SAPICS 2016 Offers Sugar and Spice


The second day at SAPICS 2016 started for me with a coffee or two at the SYSPRO Café networking with gurus, customers, and partners and debating the new spin on ERP. Like mobility, visibility, keeping it simple, appropriate and usable rather than treating it like a “big brother” system to be worked round. The chat was heavy and we all needed the coffee.

Peter van der Linden sweetened the morning with a fascinating talk on the Internet of Things IoT – 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and 200 billion by 2050 – from toothbrushes to cars signaling their own demand and enabling connected manufacturing and supply chain operations.

He said physical supply chains are becoming digital supply chains. So, to get visibility of the right things you need, and can get, proactive alerts from a myriad of devices to focus on the right action. So asset location, inventory, security, customer and partner transactions update your “backend” ERP system instead of your staff.

Now do these devices have APICS certification or are we getting back to proper application of the basics – quick response and appropriate replenishment without over investment in stock? Hurray!

Two new and particularly interesting concepts by Peter to prevent consequences from the wrong side of connected technology.

  • First eDOTs – “explicit Data Ownership and Transparent surveillance” that prevent captured data being used without your approval, or worse without your knowledge.
  • The second new idea and concept was to help alert users when stealth-like utilities work on their computer or system invisibly in the background. His answer for this is the “Super Cookie Surveillance system”. I’m guessing but this should be a hit in South Africa and boost user privacy and cyber security.

Finally we were treated to a little bit of spice from Nando’s.  Linda Reddy shared their story. They use theory but blend in the right stuff – like a 5 year plan/strategy, coordinated marketing, procurement and logistics, forecasting and distribution. Business flavour-enhanced with the right people, right attitude and a great, integrated supply chain. She said at Nando’s the supply chain is a business not just a support function. APICS couldn’t put it better.

My conclusion. SAPICS offers value across the board. Never been? I suggest you always go and visit to catch up. Yes, there is theory to learn. But how it is applied is the key.

Mixing with people who know or learned how to install and run ERP solutions the hard way always offers some lessons.

It’s about networking with a focus and having some fun at the same time. See you next year.

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