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Are manufacturing businesses ready for digital transformation and automation?

Are manufacturing businesses ready for digital transformation and automation?

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In the last few months, there has been a lot of talk about the 4th Revolution or “Industry 4.0” – an exciting new chapter in the playbook of manufacturing. But, is your business ready for the digital transformation that will need to take place in order for you to maximise your opportunities? Or are you at risk of dropping the ball?

 

In Africa, it’s been a slow, gruelling process for companies as they start to adopt technologies that transform traditional production processes. But momentum is building quickly as companies realise that this is the way the game is going to be played. Whether you’re prepared or not, it’s happening and companies need to be fully prepared for automated production systems by integrating key functionalities and processes now – or risk being left behind.

 

The new rules of play being introduced by Industry 4.0 presents a world of infinite possibilities which are changing the very nature of manufacturing. Business owners need to make sense of cloud computing, Big DATA, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and smart robotics. These new technologies not only to help drive down costs and improve efficiency, but also increase productivity, have real-time data analysis and increase competitiveness.

 

Automating and integrating workflow has immense benefits, such as real-time insights to make informed business decisions and managing stock and finances effectively – ensuring your plays are always better than your competitors’. Specialised software is needed to integrate work processes to increase outputs. For example, SAP Business One for Manufacturing will automatically detect when stock reaches the set warning threshold, and will then process an order to replenish the stock, send a notification to the finance component and issue purchase orders – all without any human intervention.  Technology can also help the manufacturing industry to understand customers better and get a clearer picture of not only what they want, but how often they want it and where they want it. Getting it right means greater profitability and loyal customers.

 

Embracing technological evolution means that you can streamline the entire manufacturing process, from production scheduling to purchasing and logistics, so you can outperform the competition. Just think of a world where every item that customers order online can be customised en masse with the help of advanced and automated configuration with 24 hour personalised production.

 

So, how ready is your business when it comes to adapting to new technologies? The 4th Revolution in Manufacturing is here and is forcing companies to ensure that they have BMT (Big Match Temperament) to stay relevant. The good news is that you don’t have to be the expert in the room. When it comes to software integration, big data, cloud and cyber-security it’s best to hire the experts, with the best coaches, who know the intricacies and advantages of integrating your business to prepare for these smart technologies.

 

It’s time to prepare and implement software that can transform your business, team and bottom line. If not, your competitors might just run right over you before you can say “offside”.

Pack a punch with SAP Business One’s Medical Distribution Software

Pack a punch with SAP Business One’s Medical Distribution Software

medical distribution.jpgThe medical distribution industry is a fiercely competitive market that leaves no room for errors. In this ring, you have to be constantly on your toes. Any distribution error made is an opportunity for competitors to capitalise. Bouncing back from non-delivery in this market is tough… And may eventually leave you out cold.

So how do you keep fighting fit in the medical distribution game? How do you make sure you’re a current contender? How do you bob-and-weave around the complexities of inventory, supply chain management, forecasting and reporting?

Bluekey Seidor has devised a tactical plan specifically for you with SAP Business One for the Medical Distribution industry. Our affordable solution, that integrates distribution processes with financial management and operational requirements, is the first step in keeping you toe-to-toe with your competitors. Our package combines financials, operations, sales, reporting, demand planning, complete supply chain management and warehousing, all accessed in real-time across all divisions of your business. The end result? Operational excellence leading to a knockout win.

We understand that distribution is an extremely tough industry, marked by ever-changing supply and demand. In the four main areas of medical distribution: Emergency, Chronic, Acute and Seasonal Care, on-time delivery of products is of paramount importance. If your stock is not on hand in an emergency or when acute care supplies are needed, your competitors’ will be. If you haven’t managed to roll with the punches of fluctuating chronic care supply, you’ll be blind-sided. And if you aren’t able to anticipate seasonal medical trends, such as flu shots in winter or allergy medicines in spring, your contestants will step up deliver a low blow. Optimal functionality is therefore key for any agile distribution business.

SAP Business One for Medical Distribution offers you just that. With our superior software, you’ll be able to forecast, track, integrate and automate key distribution processes and products, avoiding delivery glitches that can be so devastating for business and patients alike. A consistent, reliable, on-time distribution chain makes the process smooth from start to finish, leading to customer satisfaction and, ultimately, increased profitability for your business.

We’ve pinpointed the five key functions that are vital to the success of any distribution chain and areas that your business should be prioritising:

  • Reporting
  • Integration
  • Traceability
  • Forecasting
  • Automation

When these processes are firmly in place, distribution is a cinch. When they aren’t, mishaps are inevitable. Our solution offers you the full package, helping you to maximise functionality and hit back with a combination punch. This combination includes: inventory management and calibration; greater visibility and improved traceability across the board; insight into customers’ preferences and buying patterns; stock tracking and forecasting; order-to-cash management; and the ability to streamline processes for maximum efficiency.

In the end, the benefits of SAP Business One for Medical Distribution will speak for itself… You’ll be able to enjoy reduced costs and immediate ROI, streamline order-to-cash processing, be afforded the all-round ease and functionality of automation, reduce invested capital and ultimately improve profit margins. Is your business ready to take the gloves off and be a contender in the industry?

If you pull punches in your business decisions, someone else will come out swinging. Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t let your guard down and let upstarts upset you. Be a challenger with Bluekey Seidor and SAP Business One for Medical Distribution as your cornerman.

*As the most successful and fastest growing SAP Business One Partner in Africa, Bluekey Seidor enjoys a reputation for on-time delivery of complex, as well as simple, integrated business management solutions for small to medium enterprises.

For more information on the Medical Distribution solution go to www.bluekeyseidor.com/medical-distribution

 

Field Service Integration – Where technology meets humanity

Field Service Integration – Where technology meets humanity

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The world is moving forward faster than ever. To stay in the game, you have to stay connected. And in order to stay connected, you have to be on top of technology. We live in a time where everything’s at the touch of a button and systems are integrated, instant and constantly upgraded. Customers expect no less. If you don’t keep up, your business will fall behind.

Yet, in all our cyber conversations, the connection we crave has always been, and always will be, ultimately human. This is where the face-to-face interaction of field service agents with customers becomes vitally important. Why? Because customers, and their service experience, determine the success and viability of a business, now more so than ever.

Bluekey Seidor brings a solution that uses technology to bring about that very human element – new school technology coupled with old school heart. We’ve incorporated the latest software to keep you constantly connected to field agents, helping them to engage with customers as you would like them to, with all the information they need to give customers service beyond expectation.

Introducing Field Service Solution – designed for success in service

We all want good service and we all want to be treated well, especially when we’re paying for it. But good service doesn’t just happen, nor is it the responsibility of just one team or division. Building a culture of service is a strategic move. Our latest offering helps you implement this service action plan in a flexible, mobile, real-time and exceptionally user-friendly package. Our software gives you the ability to set up feedback loops (to gather data and improve products and service), offers real-time insights into customers and equipment, integrates IoT information and allows technicians to communicate both with management and each other. In essence, it brings customers, service centres, field technicians and management onto the same page, making for better, faster, more efficient field service, and ultimately, happier customers.

 

So let’s measure the impact of our Field Services Solution:

 

Customer Benefits with integrated field service management

Customers today are savvy. They know what they want, and they want it when they want it. This means that field technicians, not management or executives, are in the hot seat to keep customer satisfaction ratings high. They are the touchpoint where technology and humanity meet.

With our Services Solution, field teams will have access to the skills, parts, tools, and insight necessary to resolve every issue the first time they interact with a customer. Quick solutions, transparency and self-service are the new measurements of success in the mind of customers, and our package enables you to offer just that.

 

Field Technicians Benefits

With Bluekey Seidor, field technicians are able to go paperless and improve profitability through technology and service quality. We like to think of it as moving from the “clipboard” to the “smart phone”. Instead of using the out-dated method of collating information manually, data can be entered on site, customer comments can be added there and then, or parts can be ordered on the spot. Instead of the old-school rigidity a clipboard denotes with delayed turnaround times and resolutions, the smart technology we offer is adaptable, accessible, mobile and instant. Moving from the Hi-Fi to the Wi-Fi age, gives technicians the ability to have informed conversations with customers and ensure that they fix the issue at hand on the first visit.

 

Service Centre Benefits

With our software, service centres are afforded better overview, more structure and closer connection. When scheduling service calls and technicians manually, it’s impossible to account for everything. Bluekey Seidor makes it simple, eliminating return visits and no-shows by improving service information management. Automating dispatch puts everyone on the same page in real-time, while both field and office workers have the information they need to open and close client jobs on the spot. In turn, an “upgraded” service centre will cut costs and improve customer loyalty and satisfaction.

 

Management Benefits

Our innovative Field Service Solution gives the entire management team the tools to maximize profitability and reduce daily expenses, by linking process-optimisation with improved customer satisfaction. When it comes down to it, our package is designed to help you build a better business service model, expand into new markets, and, ultimately, bring you success.

 

So isn’t it time to pack away the LP’s, video machines, ballpoint pens and exam pads, and take hold of all the possibility the age of technology has to offer? Isn’t it time to go techno, not retro? Field Service Solutions has just what you need to keep your business on the cutting edge, while never cutting relational ties with customers.

 

* Bluekey Seidor is rated the No.1 SAP Business One Partner in Africa and forms part of a global network of companies. Bluekey Seidor has helped more than 300 enterprises across the continent run their businesses better. Our extensive experience in Africa ensures the best possible Field Service outcome for your business.

Technology equals streamlined production and profits for Abattoirs

Technology equals streamlined production and profits for Abattoirs

Since the start of the business back in the 1970s, Ramburg Beef has been through many changes. These include the deregulation of the meat industry in the 1980s, ownership changes and drastic technological developments.

SAP Business One Abattoir SoftwareIn order to outsmart and stay ahead of the competition, Ramburg Beef needed to embrace change, not resist it. This included researching technology-based systems to improve production efficiency and financial management. Other identified challenges that could be answered through business intelligence software are a lack of traceability, real-time insight into workstation output and inefficient workstation tracking.

According to Clyde Langenberg, financial manager of Ramburg Beef, ‘There were three areas we wanted to address to take our business to the next level. Traceability of stock (from feedlot to retailer), improved access to information and a fully integrated production, sales and accounting system.’

No traceability of production and sales systems meant that management was unable to gain accurate and real-time data to make informed business decisions. Manual integration and spreadsheets between the company and the software also took up valuable manpower and opened the door for human error.

Using Abattoir software as a platform for increased production output and greater profit margins

 

Their technological transformation came in the form of SAP Business One Abattoir software– a product developed by SAP from the ground up specifically for the needs and requirements of SME’s, and implemented by Bluekey Seidor South Africa.

Improved stock management, full financial integration, complete stock/sales traceability, reduced requirement for manual inputs, and real-time reporting were some of the benefits experienced by Ramburg Beef. ‘When looking at the cost implications of not having these processes in place, it quickly became clear that we made the correct decision. The way we see it is better control = improved productivity = increased sales,’ Langenberg notes.

Converting to the SAP Business One solution was a challenge for Ramburg Beef as there was a complete mind-shift that needed to happen. There were also hardware constraints that, once implemented, put them on par with major global brands. Bluekey Seidor worked alongside Ramburg to provide solutions to the challenges it faced.

Langenberg concludes, ‘SAP Business One and Ramburg Beef have a mutually beneficial future where we have provided the red meat abattoir market with a “better” integrated system and ground-breaking access to information.’ The return on investment is measured by the speed and precision of the production process which protects margins.

Stepping Up with SAP Business One Retail

Stepping Up with SAP Business One Retail

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Does your retail business have two left feet? Are you trying to work off multiple, non-integrated systems, leaving you stepping on everyone’s toes? Are your distribution, inventory, POS, purchasing and financial management processes all dancing to a different tune? No integration means no access to real-time data. For any enterprise, particularly a growing business, this is hugely problematic and enough to knock you off your feet and out of the game.

 

For retailers in the seasonal sector, it’s imperative that management and technology are in step with each other in order to keep the operation running smoothly, effectively and profitably. Bluekey Seidor has the perfect solution to do just that and help you put your best foot forward in the retail arena.

SAP Business One Retail for Apparel, Accessories, and Footwear is an end-to-end business management system with retail-specific functionality that gives you the full capabilities of management, planning, analytics, POS and customer management.

 

Because SAP Business One Retail is a fully integrated ERP, it’s able to provide you with real-time insight into your entire business. Real-time data means better and more informed decision-making. It also allows you to think on your feet, helping you make up-to-the-minute decisions, while keeping your finger on ever-changing trends that are part and parcel of the retail world. Moreover, with globalisation and fast turnaround times nipping at your heels, it is essential to have cohesive, accurate and current information in order to project properly.

 

The SAP Business One Retail solution has a number of other key features that will streamline your business and keep your competitors on their toes. The solution offers greater visibility across all departments, giving management the power at head office to have complete control over data, access and operations at stores, while offering retailers a secure, customisable, flexible, scalable and integrated solution. Optimised inventory control and replenishment with stock visibility across the entire retail chain, makes for faster, more accurate and automated order processing and quicker inventory turnover. A complete on- and off-line trading functionality means that your system keeps on working without interruption, while the POS solution has built-in flexibility to offer single- or multi-site, and single or multi-terminal capability. These essential features, packaged in a touchscreen interface that gives you a customisable and professional look, will allow your enterprise to step into new and greater business territory.

 

Warwick Hopcroft, Sales Director at Bluekey Seidor says, “Our solutions are fully integrated, but we also understand that our mobile apps may need to function on- or off-line, and that the POS terminals can only go down when the store closes, not when the line drops. It’s what our customers want.”

 

He adds that “the solution is designed to meet the specific needs of SME retailers with anything from 2 to upwards of 300 till points, and set-up can range from a single multi-till store to a multi-branch or franchised environment. The SAP Business One retail software gives management the power at head office to have complete control over data, access and operations at stores – and provides retailers with a secure, customisable, flexible, scalable and integrated solution that helps overcome inefficiencies, assists in business process optimisation and provides enhanced, timely management information.”

 

At the heart of retail is the customer. In fact, they are the hub around which the wheel of retail turns. For this reason, it’s crucial to wait on your customers hand and foot, so to speak. But how do you do that in the retail world? It’s all about giving them a positive, interactive, consistent and slick shopping experience at every touch-point. SAP Business One Retail will help you step up your game, with comprehensive CRM and loyalty programmes, allowing you to manage customer communication, gain deeper insight into customer buying patterns and keep them coming back to your stores. Fast, easy and accurate transaction-processing will enhance the customer’s shopping experience, while requiring minimal staff training. Moreover, the power of rapid processing and ease-of-use, allows your business to focus on exactly what it should be focusing on…Your customers’ needs, instead of trying to crisis-manage the pitfalls of a non-integrated system.

 

But what about the bottom-line? Surely such a comprehensive package will come at a cost too high for growing SME’s? Absolutely not! SAP Business One is designed specifically for SME’s, ensuring you don’t have to foot a huge bill, while gaining a fully comprehensive, functional system that does not place extra overhead or burden on your business. Rather, it gives you the opportunity to focus on profitability.

 

In the end, what retail footprint do you want to leave behind? What experience and interaction do you want customers to walk away with? How do you see your company growing? What sort of lasting impact do you want to make? And is a non-integrated system your Achilles’ heel to achieving all that?

 

Then don’t drag your feet. Step out. Step up. And step into the fully integrated world of optimised operations, boosted productivity and increased revenue that is SAP Business One Retail.

 

Bluekey Seidor is rated as the number one, fastest growing SAP Business One Partner in Africa, specialising in the implementation, consulting, support, and extension of SAP Business One enterprise resource planning. It also forms part of the global network of its parent company Seidor, one of the world’s largest and most successful SAP Business One partners.

High-speed analytics and supercharged performance with SAP HANA

High-speed analytics and supercharged performance with SAP HANA

A major challenge for growing businesses is to access real-time information quickly when crucial business decisions need to be made. This can be like looking for a needle in a haystack when the information is buried in a myriad of data.

The good news for SMEs is that the affordable SAP Business One version of SAP HANA is now available which combines a broad range of functionality into an integrated computing platform, including high-speed analysis of massive volumes of data.

SAP HANA for SAP Business One also speeds up processing times and supercharges application performance, allowing business transactions to be completed quicker than ever before and making them available for analysis the second they are recorded.

From analysing product categories through to complex resource planning, it searches through information in real time and delivers the relevant data into SAP Business One.

This speeds up planning cycles, sales initiatives, production and other business processes and allows interactive reports to be generated in seconds, enabling real-time insights to boost profits.

SAP HANA for SAP Business One also provides the ability to access, replicate, move or synchronise data from any source for a complete view of the business.

Bluekey and SAP HANAThis powerful solution brings big business technology to smaller businesses, enabling them to optimise all their business processes, improve financial performance, increase profit margins, improve customer service, solve complex problems, and mitigate risk by identifying anomalies in their data.

Businesses implementing the through Bluekey Seidor can also enjoy the benefit of choosing whether to install it on their own IT infrastructure or access it via a cloud platform. With the cloud option the solution is hosted on Bluekey Seidor’s IT infrastructure and businesses use it on a monthly rental basis, with a choice of service plan options.

Bluekey Seidor is rated as the number one, fastest growing SAP Business One Partner in Africa. It also forms part of the global network of its parent company Seidor, one of the world’s largest and most successful SAP Business One partners.

Whether businesses decide to run the SAP Business One version of SAP HANA in-house or in the cloud, they can access and manage all of its functionality through highly visual and contextual dashboards that are embedded in the familiar SAP Business One screens. These dashboards show the actual current situation as well as historical information such as trends or customer insights. For example, when a customer’s name is entered into a sales order screen a side panel opens up showing the products most often purchased by that customer, enabling sales people to make recommendations at the point of sale.

Other powerful benefits of the solution include real-time insights into current inventory, ordered stock, replenished stock and stock being delivered. This enables immediate action to be taken such as reserving current stock for future delivery and rescheduling existing orders to optimise product movement.

An advanced cash-flow forecasting tool also dramatically improves cash balance visibility by tracking sales orders, purchase orders, down payments, recurrent postings, and other critical cash-related transactions.

SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA is fully scalable, easily handling escalating volumes of data as more users access the software at the same time. So even if a business accumulates huge amounts of data, it can still run highly complex and data-intensive analyses in real time.

With its advanced capabilities, SAP HANA for SAP Business One is helping tens of thousands of small and medium size businesses to grow quickly and profitably worldwide.

The benefits of using the solution through Bluekey Seidor’s cloud service include zero capital costs, fewer IT overheads, automatic security and software updates, backups and virus protection. Data is securely stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere on any user device that is connected to the internet, and security and licence fees are included in the monthly rental.