Helderberg Retirement Village, on the gentle slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, was recognised as the World’s Best International Retirement Village for 2012-2013. Behind the tranquil setting of the 800-unit village is a focused and active management team that uses the latest technology to drive superior business performance. The reason for this award becomes apparent when one starts to discuss business performance with the CEO Vagn Nielsen.

The Village’s management team implemented Sage 300 ERP (formerly known as Accpac) some years ago to improve its accounting processes. More recently, CEO Vagn Nielsen and his team decided to put in place a reporting solution that would extract information from the ERP platform and other systems and thereby facilitate better decision-making.

Helderberg Village’s challenge echoed recent ITWeb survey of ERP users, which found that 33% had difficulty accessing current data, while 32% found transactional or financial decisions cannot be done in real-time. According to the report: “This is a concerning trend as it clearly shows a disjoint between data that management needs in order to make informed decisions and the data that they have access to or are being presented with”.

Nielsen also realised that Helderberg Village’s growth made it nearly impossible for a single manager to keep track of the organisation’s current status. For that reason, it needed to deploy performance measurement and control systems to give managers better visibility into the latest trends and developments within the business.

Helderberg Village appointed AWCape to design and implement a comprehensive Sage Intelligence system that would unlock the full value of its investment in the Sage ERP system by giving managers access to better management information and reports.

AWCape’s team of industrial engineers, under leadership of divisional director Frans Snyders, defined the business performance metrics for the project and rolled out the Sage Intelligence software over three months. The solution spans all functions and systems at Helderberg including Sage ERP, Sage VIP, DBit Fixed Assets, and a range of security, frail-care and marketing systems.

Says AWCape CEO, Henri Hattingh, “It is important to think outside the box when business performance metrics are defined. The metrics should not be designed according to the capabilities of the ERP system, but rather designed around the information needs of each senior manager in the business”. He adds that AWCape Systems Engineering applied its motto at Helderberg Village:
“No planning, no results. No measurement, no performance”.

Vagn Nielsen says: “By giving management access to current information as and when they needed it, and being able to analyse trends and measure performance, we have instilled a culture of managing by results. This has brought about a massive increase in our business efficiency and performance”.

Many companies today are challenged with trying to access information stored in their enterprise software systems in a timely and meaningful man¬ner,” says Jeremy Waterman, Sage ERP Africa’s Managing Director. “Sage Intelligence is engi¬neered for ease of use and performance, giving managers access to enterprise-wide information, quickly and se¬curely. It is a comprehensive, single Business Intelligence offering that helps compa¬nies of any size improve business performance management.”

Mobility and accessibility are important factors for delivering management reports. For Helderberg Village, AWCape’s simple and cost effective solution made use of Microsoft’s Office Online – enabling delivery of reports to any mobile device. For a sample of the management dashboards created by AWCape’s Systems Engineering team, please click the following link: Dashboard Demo