Risk in the crosshairs 

Risk in the crosshairs 

The 17th annual Smart Procurement World Indaba will focus on risk. South Africa’s largest, longest-standing event for procurement and inbound supply chain professionals, the indaba will be held from 11 to 14 September 2023 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.

Debbie Tagg, Smart Procurement chief operating officer, says that the sector proved its mettle in navigating risk in recent years, but needs to chart a course in an increasingly volatile, unpredictable, and challenging environment. This ties in perfectly with this year’s theme: “Do Risk Right?”

“Procurement and supply chain practitioners played a pivotal role in ensuring that their organisations managed production and delivery disruptions in recent years. The volatility, economic pressures, shortages, and risk are not going to abate in 2023 – and probably not until well beyond this year, according to experts’ predictions,” notes Tagg.

“As leaders, practitioners, and procurement teams, we must come together to share our knowledge and expand our skills on how to build risk resilience. We must also learn to use risk to gain a competitive advantage,” she continues. “With the change of policies, workforce, and technological advancement, procurement and supply chain functions are geared to lead their organisations. They are at the heart of insightful data, demand influencing, and sustainability.”

A compelling keynote session at this year’s indaba will challenge the traditional notion that playing it safe is the only way to succeed in procurement. The session will explore how risk-taking can lead to greater rewards and will offer attendees practical strategies to manage risks in a constantly evolving marketplace.

The environment, social, and governance (ESG) imperative is also on the agenda this year, with industry experts discussing the risks of unsustainable sourcing. They will outline the benefits of sustainability, explore the role of technology in ESG initiatives, and examine how artificial intelligence can provide solutions.

As usual, the annual indaba is a platform where public procurement leaders will come together to discuss and workshop strategies amidst legislative upheaval and overhaul. Public sector delegates from all over South Africa will collaboratively address the challenge of building sustainable service delivery through strategic public procurement.

Last year was the first time that the Smart Procurement World Indaba returned physically after the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 1,600 delegates attended the landmark event, where buyers and suppliers learned, shared knowledge, and networked over four days. The 2022 Indaba was commended by attendees.

“It’s always a pleasure attending the Smart Procurement World Indaba. The content stays as relevant as ever. It is a wonderful event for supply chain managers,” enthused Thato Hlatshwayo from North West Provincial Treasury following the event.

“The presentations were insightful. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the organisations enhancing our local suppliers,” said MTN’s Yolandie van Wyk. “I repledge to aggressively continue to grow and enhance our local market.”

First-time attendee Andriane Naidoo, senior sourcing manager at VISA, was impressed with the extensive knowledge shared by various industry leaders at last year’s indaba, as well as the work and passion invested in small, medium, and micro enterprises. She revealed that it had been an “incredible” experience.

There are also opportunities for organisations to get involved as event partners and exhibitors at this year’s event. “If your business delivers technology, green solutions or any tools that are revolutionising procurement and supply chain management, the indaba is the place to showcase them,” asserts Tagg.

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