The right solution - keeping the wholesale retail industry focused
Business is powered by ambition. According to a recent Circle Research survey, 64% of respondents listed the growth of business and revenue as their most sought after goal. The wholesale and retail sector is no exception, with key business goals including the achievement of growth together with the securing of customer success and improved business operations.
"Yet it is so easy for business owners to be distracted and lose focus, particularly those operating in the SME environment" says Eugene Olivier, Business Development Director, 4most, a leading supplier and implementer of SAP Business One and ERP software and technology, with a specific focus on the wholesale retail market.
"Dealing with day to day operational details can easily prevent business owners from successfully managing and growing their business," continues Olivier. Disparate systems and a lack of integration throughout the business leads to the absence of a holistic and single view, thereby prohibiting business owners from achieving their goals.
And the wholesale retail industry, whilst with its own unique set of challenges, is no different. The need to deliver the right products to the right place, at the right time, is key to business success and customer satisfaction. But it doesn't stop there. "Today's customer is demanding better customer service and wanting to engage with suppliers who are able to almost predict their needs before they do," says Olivier. This in itself, without the right systems in place, can be enormously challenging.
Add to that the importance of inventory management allowing for accurate planning, management and buying of stock together with streamlined processes ensuring efficient control over cash flow whilst maximising profit margins can tip the scales for business owners, rendering it almost impossible to effectively and efficiently manage one's business.
"Another key focus for the wholesale retail industry often includes the expansion of business into new areas, together with the effective control and management of existing multiple branches frequently spread across several geographies," continues Olivier. Together, this clearly highlights the critical need for a single integrated solution. "One that is able to provide clear visibility across the entire business, thereby enabling complete control over every single aspect of operations," adds Olivier.
Such was the case for Cleaning Warehouse, manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of household and general cleaning chemicals, supplying product to both the consumer and industrial cleaning industry. Following significant growth over the last few years, Cleaning Warehouse found itself lacking the necessary IT infrastructure required to support daily operational efficiencies. A cumbersome and inflexible legacy system, lack of integration and minimal automation of business processes was resulting in time intensive data capturing plagued by human error. Coupled with future expansion plans; the need for a holistic, integrated and automated solution able to provide a single view of the business, was critical.
"We had reached a stage where efficiency of the entire operation was at risk," says Danie Flemming, General Manager. To effectively manage day to day operations across manufacturing as well as its wholesale and retail business, Cleaning Warehouse required an integrated ERP system with automated functionality and the flexibility to customise data any way it was needed. After a review of potential vendors, Cleaning Warehouse settled on 4most's SAP Business One Wholesale Retail Solution. "It has provided us with a holistic, integrated and automated solution providing a single view of our business, resulting in effective day to day management of operations," says Flemming. In addition, the fully integrated solution has enabled increased operational efficiencies across all business units and geographies, allowing for streamlined processes and absolute transparency. "It has provided the best functionality and flexibility in terms of meeting our requirements, allowing us to take complete control of our business," he adds.
Sean Kruger, Financial Director, Lombard Tyres agrees. As one of South Africa's largest independent tyre dealers, Lombard Tyres found itself with 20 branches all reporting via separate general ledgers. "We urgently needed to centralise and integrate all accounting, business management and stock control processes, allowing for streamlined operations and better and quicker reporting to management," says Kruger. "SAP Business One from 4most has provided us with full and real-time integration across ground, branch and head office level," continues Kruger. In addition, Lombard Tyres now enjoys greater management visibility allowing for thorough control of operations at all times. A 15% increase in productivity, together with a staggering 90% increase in reporting capability has seen month end processing reduced from 15 days to as little as two days per month. Lombard Tyres is clearly now in complete control of its business. "We are able to report financials almost immediately, with stock control and movement updated in real-time," says Kruger. "The 4most solution, has clearly been the right choice to take us and our business to the next level."
"Whilst we understand that every business, particularly within the wholesale retail industry, is unique and with its own set of requirements, our experience has shown a thread of common business pains impacting this marketplace," says Olivier. SAP Business One for Wholesale Retail, designed with flexibility and tailored to the individual business, is proving itself a highly credible and successful solution to the many operational issues facing this industry.
From ensuring optimal inventory management across product delivery, stock levels and distribution through to customer intelligence, SAP Business One for Wholesale Retail is solving today's challenges, whilst allowing for seamless scalability moving forward. "It is providing our customers with complete control and visibility, not only at head office, but throughout multiple branches and across all key functions including accounting, financial and reporting," says Olivier. "We are confident that our solution is paving the way for business owners to effectively and efficiently streamline business processes, allowing to them to focus almost exclusively on their passion, that of growing their business."
Isuzu Trucks testifies to 4most's EMA powered by SAP Business One
4most, established in 2004, is the number one supplier and implementer of SAP ERP business management solution software and technology solutions. With offices in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Namibia, along with a presence in Zambia and Malawi and a growing footprint in Tanzania, 4most offers a strong base provided by considerable experience and skills accumulated over 25 years.
We have implemented over 3000 SAP Business One users across numerous industries and have supplied services to more than 150 companies, including implementation, support and maintenance. Application modifications of SAP Business One and other ERP software systems have provided tailor-made and innovative solutions, which have created a competitive advantage for numerous businesses in Southern Africa.
4most truly partners with our clients from the very beginning. We have dynamic IT and business specialists, who provide customers with a platform for growth based on best practice and understand the SME-market as well as support functions which include infrastructure support and maintenance, software development and training.
We seek to fully understand our clients business and daily operational processes, we then address their requirements whilst sharing our knowledge and expertise and best advise them of industry standards and best practices. We provide them with a clear project plan detailing roles, responsibilities and timelines and we remain with our clients as they grow and help them to define their future business.
As an SAP Gold Partner, being the first and only partner to establish all-round SAP competency, the consistency of our expertise in business management solutions has earned 4most an award-winning reputation. The company boasts a dedicated client care centre and an in-house training facility for continued care. Our offices include a data centre to facilitate hosted solutions tailored to business specific requirements