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MFP Group set sights on management excellence

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A major importer and distributor of consumer goods ranging from music and movies to cameras, electronic games, TV sets, sound systems and GPS navigation products, MFP Holdings is committed to using technology as a means of streamlining and improving its financial and corporate administration and performance.

Based at Bedfordview, MFP Holdings contracted branded business and technology solutions provider Lorge to implement an Accpac ERP 500 accounting software solution operating within a VPN and LAN environment that extends the solution to its seven subsidiary companies and operational divisions.
MFP Holdings group financial controller Andries de Jager says that in South Africa demand for music remains strong compared to other countries with the upswing in Afrikaans music boosting total music sales.
MFP is a contraction of Music For Pleasure and MFP Entertainment, an operating division, focuses on the music industry. MFP Entertainment distributes more than 10 000 movie and music titles in the form of CDs and DVDs to about 1 700 retail outlets countrywide every week, including the Mass Retail Stores as well as into Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho.
JNC Datumtech has the licence to import all JNC electronic equipment and distribute it in South Africa. The range includes TVs, hi-fi and sound systems, DVD, MP3 and MP4 players as well as GPS equipment.
“The operations of these two subsidiaries alone create a complex data set for incorporation into our financials,” says de Jager. “And there’s a lot more …”
The MFP warehouse division, called Route To Market, manages the group warehouse as a separate profit centre and has service agreements with the other companies. Its financial data is integrated into Accpac via the VPN.
M-PiX, another operating division of MFP, distributes Kodak cameras, photographic papers, consumables, printers and related products in South Africa and also runs a service centre. De Jager says Accpac’s Service Manager module will be implemented at M-PiX to control the service centre and its processes and the financials will also integrate into the group Accpac system.
The Accpac ERP 500 system was installed and commissioned recently and De Jager says specialised modules other than Service Manager are also being considered to build upon the core package of General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Purchase Orders, Order Entry and Cashbook.
Another subsidiary is AdWorx, a specialist above- and below-the-line advertising agency based in Johannesburg that uses a special agency operational software package designed for account management which is now integrated into the Accpac ERP system via the VPN to generate reports and accounts for MFP Holdings.
A specialist merchandising company that stocks, packs and prices consumer merchandise such as music and toys for various retail organisations, MWorks, is also integrated into the Accpac solution via the VPN for all invoicing and inventory. MI Digital is another subsidiary, focused on the gaming industry and distributes MS-based X-Box 360 hardware and software. The company is also the distributor for other gaming publishers across all platforms. These publishers include BVG, Vivendi, THQ and others.
“The group has diversified considerably,” says de Jager. “We needed a financial and accounting software solution that would operate and standardise our accounts across the group. We approached Lorge for guidance in arriving at the best solution. In just three months we were able to produce group management accounts and financial results and reports within five days of month end. I expect this to improve further as we become more familiar with the Accpac system.”  
MFP Holdings is able to download data from Accpac into MS Excel using a template produced by Lorge in Accpac that enables the company to generate the reports that it needs in formats best suited to company requirements.
“A full set of month-end management accounts constitutes a large document and we are confident, having seen what Accpac is capable of, that we can improve our accounts and reports even further,” adds de Jager.
“As we become more proficient there will be opportunities to streamline our accounting functions. The group has achieved major growth in a short period and is fully committed to using technology to ensure that we have checks and balances, internal controls and quick, accurate management information at our disposal as and when we need it.”
De Jager says the conversion to Accpac went well and the overall transition was smooth thanks to Lorge services manager Jurgens Snyman and his team. “The users are very happy with it as Accpac reflects a huge improvement on the system that was in place before and I believe the training conducted by Lorge has played an important role too.”