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South African Demand Planning Expert Teaches at an Asia's Fab 50 Company

Media Release

24 January –Vietnam has been one of the world's most impressive growth stories over the last two decades. Over the last 10 years in particular it has integrated into the global economy, becoming an attractive business location. Yet the economy faces internal weaknesses and challenges, reflected in low competitiveness in different aspects and supply chain immaturity.


In October 2011, Liezl Smith, President of SAPICS (The Association for Operations Management Southern Africa) was seconded by the Institute of Business Forecasting (IBF) in the USA to teach a course in demand planning at Vietnam Breweries Limited in Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon. The presentation of courses such as this, compliments the recently launched programme by the country's Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop the Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Industry over the next 15 years. This programme concentrates on the optimisation of product quality and the utilization of advanced technology and human resources.

The Institute for Business Forecasting and Planning (IBF) is recognised as a comprehensive service provider of forecasting and planning educational services to global organisations. Ms Smith became the first South African IBF certified professional after having completed the course successfully in 2008 in Chicago, USA. Says Ms Liezl Smith B Eng CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, "It was a privilege to teach the 25 delegates at such a renowned international brewery with a marketing footprint extending across 60 countries. It is supported by 30 breweries in 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region brewery and was named in the 2011 Forbes Asia's

Fab 50 list of the 50 most profitable listed companies with large market capitalization."

Vietnam seems to experience challenges within its supply chain which are very similar to those which South Africa is faced with and which SAPICS is addressing. "The first world facilities of Vietnam Breweries are in sharp contrast with the living conditions of the fundamentally poor population who possesses the largest combined buying power," says Ms Smith. "Distribution is also hampered by the deteriorated infrastructure especially in the rural areas of the country. My South African background assisted me tremendously in relating to the delegates and leading the program".

She continued: "Taking into account the complexities of the local and global supply chains of Vietnam, I have no doubt that the company benefitted greatly from the course which focuses on the imparting of knowledge of demand planning and forecasting and equipping delegates with the necessary skills to make a valuable contribution towards the success of their organisations."

Ms Smith concluded that not one of the 25 candidates knew anything about South Africa. "It was a pleasure to teach these friendly professionals about Demand Planning in supply chain management and acting as an ambassador for IBF, SAPICS and South Africa at the same time. As South Africans, we should never underestimate our ability to contribute towards the education of people from countries around the world."

IBF training is presented by SAPICS twice a year in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.

For more information in this regard the SAPICS offices can be contacted at (011) 023 6701.

SAPICS - The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa - comprises professional members from across the spectrum of South African industry. Since its foundation in 1966, SAPICS has become a leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in South Africa. The association is closely affiliated to APICS -The Association for Operations Management and the Institute of Business Forecasting in the United States.

SAPICS is the South African custodian of two internationally accredited certification programmes from APICS - Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). The association's education offerings are aimed at advancing industry's ability to succeed in a changing and increasingly competitive market place.

The Annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition is the premier educational and networking event in Africa for Supply Chain management professionals.

The 34th Annual SAPICS Conference and Exhibition will be held at Sun City from 3nd to 5th June 2012.

For further information, please contact:

Denise Lourens


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Jenny Froome at SAPICS

011 023 6707

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