When Rare Holdings initiated an intensive evaluation of the available and suitable ERP systems on the market, it was somewhat surprised when HansaWorld emerged as the leading contender, given that it had not previously heard of their solution. But it was soon satisfied that the internationally recognised vendor was up to the task.

A company which began operations in 1976, Rare Holdings is engaged in the supply of pipes, valves and fittings, and supply chain and project management, in the water, petrochemical and process industries.
Financial director Pierre Willemse explains that on the back of strong growth, the organisation sought a company-wide ERP solution to meet current management and efficiency requirements, and to cater for projected growth into the future. “Choosing an ERP solution is no trivial task. It is a project which will affect the company from the short term and for a long time into the future,” he notes.
With so much at stake, he says the company appointed iPlan, a firm of industrial engineers, to conduct a complete analysis of Rare’s requirements for the present and the next five years. iPlan created a blueprint, and sent that to 8 top ERP vendors.
“One of those 8 was a dark horse called HansaWorld. When the proposals from the vendors came back, iPlan assessed a range of capabilities, including staff, support, footprint and other resources, and the capabilities of the proposed solution itself. The very comprehensive analysis pointed to the dark horse as having the best solution for our needs,” Willemse says.
What stood out about HansaWorld’s Enterprise when compared carefully against solutions from the best ERP vendors in the world, Willemse asserts, was functionality, price, performance and implementation time. “HansaWorld provides the new generation of software-based best practices which are capable of meeting the needs of a diverse company at a lower cost,” he says.
Providing insight into Rare Holdings and its need for a modern ERP solution, Willemse says the company has an existing business software solution which is some 15 years old. “During that time, we purchased two subsidiaries and have three operating entities. Phenomenal growth means we have outgrown the old system; we also want to structure the organization into a single entity to create comprehensive sales, stock ordering, reconciliations and financial management strategies.”
With a turnover approaching R1-billion and what he describes as a cash consumptive business, he says a modern ERP solution is expected to improve stock management and debtor control. “We’re looking to streamline and create efficiencies; we also want better forecasting ability. Scalability from the ERP solution is also very important, as we anticipate reaching a turnover of R2-billion within the next four years.”
Rare Holdings is implementing Enterprise in two phases, with the first scheduled for completion on 1 August and the second finishing just three months later at the end of October. Willemse says the first phase is the implementation of ‘standard’ functionality, while specialized requirements will be addressed in the second. “It is a very short timeframe, but that lets us get down to business very quickly. We’re confident that this new system will provide the support necessary as we take our business on a continued growth trajectory,” he concludes.