CFO Phillipe Prodhomme reveals how Axian Group bolstered its procurement process

By partnering with Oxalys, Axian was able to ensure the integrity and traceability of its procurement process.

As a pan-African conglomerate, Axian Group has presence in five industries with high growth potential, namely real estate, telecoms, finance, energy, as well as open innovation and fintech.

Headquartered in Antananarivo, Madagascar, the group has operations in six countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean, with disparate IT systems to manage its operations across Africa. As a result, the Axian Group was looking at implementing the Oxalys digital procurement solution across its operations and subsidiaries to consolidate its procurement process.

Making the procurement chain a pillar of development in Africa
Group CFO Phillipe Prodhomme says that Axian is experiencing strong growth across Africa in strategic sectors like telecoms and energy, which require the group to take up strategic challenges in terms of supply chain, notably by guaranteeing the responsiveness and the integrity of its procurement chain, from sourcing to payment of supplier invoices. “We are developing our activities in Africa because they create growth and development there. We help ensure the technological and financial inclusion of inhabitants by intervening in these strategic sectors.”

He explains that the company already uses several ERP systems in its subsidiaries which have procurement features, but remain limited and don’t make it possible to ensure the integrity of the procurement process. “We quickly chose to centralise the management or our procurement processes while developing an interface with all of our ERP systems to have greater visibility.”

Phillipe adds that the idea with the Oxalys digital procurement solution is also to ensure end-to-end supplier self-care and to have a common supplier database for all the subsidiaries to have a common reference system.

Finding the right partner
In mid-2017, Axian Group launched a request for information (RFI) to identify potential suppliers capable of enabling the company to improve the maturity of its procurement process.

Phillipe says that, in the RFI, they identified the potential offered by procurement solutions and one in particular caught the team’s attention: Oxalys, which could provide them with much broader functional coverage to ensure a high level of traceability throughout the procurement process, dematerialise flows, optimise validation processes, provide suppliers with a service platform to better communicate with them and ensure better control of workflows.

“We decided to take a leap forward in innovation and equip ourselves with a complete suite that meets our challenges, and more in the future,” he adds.

Rolling out the new solution
Given the size of the group’s operation, with branches in Madagascar, Senegal and Togo, the IT teams had to work with the Oxalys team of consultants prior to the project being rolled out. Phillipe explains that the consultants organised workshops with the group’s IT teams to precisely define Axian’s needs. “The solution was deployed in the Towerco of Madagascar subsidiary of the group, the lead company of the Tower Companies in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. It was implemented by the business units and the financial IS project manager with a great deal of determination and involvement, which led to the successful deployment of the pilot and the other subsidiaries.”

Currently, six companies and 100 users are already using the solution via a shared service centre. The group has also eliminated the use of paper in its procurement process, and requisitions and invoices are now automatically reconciled. “We have made our procurement flows more reliable and gained in productivity and transparency thanks to the excellent traceability and automation offered by the Oxalys solution,” he says.

Axian Group is now entering the second phase of the rollout with information and education on the benefits of the solution to increase the buy-in from the rest of the organisation. “Eventually, we will have more than 200 users and the extension to Telma and Jovena, our two largest subsidiaries,” Phillipe adds.

The group also plans to introduce mobility with the possibility of placing orders and approvals on mobile terminals on construction sites, more advanced reporting, a single database, advanced supplier scoring, and the extension to Telma and Jovena, with the ultimate aim of having an aligned and global finance procurement vision.