For the fourth year running Dovetail Business Solutions hosted its annual Warehousing Conference in conjunction with its global partner HighJump-HighJump and enjoyed a full house with attendees gaining valuable insight into local and global warehousing opportunities, challenges and expectations.

The event designed to assist logistics companies in South Africa with warehousing development and growth, IT utilisation and the establishment of a platform for all warehousing stakeholders to brainstorm, collaborate and share success and ideas, has been described as a resounding success.

“In preparation for the 2015 Warehousing Conference Dovetail took a critical look at issues experienced by its clients in the warehousing industry and invited industry-thought leaders to address delegates regarding these challenges, how they can be mitigated and how they can be turned into opportunities,” notes Dovetail Key Accounts Director Ralf Rolle.

“There was a great interest and need for more clarity regarding the new labour regulations introduced in January 2015 as strike season, which is no longer curbed to a season only, has a huge impact on client operations and profitability,” he adds.

Seesa advocate Grant Joubert provided valuable insight into labour laws that came into effect from January 1, 2015 and how these new regulations will affect the logistics industry, the rights of warehouse workers, common challenges experienced by companies and the rights of both companies and workers with regard to striking, dismissals and reinstatements.

Joubert stressed the importance of ensuring that dismissals are fair, employers are aware of workers rights with regard to training, work permits and strikes and that employers guard both themselves and employees against financial losses owing to incorrect procedures followed with regard to labour law practice.

The State of Warehousing 2015

A big focus during the 2015 Warehousing Conference was the state of warehousing in SA, trends in global warehousing and the opportunities present for local logistics companies in South Africa.

The conference keynote speaker, Martin Bailey, who is both the founder and chairman of Industrial Logistics Systems noted during his presentation that while eCommerce growth is still small in South Africa it has big potential in future.

eCommerce growth for 2016 was predicted to reach $560.24-billion in North America, $707.60 –billion in Asia-Pacific, $387.94-billion in Western Europe, $68.88-billion in Central and Eastern Europe and S45.49-billion in Middle East and Africa.

Bailey explained that eCommerce will play an important role in assisting transport and courier operations to become more energy-and-cost efficient with a strong focus on speed, accuracy and quality.

Further, Bidvest Vericon System Integrations Manager Muhsin Sayed who also presented at the conference emphasised the changing role that technology has on warehousing and how it can assist South Africa in mitigating security challenges and ensuring integrity in warehousing operations.

As an example, he demonstrated the EVS solution from Bidvest Vericon, launched in 2014, which is an independent electronic verification system that allows warehouse operators to verify and reconcile all goods received and dispatched in real time and offers a cost relative to throughput.

In closing, HighJump-Highjump Senior Vice President Joe Couto focused his presentation on global trends in warehousing and stressed that the drivers for key advancements in warehousing are the challenges experienced by local organisations to find experienced and knowledgeable staff, the high bar set by companies to deliver the perfect order on time and accurately with less lead time and end customers’ expectations and needs which continue to increase at a rapid pace.

Couto also covered the advancement made to the HighJump Enterprise WMS solution which focuses on improved automation, task management and advanced labour management all of which host modules that can be accessed remotely by smartphones and tablets.

Dovetail Business Development Director Shermandra Singh notes that the topics covered during Dovetail’s Warehousing Conference 2015 were both valuable and useful to attendees who represented all spheres of the logistics industry.

“Building on the success of our 2015 event, we look forward to hosting the next conference in 2016 and to once again get excited with the industry about the opportunities and growth that lies ahead for the local warehousing industry,” Singh concludes.