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Delegates from ISMM in Sri Lanka attends IFPSM Asia Pacific

The President Institute of Supply and Material Management (ISMM) Danesha Perera and Senior Delegate and Past President Gerry Hidelaratchi attended the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) Asia Pacific Council Meeting in Manila, Philippines on April 22 and 23 2012.

The Asia Pacific Council Meeting was organized by the Purchasing Institute Supply Management (PISM) in Philippines under the guidance of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management. The delegates from Asia Pacific Countries attended including India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka to name a few.


Delegates from ISM in Sri Lanka at the IFPSM

Perera said that during the meeting they discussed the important subjects such as Regional Collaboration, Asia Pacific Professional’s Profile, Asia Pacific Identity, Global Standards and Purchasing Managers Index (PMI).

Global Standards introduced by IFPSM was discussed and it was agreed to introduce same to one program conducted by each of the institutes within the next three years since it will have substantial opportunity to raise the professional profile and level of internationally recognized qualification in the region.

Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and development of a PMI Asia was agreed as a worthwhile feasibility study as a regional project. PISM agreed to be the lead component in such a project.

President ISMM Danesha Perera contributed to the subject “Asia Pacific Identity” by tabling a paper and a short presentation. He explained the importance of the following.

1. Improvement from the Present Status of Information Technology facilities in the region which has a direct impact on Supply Chain.


Inspecting peaches on conveyor belt

Information Technology is one of the utmost important tools to develop Supply Chain Management in the Asia Pacific Region. China and India are in the forefront of other Asian countries. The contribution from the IT industry to the economy of China and India are unascertainable.

Main reason for slow development in the economy of other countries is not having sufficient IT facilities. Countries that are developing rapidly need to focus on the Information Technology.

2. Improvement in the present status of Physical Infrastructure of Roads, Ports, Air Ports and Railways are directly related to the Supply Chains.

China and India are far ahead of other Asian countries with regard to infrastructure development. Need to identify the most economical transport mode for the country as well as for the region.

Railway is the most efficient and effective transport mode. Buses are next best to Railway. Other transports modes such as Cars and Vans are found to be expensive when compared to other transport modes. It is vital to have a regional strategy to develop the transport in the Asia Pacific Countries.

3. The large Population in the region, especially in China and India has provided an opportunity (huge market) to build up Supply Chains.

Once more China and India are having a huge population which can be contributed to most of the development projects in many skilled levels. It also has very cheap labour where the products manufactured are very competitive in the market.

The products that are manufactured within the country too have a great potential to market internally. Other countries such as Sri Lanka need to look out for the markets.

Cheap labour due to excess supply as against the demand too is advantageous to China and India. Therefore small countries such as Sri Lanka will depend on expensive labour and foreign markets to sell its products.

Supply Chain Management in such countries need to understand same and be competitive within the region as well as out side the region by doing Value Analysis, Value Engineering and Value Addition.

4. Development of Educational and Health Standards in the region has enhanced supply chains.

Literacy level in countries also contributes largely to development.

Sri Lanka is one of the best rated countries in the world providing the free education for children.

It is also very important to focus on education streams on SCM.

Health standards of a country will decide how healthy the nation is and it is important to focus on health not only providing the health facilities but making arrangements for young generation to understand the importance of physical fitness. When the young generation is sick, it is difficult to continue the development programs to meet the ultimate targets.

5. Simplification and Standardization of regulatory and procedural requirements will necessarily improve the efficiency of existing Supply Chains.

Simplification and Standardization of regulatory bodies and procedural requirement will certainly improve the efficiency of a countries decision making process.

Political situation in a country will directly contribute to the development of a country. Independent decision making process will facilitate regulatory bodies to avoid red tape and expedite the development process of the country.

Therefore professionals are required to make decisions based on the country’s requirements. Supply Chain professional should take leadership when it comes to spending money for large projects provided that they are rightly selected for the job. It is proven that large sum of money is wasted in many projects due to wrong buying and total malpractices in the supplier selection process. In certain countries red tape is introduced to control the activities based on likes and dislikes of controlling bodies.

If the systems are simplified it is difficult for certain controlling parties to survive.

Also it is required to understand the importance of control when it comes to malpractices etc,

6. How the Geographical, Weather, and Natural Disasters contributes to SCM function.

Geographical differences, Weather, and Natural disasters also contributes to the development of a country.

Most of the Asia Pacific countries are having very favourable weather as per the geographical situation. It vastly contributes to Agriculture sector of a country.

It is also very important to mention that Tectonic Belt covers countries such as Philippines etc, and natural disasters are unavoidable at any given time.

In this context SCM function has a leading role to play in such conditions to development of such countries.

7. Multi-Cultural and Multi-Lingual and Multi Religious Societies will contribute to SCM function in many ways.

Multi-Cultural population has its own cultural behaviours and this contributes very positively to the development of respective economies.

Culture of respective nation too has given a lot of help to keep the Happiness Index of the population high and maintain the discipline.

Respect for elders of Asians too has contributed to growth.

Multi-Lingual societies will have great strength to serve in many different situations very strongly.

Multi-Religious population will always adopt the good as against the bad by experiencing the situations. It also could work negatively if the literacy level of the general public is low.

In fact religions they follow also contributed to the growth due to the origination of principles in life styles.

The complexity of the region contributes largely for SCM functions. The different knowledge and experience will always be promulgated to expand the SCM functions.

All member countries appreciated the submission of the paper and presentation from Sri Lanka and commended.

Further Perera said that next Asia Pacific council meeting will be held in Sunday September 30 2012 in Toronto, Canada and Global Summit will be held in 2013 in Thailand.

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