To drive greater efficiency, improved strategic decision-making and faster stock turn-around time across its branches in Zimbabwe, Nano Appliance Centre, a leading supplier of household appliances and goods, has implemented SAP Business One OnDemand, SAP’s flagship cloud-based business process offering.
Simanga Madhlabuta, business development manager at Nano Appliance Centre, says that since launching its first store last year, Nano Appliance Centre has experienced rapid growth. The company has subsequently opened six additional branches across Zimbabwe as the demand for leading international brands of appliances and household goods continues to outstrip supply.
Within a few months of operation, Nano Appliance Centre requirements had outgrown the existing accounting software solution. Procurement and inventory management databases captured in spreadsheets at the regional branches were not in sync with the overall customer requirements of the business.
Capturing stock and sales information manually from various departments at each branch became a time and resource-consuming process, with stock sitting idle at regional branches that could be sold in other stores that were just a few hundred kilometres away.
“The accounting solution vendor in place could not meet the new requirements to scale to such a system,” says Madhlabuta.
Nano Appliance Centre’s management looked at various IT solutions that would enable all branches to have access to a centralised cloud-based data repository with real-time inventory visibility and pricing structures throughout the various divisions.
The organisation also needed tools such as sales reporting, inventory management and forecasting functionality that would allow executives to manage each store’s requirements effectively.
The preferred solution would have to underpin Nano Appliance Centre’s business growth strategies for its premium range of products in different regions of the country. Remote real-time access, cost-effective scalability and simplified IT infrastructure management were also key factors in choosing a solution.
“After reviewing other products, SAP Business One OnDemand was the only solution that fulfilled all the criteria. The fact that this solution sits in the cloud means that it could be deployed quickly with all the functionality we required and without any additional IT infrastructure or downtime,” says Madhlabuta.
“SAP has an excellent reputation and vast experience in almost every industry sector of any size, and Nano Appliance Centre’s environment required very little customisation, thereby reducing outside consultation fees. Additionally, by implementing SAP Business One on Demand we are able to control our costs with one payment that covers software, service and support.”
SAP Certified Partner, Devoted Business Solutions (DBS), a subsidiary of Twenty Third Century Systems and a small to medium business (SME) solutions provider in Zimbabwe, deployed the country’s first SAP Business One OnDemand installation and provided training to key staff at Nano Appliance Centre.
DBS’ local flavour of the solution, dubbed Cumulus, is cost-effective way for Zimbabwean SMEs to streamline their operations, increase agility and business insight with a complete integrated, on-demand cloud business process offering. It brings rich functionality of SAP Business One to Nano Appliance Centre.
Madhlabuta says the new system has been central to Nano’s growth, lowering operational costs at each branch while improving the company’s sales staff commission model based on their performance. Additionally, Cumulus has delivered better efficiency and decision making, as Nano can now make a decision on product lines not doing well within seconds.
This has helped boost sales for slow-moving items at particular branches and improved stock turn-around time.
“Cumulus also allows us to recognise new opportunities as they arise and act on them timeously to better serve our customers. To date we are extremely satisfied with the results,” he adds.
Pfungwa Serima, the chief executive officer of SAP Africa, says companies in the SMB sector are increasingly demanding more flexible and agile computing models that leverage in-memory technology, mobility and the cloud – and only SAP has the assets to effectively deliver this.
“Many companies remain uncertain about the Cloud and the value it can deliver, especially in Africa. But SAP’s message is clear: You can have your cloud, your way in real time, with a beautiful user experience, from the trusted leader in enterprise business solutions. And you can use it to transform your business and run like never before,” says Serima.