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RSPH Case Study:  Why You Need ERP

May 2019 – RSPH Case Study: Why You Need ERP

How many people even know what an ERP System does? Very basically it’s a business process management system that makes your life easier by giving you accurate and real-time information about your resources including time, people, machinery and products. ERP systems allow a company to use a set of integrated elements to manage and interpret data about product planning, costing, work-flow processes, scheduling, machinery utilisation, labour optimisation etc.

If you think your business is running ‘just fine’ on spreadsheets, think again. ERP facilitates information flow across all business functions without duplication of input, and with a clear view of the big picture.  Gerhard Greef, chairman of the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) wrote, “Having proven and validated capability information will make it a lot easier to provide accurate available-to-promise delivery dates and times. Having proven cause-and-effect information available at all levels will improve the ability of sales and customer service agents to inform their customers in advance when things go wrong at plant level.”

And let’s be honest, things DO go wrong at plant level – regularly. This is another reason why you need to have historical and predictive information at your fingertips. However, being able to provide accurate delivery dates to customers is often a more important defining aspect of your relationship than actual costs themselves.

Given that business in Africa seems to be on the upturn, establishing solid relationships with your customers as partners rather than suppliers should ensure a steady stream of orders. One way to ensure that those relationships remain intact is by repeatedly delivering on time. “Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa would grow to $180-billion by 2025, said PwC Capital Projects and Infrastructure Africa leader, Jonathan Cawood. “The African growth story is real. We have gone past the hype cycle.”

To keep the African renaissance alive and well however, the sub-Saharan region requires economic growth above 5% a year; on-time and within-budget procurement; a lack of external shocks, and a growing attraction for private capital while government budgets fall short of meeting infrastructure needs.

Aptean’s Intuitive System affords a complete overview of the planning and scheduling aspects of a business, allowing  decisions to be made based on capacity group overloads, possible bottle-necks at particular machines and work stations timeously. In addition, adjustments can be made to production schedules to accommodate orders during those times when things could go wrong. Being able to inform customers of possible delays in advance (and not on the day of the expected delivery) will go a long way to ensuring that we, as manufacturers, are able to effectively support the African growth cycle long term.

The bottom line therefore is… If we are to be world-class, sustainable and profitable manufacturers, aiming to compete globally to support our own growth locally, we undoubtedly need the right technology and technology-partner to support our businesses. And quite frankly, if you have not already begun to address how technology providers and partners like Aptean and RSPH can unlock the potential of your business, you’re throwing money away.

Caroline Carter – RSPH, Johannesburg

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