RISK, ESG, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT ON THE AGENDA AT 2023 SMART PROCUREMENT WORLD INDABA

Debbie Tagg Smart Procurement COO

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

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

“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,” she says.

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. It will explore how taking risks can lead to greater rewards, and will offer attendees practical strategies to manage risks in a constantly evolving marketplace. The ESG (environment, social and governance) 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 was back in person after the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1 600 delegates attended the landmark event, which enables buyers and suppliers to learn, share knowledge and network 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,” commented Thato Hlatshwayo from North West Provincial Treasury.

“The presentations were insightful. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the organisations enhancing our local suppliers. I repledge to aggressively continue to grow and enhance our local market,” said MTN’s Yolandie van Wyk after the 2022 Smart Procurement World Indaba.

Andriane Naidoo, senior sourcing manager at VISA said that last year’s indaba was “incredible”. A first-time attendee, she was impressed with the expansive knowledge shared by industry leaders and the work and passion invested in SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises).

There are opportunities for organisations to get involved this year as event partners and exhibitors. “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,” Tagg states.

The 2023 Smart Procurement World Indaba event partners include EcoVadis, Commerce Edge and Oxalys. The indaba’s industry body partners this year are The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Women in Logistics and Transport, SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, the IMM (Institute of Marketing Management) and DaVinci Business School.

A key feature of the 2023 Smart Procurement World Indaba is, once again, the annual Absa Enterprise & Supplier Development Expo. Now in its 12th year, this important market access event connects SMMEs to corporate procurement. “This is a must-attend gathering for SMMEs striving to accelerate their businesses,” Tagg stresses.

All role players in procurement, supply chain, enterprise and supplier development and transformation are urged to attend the indaba. It is geared towards all levels and the programme offers an array of topics and learnings for everyone from buyers to heads of department. Local and international experts will examine all aspects of risk mitigation and provide attendees with a roadmap to innovative and resilient procurement functions. Risk and resilience are vital across both the private and the public sectors, Tagg notes.

To find out more about sponsorship and partnership opportunities at the 2023 Smart Procurement World Indaba, contact Keshni Reddy on keshni@smartprocurement.net

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