Supply Chain operations are constantly evolving. Rapid changes in supply and demand, advancements in technology, and disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the need for the sector and professionals to remain constantly agile.
In this update, Senior Consultant Wayne Fry chats with NZPICS (Association for Operations & Supply Chain Professionals) General Manager Vijay Todkar about the organisation, what is changing and how professionals can stay at the top of their game.
- Tell me about NZPICS?
NZPICS is a not-for-profit Supply Chain education provider that has been delivering world class training to new entrants and seasoned professionals in New Zealand for 40 years.
Our mission is “developing tomorrow’s Supply Chain leaders today”. We are the only Premium Channel partner of the Association of Supply Chain Management (previously APICS) in New Zealand.
- What are the benefits of becoming an NZPICS member?
As well as programmes and courses, we provide a range of benefits for our individual and corporate members including free networking events, site visits, a jobs board and valuable industry insights.
Members receive discounts towards certification programmes and conferences. Those who have successfully completed their certification programmes are also eligible to instruct at NZPICS.
- What can you expect from NZPICS qualifications?
All of the training we offer provides knowledge and expertise in Supply Chain frameworks to help people be best in class and advance their careers.
Globally recognised programmes offered include Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM); Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD); Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP); and the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P).
We also provide short courses in areas including Supply Chain, Procurement, Logistics, Manufacturing, and Inventory Management for all career levels. The courses are practical, so they present realistic business cases that are in line with current market conditions.
Delivery can vary between self-directed study to instructor-led courses and we can custom programmes to organisational requirements.
- What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the Supply Chain sector and professionals in New Zealand and how can businesses recover?
New Zealand Supply Chains are recovering from the initial COVID-19 shocks, which saw supply and demand surges, but there are still many unknowns.
What we know for sure is that how we manage Supply Chains, move business forward, and serve our customers, will change. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for rapid transformation to ensure Supply Chains and professionals can build the necessary resilience. Companies that move early and decisively in a crisis will survive and thrive.
The pandemic has brought a shift in thinking from “just in time” to “just in case”. What we will see is an acceleration of digital transformation technologies being adopted including robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
In the current environment, the natural tendency is to pull back and make cuts to Supply Chain training investments. But businesses that take decisive actions to upskill their staff during this period are assured that when the crisis ends, they’ll be stronger than they are today.
- How can New Zealand Supply Chain professionals aid their development and progress their careers?
Modern Supply Chains are incredibly complex and require professionals with broad knowledge in many areas including technical, strategic and analytical as well as the soft skills of leadership and diplomacy. Deep subject matter expertise is required, as is a cross-functional understanding of the entire business.
Our advice for professionals is:
- Elevate your skills: education and professional development is a journey, not a destination.
- Develop soft skills: leadership skills are key to success in a Supply Chain career, particularly communication, collaboration, critical thinking, future planning, and problem solving.
- Put theory into practice – implement what you learn as this will help you develop several valuable cost savings at work and in turn, help raise your profile.
- Market yourself: communicate your achievements internally and externally.
- What attracted you to join NZPICS?
As a Supply Chain professional, the ability to make a valuable contribution to NZ Inc’s Supply Chain community was the driving factor. I wanted to help raise the profile of the profession and professionals in our country and globally.
I believe NZ Inc can offer superior Supply Chain professionals to the world. Our geographical isolation, small population and Number 8 Wire mentality leads to a great environment for nurturing and developing world class talent.
- What plans do you have for NZPICS over the next couple of years?
Strong Supply Chains are essential to economies and a big focus for us will be working with the industry to ensure a sustainable Supply Chain community in New Zealand.
We will also be proactively trying to raise the profile of NZPICS, the Supply Chain profession and the professionals who work in this area.
Vijay is an experienced Supply Chain professional with more than three decades of experience across a multitude of industries. He has a long association with NZPICS, firstly as a student (BSCM, CSCP), then as a committee member and as Vice-President and President.
Vijay joined NZPICS as General Manager in March 2019. He is passionate about the Supply Chain profession and promoting development among professionals.
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About Wayne and Hunter Campbell
Wayne Fry is a Senior Consultant at Hunter Campbell who specialises in recruiting Supply Chain, Procurement and Operations roles in New Zealand. Hunter Campbell is a specialist recruitment business for Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement as well as Finance and Accounting.