Opening Impressions of SAPICS 2016

Opening Impressions of SAPICS 2016

Author: | Published: 07 Jul 2016


Back in the 1980s SAPICS delegates gathered at the trendy Elangeni Hotel on the Durban seafront while exhibitors faced kitchen-lift logistics to get stand equipment and mini-computers to the second floor.


Computers were loaded with the latest inventory and production software – secrets that amazed the uninitiated – “can you really do that?” – well, yes we could. This was “MRP Self Preservation Society” era when SAPICS theories were new to most South Africans.

Fast forward to SAPICS 2016 which was held at a Sun City under reconstructive surgery.
We met in an elaborate tented venue and this worked well, with coffee networking in the SYSPRO and iPlan coffee areas.

30 years on – was it different? Has SAPICS theory changed? Yes, a bit, but much like Sun City, mostly cosmetically – we now have the DDMRP nose job that simplifies materials management in palatable red, yellow and green diagrams.

Good basics don’t change much but application does and innovations like analytics, mobility and more intuitive ERP make it easier to apply – for some SAPICS was new for others it’s same old but with a nicer smile. For me, the real value is networking with this group of professionals and hearing their view of the world. SYSPRO’s Meryl Malcomess, MD SYSPRO Africa, introduced the first day and Nick Binedell’s opening address with great tips on how to do great business and stay competitive.

If you have a map and a mirror in your business toolkit, and can learn faster than the rate of change and more importantly unlearn just as quickly (like running up an escalator backwards); and understand what your business can do that the market wants or will want that no other business can do…then you’ll attain leadership in business.

Be the outsiders to your own industry like Airbnb and Uber. And remember new means your generation believes the next will wreck your future. And that’s the way it should be –innovation into the future taking advantage of emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) on the solid base of more mature business IT like ERP.

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Comments (4)

  • Helen Hollick Reply

    Hi Doug, I enjoyed this article

    July 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm
  • Carol Ptsk Reply

    Doug – we would love to walk you through what is truly different about DDMRP. DDMRP is much more than just a “nose job” DDMRP addresses the fundamental flaws of material planning and we can totally understand that when you haven’t read anything about it or looked at a DDMRP implementation in depth, it could look like a simple red, yellow, green. Please contact me and I would love to show you what is actually different that has resulted in consistent results of 30-50% inventory reduction, 100% customer service and 60-80% reduction in market response time – all at the same time and all without compromise. We realize that Syspro does not have a DDMRP compliant software so this may be something you really may want to look at. The adoption rate is increasing at an increasing rate worldwide. I am confident that you don’t want to stay in the MRP Self Preservation Society – I know you better than that! We look forward to hearing from you.

    July 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm
  • andre kester Reply

    Well said Doug! I have always enjoyed listening to you from about the mid-noughties. Fast-forward to the mid-teens and you’re still as insightful and funny as ever.

    July 13, 2016 at 8:14 am
  • Doug Hunter Reply

    Hi Carol – great to hear from you – great comments. Yes DDMRP is more than a nose job but a blog doesn’t allow detail. Yes I understand it and believe DDMRP is an innovative enhancement to the MRP process really helping event-driven management of parameters while combining select/appropriate APICS theory. And the good news – a SYSPRO customer was the first ERP site to implement DDMRP successfully in Africa with R+ last year. Best regards DOUG

    July 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

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