“If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there,” said Robert Kiyosaki, an American businessman, about the importance of networking.
In order to foster professional relationships, over 250 supply chain experts belonging to 20 different organisations attended the Supply Chain Conference 2012 held jointly by the Supply Chain Association of Pakistan (SCAP) and Terrabiz on Tuesday under the theme of “Improving business productivity through excellence in end-to-end supply chain management.”
Using a systematic approach to networking – a social activity where the implicit objective is to form professional relationships that may increase one’s future business and employment prospects – each participant was made to interact with at least five supply chain professionals he or she did not know before.
“I ran out of my business cards today during the networking session,” a chemical engineer working in the supply chain of ICI Pakistan told The Express Tribune. “That was the most orderly and useful networking opportunity I’ve ever had.”
According to Agility Logistics Director Commercials Aamir Haroon, the field of supply chain has undergone a drastic transformation in Pakistan during the last 10 years. “We used to have a storekeeper, godown manager and in charge of transport a decade ago. Today, we have a logistics officer, supply chain manager and chief turning officer,” Haroon told the audience.
Stressing the need for outsourcing non-core activities, he urged companies to make their balance sheets leaner by getting rid of unnecessary assets and liabilities. “It’s no more a company versus another company these days. It’s basically one supply chain competing against another supply chain,” Haroon said, adding up to 70% of a typical company’s annual budget was managed by supply chain professionals.
Referring to an internal study carried out by Unilever Pakistan to gauge consumer reaction to an inefficient supply chain, company’s Logistics Director Faheem Khan said most consumers would not go back to a retail outlet if they did not find their desired brand there first time around. “It’s bad for you as a retailer if you’re selling a brand that has a poor supply chain.”
Making a presentation on the role of cold chain in the contemporary world and its implications for Pakistan, Raaziq International CEO Muhammad Nadeem Khan said horticulture formed 12% of the country’s gross domestic product, adding 30% of it was wasted annually because of an inefficient supply chain.
Similarly, he said only 6% of livestock produced in Pakistan was actually sold after value addition. With the global market for frozen food worth about $175 billion, Khan said Pakistan could benefit immensely by improving its supply chain, especially in horticulture and meat segments.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.