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With over 800 attendees and 100 SMME exhibitors, the inaugural Smart Procurement World Western Cape of 5 - 7 March 2014 was a highlight in the procurement fraternity calendar.

An invigorating CPO panel discussion about how procurement is driving real worth to the bottom line, and value to the top line had the event trending on twitter (@smartprocure #smartprocurementworld), with a CPO Panel selfie (pictured here!).

The insightful conference brought together over 240 delegates who mingled over the two days and gleaned vital understanding from some of the key speakers and sessions.

With over 800 attendees at the conference and exhibition, the event offered meaningful interactions between government departments, corporate buyers, SMMEs and other key stakeholders.

Minister Alan Winde, Provincial Minister, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism opened the event with a ribbon cutting and an address that highlighted the importance of cutting through the red tape in the everyday implementation of professionals in the execution of their procurement and supply chain functions.

Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, City Of Cape Town then unwrapped the role of procurement in achieving national, provincial objectives and supply chain management (SCM) reform.

The conference offered delegates an opportunity to benchmark themselves against other companies and evaluate their strategies to understand where the industry current position as whole and what next year will bring, as well as to share information around policies and approaches from both the public and private sector.

Co-located with the event was the Absa Enterprise Development exhibition which in itself proved to be a huge success with over 500 buyers and 380 visitors walking the floor to meet with these Western-Cape based, verified SMMEs and 100 exhibitors.

This month's issue of SmartProcurement explores some of the papers delivered at the conference in more depth.

“Smart Procurement World was indeed an insightful and informative conference as well as a great networking forum. It's a very valuable platform for private & public procurement practitioners and SMME's to converge and communicate about pertinent issues affecting Procurement” - Mpume Maphumulo, Head of Group Procurement, Pioneer Foods.

The next Smart Procurement World event to be held will be the main Smart Procurement World Conference in Gauteng during September this year. As many as 3 000 delegates are expected to attend the signature event.

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