How does a South African MedTech company enable a far-reaching and long-term growth plan to enable it to compete effectively in the €110-billion global medical technology market? For one of South Africa’s oldest and most established MedTech leaders, the answer lay in a market-leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that can support it as it scales through acquisitions and aggressive growth.
The Vertice MedTech Group (VMTG) is a supplier of specialised medical devices and services in the fields of cardiology, neurology, wound care and spinal surgery. Vertice was born from a partnership between Amayeza Abantu, a leading MedTech provider that was started in 1998, and Ethos Private Equity, earlier in 2018. Amayeza Abantu, meaning ‘medicine for the people’ in isiXhosa, was renowned for its ability to deliver specialist, quality, state-of-the-art medical technology and skills transfer.
In October 2018, VMTG concluded a deal in which it acquired a majority share in Haemotec, now extending its reach into the haematology space. VTMG now supplies high-quality, high-performing products for the processing of blood, blood components and other human and laboratory fluids. During blood transfusions, donor and patient compatibility are improved by the use of reagents and instrumentation systems. Today, the business employs 146 staff and conducts business in South Africa as well as across Sub-Saharan Africa through an export division.
According to Heinrich Heyl, chief financial officer of Vertice Healthcare, the company’s vision is to become the pre-eminent South African MedTech group. “The Vertice MedTech Group has an ambitious ‘build-and-buy’ strategy with a view to forming a leading consolidated African medical technology group. In January 2017, we realised that we had outgrown our accounting system and that we needed a powerful ERP system to enable our vision. After investigating several SME-focused ERP systems, we settled on SAP BusinessOne.”
SAP BusinessOne is an intelligent ERP system designed for the SME sector. It provides business owners with financial management, sales and customer management, business intelligence, analytics, purchasing control, and reporting capabilities to enable them to make smarter decisions.
According to Heyl, improved inventory management was a core demand of the new ERP system. “We wanted to improve the tracking of serialised and batch numbers for our products, as well as the analysis of expiry dates of soon-to-expire products. In addition, we needed specific authorisations across different divisions built into the system to manage our rapid growth, and to enable barcoding for each product to help us meet customer requirements. SAP BusinessOne enabled us to build in specific operational controls to manage the business better, and significantly improved our inventory management.”
Heyl says VTMG now has standardised templates, chart of accounts, and blueprints across all companies within the group. These blueprints will be rolled out to each new acquisition as the business executes on its ‘build-and-buy’ strategy. “We received excellent support from our experienced and highly recommended implementation partner Bluekey Seidor who ensured our systems can scale as we implement our aggressive growth strategy. SAP BusinessOne will form the backbone of our organisation and is a core component of our digitisation that is designed to dramatically increase our efficiency and profitability.”
According to Jade Michael, head of SAP BusinessOne at SAP Africa, the customer now has a powerful digital platform that will support and drive the company’s growth and enable it to achieve its ambitious growth targets. “SAP BusinessOne is designed to support 21st century SMEs who wish to compete effectively in the digital age. By integrating all operations to an industry-leading ERP system, Vertice MedTech Group has simplified and streamlined its operations while enhancing cross-company value and efficiencies.”