
She said in looking at trends in supply chains since 2003, the overriding concern logistics managers ask is what costs create value.
“Supply chain changed radically, it is not about trucks and warehouses, but managing data,” Stubbs said, adding companies who can manage to balance the opposing demands of being both hi-tech and hi-touch will do well.
“The only certainty we have is that our traditional business model won’t be the one for the future,” said Stubbs.
She warned the assembled managers the biggest threat to the logistics is a skills shortage, and pointed out the sector is not spending on training.
Another concern revealed by the annual Barloworld survey is that manufacturing is not relevant to 41% of the respondents, and there is less investing in research and development.
Yet, 89% of the respondents are optimistic about the future.
Stubbs said South Africa has seen a definite shift to servicebased industries since 2014.
Six in 10 respondents had to adapt quite radically to meet such changes, but, just over half (51%) of the respondents say the changes they made were effective.
Stubbs said the survey shows the top four of the top five concerns listed on the survey were all related to the economy and politics, which the logistics managers could do little about.
The fifth concern was about the skills shortage, which Stubbs said the sector can and should do something about.
She said a focus area of the respondents’ future strategy sees new customers, brand development as most important, but not mergers and acquisitions, which Stubbs predicted the sector will see a lot more of.
Stubbs said one area where the sector can mature is outsourcing, which adds a lot of value, but hiring outside help did not seem to come easy to South African companies.
Motivational speaker David Caskie emphasised that extreme sports teams have shown repeatedly that optimism, enthusiasm and loyalty are more important than any other traits when recruiting for tough times. — WR.