CraigCor supplier-customer integration with SAP Business One

Supplier-customer integration with SAP Business One created an all-encompassing package for CraigCor Distribution to manage all aspects of their growing business


Sub-Saharan equipment, automation, and process solutions distributor, CraigCor Distribution Co., has increased its distribution efficiency, strengthened its financial controls and gained critical business insights with SAP Business One, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for small and mid-sized businesses (SME).


Known as a dynamic and forward looking business, CraigCor Distribution is in a powerful position to be able to quickly adapt to changes and adopt new technologies to benefit them as the company evolves. As a result they have been able to replicate successful decision by their main supplier to implement a SAP solution.


“The SAP Business One solution we implemented has enabled us to focus our attention on our two core strategies—regional growth and product line growth—in each of our locations,” says Matthew Lingenfelder, Managing Director of CraigCor Distribution Co. “We have also achieved a greater level of inventory control.”


“SAP Business One also provided us with the stable platform we needed to execute our core strategy of regional and product growth by giving us the tools to run remote offices and manage different product lines,” continues Lingenfelder.


CraigCor Distribution Co. is an authorised distributor of Allen Bradley equipment for Rockwell Automation South Africa, as well as the exclusive distributors of Hardy Process Solutions, and Spectrum Controls’ equipment. The Company has serviced the distribution industry for more than 10 years with their culture of innovation. This, combined with its knowledgeable and experienced work-force, has enabled the Company to gain significant traction.


The company made the decision to consider and investigate a new and comprehensive business management system after an array of challenges with its previous systems started holding it back and restricting it from achieving its growth strategies.


“Our previous business system consisted of an accounting-only package, and an Access based CRM tool to track our sales opportunities. Running two separate systems gave rise to an uncontrollable spread of Excel and no integration functionality between financials and CRM.


“As a result of our separate, non-integrated systems we weren’t able to accurately and effectively get information across the various business functions. We needed something that would be able to provide us with a real-time, 360 degree overview of our business to ensure we were delivering service in accordance with our quality policies,” says Lingerfelder.


In addition to the spread-sheet and integration challenges, CraigCor Distribution wanted a system that management would be able to manage and support themselves. They were also looking for a solution that would be able to provide them with some enhancement tools to give them a competitive advantage. Lingerfelder says, “We wanted that little bit extra from the solution, and we were excited by the fact that SAP Business One came standard with tools such as mobility, EDI, alerts, approvals, and remote access.


“As a result of these standard extras we were able to dramatically improve our business efficiency. SAP Business One’s query, alert and approval functionality provides us with a high level of automation and control that improves quality,” continues Lingerfeld.


CraigCor Distribution’s SAP Business One solution was implementation by Bluekey Software Solutions, the best performing SAP Business One Partner in South Africa since 2005. They specialise in the implementation, development, and support of SAP Business One for SME’s throughout Africa. CraigCor was very specific about their needs and expectations, which provided the highly experienced Bluekey consultants to provide them with the solution they needed.


Alex de Ryhove, Director at Bluekey Software Solutions said, “The solution that we implemented for CraigCor Distribution was standard SAP Business One along with the Boyum Usability package, which allowed them to self-implement data validations, layouts, and additional user-defined fields.”


“The solution gave them the ability to review procedures they had in place, for example, the sales process from sales quotes to invoicing, highlighting any procedural changes that needed to take place. Relationship maps were also used to track document flows and make sure that any new procedures were followed, as well as providing management with the 360 degree, real-time insight they needed,” adds de Ryhove.


Upon completion of the newly implemented system, CraigCor Distribution started realising the benefits almost immediately. “We gained immediate access to all our company data across all our branches and departments with the click of a button—something we had never been able to do!


“We have been able to increase overall control of our sales processes by implementing a policy whereby a customer needs to accept and sign off on one milestone before the next process can start. To complement this, we have also enhanced our credit control procedures to give us immediate visibility into customer balances and payments history,” says Lingenfelder.


De Ryhove adds, “previously management was reliant on their bookkeeper to provide them with financial information and answer ad hoc queries. Management can now access the information themselves with no more than a few mouse-clicks. This provided them with an all-round increase in control over their business and allowed them to focus on growing their business.”


When asked about the benefits gained and how Bluekey contributed to the overall success, Lingerfeld said, “the Bluekey team was very committed to the project and took all the necessary steps to ensure that they had a complete understanding of our needs and requirements. They were technically very strong and had a great understanding of the product and how to incorporate our requirements into SAP Business One.”


“As a result of a professional project and implementation team we were able to recover the costs of the implementation within 2 years. We also had a headcount saving of 5 people through the automation of certain roles and relocation of those staff members into areas that needed more work,” concludes Lingerfeld.


SAP Business One is an affordable and easy-to-use business management software solution that enables you to manage critical business functions in a single integrated business management system. With SAP Business One, you can instantly access complete and up-to-the-minute business information, so you can respond to customers faster and grow your business more profitably.


About Bluekey Software Solutions

Bluekey specialises in making SME’s best-run businesses through the sales, implementation, and support of SAP Business One throughout Africa. Bluekey is headquartered in Johannesburg and has branches in Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Bluekey is Africa’s largest SAP Business One provider, a SAP-certified Gold Partner and SAP Africa Partner of the year for SAP Business One 7 years in a row (2005 – 2011), and SAP EMEA Pinnacle Award winner.

For more information about Bluekey Software Solutions contact:

Craig Johnston | 021 685 7000 |

Join the Winning Side: World AIDS Day, celebrating successes in HIV & TB

Bluekey Software Solutions supports the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation on World AIDS Day with an art exhibition at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town

Date: Friday, 30 November
Time: 16h30 for 17h00
Venue: Baxter Theatre Mezzanine Level
Guest Speaker: Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro)


The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) will be celebrating the many successes of HIV prevention, treatment and training in the Western Cape at an event in the Baxter Theatre foyer on Friday 30 November 2012 where South Africa’s leading cartoonist, Jonathan Shapiro, will be the guest speaker. He will be giving an illustrated talk on the journey of HIV in South Africa. A brief promotional video will also be launched, and photographs by Clive Gray taken at the DTHF Youth Centre and other DTHF sites will be on display in the foyer throughout the week.


Jonathan will be introduced by Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the DTHF.


The event is sponsored by Bluekey Software Solutions, a South African IT company. Bluekey recently helped DTHF upgrade their business management systems, embedding best-practice, transparency, control, accountability and reporting to make the Foundation more efficient and more attractive to potential donors.


Bluekey’s NGO and Grant Management solution extension is based on SAP Business One, the world-class solution for SME’s from SAP – the world leader in business management software.


The DTHF is a non-profit company that had its beginnings in the late 1980’s at Somerset Hospital. The Foundation is now affiliated to the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town – where its head office is located. The focus of our work is research into the prevention, treatment, training and management of HIV, TB and related infectious diseases with the goal to find solutions to improve the health of communities that are ravaged by these illnesses in the Western Cape and throughout South Africa.


The Foundation has sites in Gugulethu, Crossroads, Observatory, and Masiphumelele, as well as the DTHF Youth Centre. The DTHF mobile vehicle, the Tutu Tester, has become a familiar site in the townships, and streets of Cape Town.


For more information contact:
Lavinia Crawford-Browne | |021 633 6599


About Bluekey Software Solutions

Bluekey Software Solutions enjoys a reputation for partnering with SME’s to deliver comprehensive business management solutions on-time and within budget. The company is founded on the value proposition that successful implementation of effective processes and controls brings real and tangible benefits to business stakeholders by providing full visibility and driving efficiency, service, profitability and growth.

Bluekey is Africa’s most awarded SAP Business One partner; SAP PartnerEdge Gold status; SAP EMEA Pinnacle Award Winner, SAP Business One Africa Partner-of-the-Year. Our 100+ staff service more than 220 SME’s in SADC and East Africa through full service branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

Bluekey’s NGO and Grant Management solution extends SAP Business One, the world-class business management solution for SME’s from SAP, by optimising the business processes specific to the not-for-profit sector. For more information contact Craig Johnson on +27 21 780700 or


The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s aims to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals, families and communities in Southern Africa through innovation and excellence in research, treatment, training and prevention of HIV related diseases.

The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) developed from the HIV Research Unit at New Somerset Hospital in the early 1990’s. The Unit was acclaimed as one of the first public clinics to offer antiretroviral therapy to those living with HIV.

In January 2004 Professor Robin Wood and Associate Professor Linda-Gail Bekker registered the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation as a Section 21 non profit organisation and established the head office at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.

Supported by Emeritus Archbishop Desmond and Mrs Leah Tutu, the Foundation’s activities include HIV prevention, treatment, and training as well as tuberculosis screening and management among some of the most vulnerable communities of the Western Cape. Pairing community-driven development and internationally acclaimed research, the DTHF envisions a brighter future where HIV is manageable and its presence diminished in South Africa’s communities.


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SAP Business One puts Henkel Kenya one step ahead

SAP Business One puts Henkel Kenya one step ahead

SAP Business One is helping Henkel Kenya modernise its operations and align with the global group’s emphasis on innovation.

Henkel Kenya turned to SAP Business One to help modernise its operations and conform to the Henkel culture of innovation and participation. The introduction of SAP Business One has allowed Henkel Kenya to report, in real time, on all aspects of its operations, enabling informed decision-making, improved financial controls and enhanced materials requirements planning (MRP).

Each year, Henkel KGaA’s 55 000 employees, spread across 75 subsidiaries in multiple countries, are requested to submit two or three innovative ideas. Last year, Henkel Kenya’s collective decision was to use information technology to modernise its operations. The aim was to replace a system that was outdated, and that required the manual generation of vital documents, such as journal vouchers and purchase orders, with a new system that would assist management decisions by giving real-time operational information and eliminate human error resulting from manual input of data.

Henkel wanted a central system powerful enough to automate its critical operations, improve its medium- and long-term planning, and give it an accurate, real-time view of its business. At the same time, it needed the system to be implemented quickly, with minimal disruption to operations. SAP Business One was able to offer all that it needed with scalability to accommodate future growth.

Henkel requested the Bluekey Kenya team to take on the project and become its chosen SAP Business One partner. It wanted to utilise all the features and functions SAP Business One offers and put in place business rules and management reports that would add value to the organisation and increase efficiency. It called on Bluekey to assist it in restructuring its chart of accounts, which in turn ensured it got accurate financial reports on time and when requested by management. The Bluekey team was also involved in the improvement of the sales and stock processes through the introduction of sales pricelists and batch management for stock.

“SAP Business One is completely integrated with SAP Business Suite (R/3) for Large Enterprises. This ability to integrate with other SAP products provides our multinational customers, such as Henkel, with the ability to use a smaller version of SAP, like SAP Business One, in their smaller branches that are spread across many different countries. It also provides parent companies using SAP Enterprise Business Suite with a full view of their global operations,” says Pankaj Pema, Head of SAP Business One in Africa.

“It was crucial that Henkel get the necessary support to provide them with the knowledge and skills to make the transition onto SAP Business One as smooth as possible. Bluekey provided a clear project plan through meetings and brainstorming sessions and kept all the people involved on each new development and progression of the project. The relationship that developed between Bluekey and Henkel allowed us to gain a greater understanding of their business and implement a successful change management plan,” explains Mala Bhatt, Managing Director, Bluekey Software Solutions Kenya.

With all financial and operational activities previously completed manually, having an automated and transparent system has saved the company significant man-hours. A number of key employees have since been reassigned to more value-adding roles within the company. On the manufacturing side, SAP Business One’s sophisticated features have improved Henkel Kenya’s ability to plan production and more accurately forecast procurement cycles. The Bluekey team has also streamlined business processes through the use of approvals and alerts, allowing management to manage by exception.

“From its implementation, followed by subsequent enhancements, SAP Business One has offered Henkel Kenya an up-to-date view of the business through the automation and streamlining of all critical business processes across business units, greatly enhancing our customer service. In addition, real-time information has prompted timely decisive actions by top management when specified processes and events occur through automatic alerts, approvals and workflow procedures,” concludes Philippe Huenermann, Managing Director, Henkel Kenya.


Bluekey Software Solutions

Bluekey specialises in the implementation, consulting, support and development of SAP Business One for small to mid-sized companies throughout Africa. Bluekey has branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Bluekey is also Africa’s preferred SAP Business One partner, being awarded SAP Gold status, SAP Business One Partner of the Year 2005 to 2011, and SAP EMEA Pinnacle Award winner. With more than 220 successful SAP Business One implementations, 70+ years’ director experience, and more than 100 employees, Bluekey is uniquely qualified to implement, support, maintain and develop SAP Business One solutions for SMEs in Africa.

For more information contact:

Craig Johnston

021 685 7000


Furniture Palace chooses SAP Business One as their foundation for growth

Furniture Palace chooses SAP Business One as their foundation for growth

The Furniture Palace, located in Nairobi, Mlolongo and Mombasa, was set up in 2004 to provide high quality contemporary furniture. They have a diverse collection of furniture that meets a wide range of shoppers’ needs. The business was doing well but by 2009 their management realised that business needs were not being met by their current systems.

The decision to implement a new business management system came from an internal review on where the company wanted to go in the future and what they wanted to achieve. Some of the requirements Furniture Palace identified was that the business solution should automate many of their of key processes, improve stock management, provide proper management reporting and real-time access to information. It was felt that if these could be addressed it would lead to increased efficiency and profitability.  The decision was to go with SAP Business One as their integrated ERP business management solution. Sultan says, “The transition to SAP Business One was a challenge for us. Most of our processes in the past were manual, so the adjustment to a completely integrated and automated system was both challenging and rewarding. Our implementation partner, Bluekey, applied a solid project methodology to the implementation, and with their experience and expertise, they made the transition more manageable. In the end their change management skills pulled us through and gave us the skills we needed to get the most out of the system.”

The successful implementation and go-live of SAP Business One at Furniture Palace yielded positive results almost immediately. They now have an effective workflow system in place that has increased efficiency to such an extent that their business has doubled in terms of revenue, product range and market share.  With SAP Business One the business handles customer orders, pre-delivery inspection, loading sheet, delivery and invoicing through to procurement and stock—all with the same workforce as before. “The management at Furniture Palace reported that with its current growth levels, they would have expected payroll costs to have increased by 30% without SAP Business One. On that basis alone Bluekey has been able to save Furniture Palace about KES 500 000 per month (KES 6M per year). They were also losing approximately KES 1M a year due to stock pilferage, which has since been reduced by more than 90%,” says Bhatt.

As far a benefits go, Furniture Palace have gained visibility across their whole business with increased control in all the different functional areas, while reducing stock write offs and payroll costs. “Furniture Palace envisages robust growth in the future, especially in opening new branches. We also expect to maintain, and grow, our market share to become the leading furniture supplier in the African region,” says Sultan.

“The Bluekey team were of great assistance to us and showed incredible professionalism. They also demonstrated in-depth knowledge of SAP Business One and our industry. Without their experience and know-how relating to business process flows and accounting the project would have been much more stressful. They were dedicated to the project, took our needs into account and ensured that the implementation was completed on time and within budget. We would recommend Bluekey and SAP Business One to any business that would like to grow, run better and become more profitable,” concludes Sultan.

Bluekey provides SAP Business One NPO solution to K-Rith

Bluekey provides SAP Business One NPO solution to K-Rith

The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH), a ground-breaking collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, has turned to Bluekey and SAP Business One to provide an ERP solution specifically for NPOs to improve administration, streamline grant opportunity tracking, ensure grantor compliance, enable advanced grant budget reporting, and provide for more effective project management.

The grant budget administration module developed by Bluekey, a specialist in the implementation of SAP Business One, allows NPOs to manage and budget projects from grant application to submission and approval.

As opposed to typical financial budgets, grant management budgets feature a set of tools to budget at any GL account level across any number of calendar months in the grantors specified currency and exchange rate.

All standard procurement processes are supported by the solution including requisitions at site level with dynamic routing capabilities for document approvals. Procurement documents are subject to an approved SAP Business One grant budget. Budget availability is shown in real time to document originators and approvers ensuring controlled spend on projects. Grantor invoicing adheres to multi-currency requirements and typical stipulations and compliancy set out by grantors. A series of real-time alerts allows project leaders to take action when budget thresholds are close and recoveries have not been processed in “spend and claim” environments.

K-RITH’s mission is to conduct outstanding basic science research on tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, translate the scientific findings into new tools to control TB and HIV, and expand the educational opportunities in the region. K-RITH is an independent research institute that will work in collaboration with UKZN and other academic and clinical institutions in South Africa and around the world.  Their goal is that discoveries made in the heart of the TB and HIV epidemics will drive innovation to control the deadly diseases.

“SAP Business One is a great fit for the organisation which, with numerous projects running simultaneously, needed a robust and flexible system that provides a central point for managing finances, monitoring the progress of projects, reporting and delivering access to information.

“The grant budget administration module ensures that the organisation can track and control the allocation of funds while ensuring total compliance with governance rules. We are delighted to partner with K-RITH in providing this solution which we believe can add value to other NGOs wanting to tighten the reigns on financial and administrative processes in line with best practice,” says Bluekey’s Andre Adendorff.

CW Pharmaceuticals harnesses technology

CW Pharmaceuticals harnesses technology

CW Pharmaceuticals harnesses technology for greater integration, better production management, lower inventory costs

CW Pharmaceuticals, a premium contract manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, has linked the various departments and functions of its business so effectively that decision-making, access to information and supply chain efficiencies have been optimised to the point that the company’s General Manager, Zach Moolman, says it feels as though the entire company is sitting in one room.

The high level of integration, control, visibility, and the inventory management efficiencies achieved by the growing manufacturing company are, according to Moolman, due to the deployment of SAP Business One, an integrated business management tool for mid-sized businesses.

“Working on SAP Business One is almost like everybody sitting in one room. It is a fully integrated solution that is easy to understand and links various business functions together to effectively manage the supply chain and ultimately receive reports that would add invaluable knowledge to management decision-making and even decision-making in middle levels.

“The solution has provided us with a customised solution for procurement, as CW Pharmaceuticals prides itself on quick turnaround times. We therefore work on very tight schedules and our MRP system was optimised to address our specific requirements.

“In terms of inventory, as is the same for everybody else in this industry, it can be tough tracking stock that is seen as slow moving, and keep track of what the value is. SAP Business One has excellent modules to calculate and keep track of stock as it sits in the warehouse or travels through our system,” he says.

CW Pharmaceuticals was established in the late 1990s as a small manufacturing entity, with the sole purpose of developing and manufacturing Placecol skin care products. By implementing a meticulous approach to quality and service, the company grew, and started investing in suitable equipment and well-trained staff to enable it to compete in the contract manufacturing arena and expanded business operations to support the growing production facility.

Clients who wanted to produce private brands to retail both locally and internationally approached CW Pharmaceuticals, wanting the same particular service and quality that the company soon became known for. Since then, it has expanded to proudly serve numerous clients.

In 2008, CW Pharmaceuticals moved into new facilities in Centurion, providing more room for storage and production, which clients regularly require. In 2011, the company was looking for a better way to manage production and inventory costs. “We realised that we would need software that can handle the process and workflow that we require, and run accounting in the background while we do what we do best, manufacture!” says Moolman.

The company decided to implement SAP Business One, the enterprise resource planning (ERP)  solution for mid-sized companies, on the advice of Bluekey Software Solutions, which specialises in the implementation of the solution.

“SAP Business One is a business management solution designed specifically for small and midsize businesses,” Warwick Hopcroft of Bluekey explains. “Used by more than 88 000 SMEs worldwide, it’s an affordable, easy-to-use way of managing critical business functions across sales, distribution, financials, manufacturing, inventory, purchasing, production and service management – all in a single integrated software solution.

“For CW Pharmaceuticals, SAP Business One is a great fit. It is a proven solution for all chemical businesses; with existing application in paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, primary and speciality chemicals.

“SAP Business One provides complete support for the key chemical industry business processes of batch and formula management; material requirements planning for multilevel production process; tracking and reporting on regulatory compliance,” he says.

The solution was installed while CW Pharmaceuticals’ business continued uninterrupted. On the financial side, the accountant was guided by Bluekey to enable a seamless switchover between the bookkeeping systems at the right point in time.

“The team at Bluekey has a good knowledge of supply chain, and responded with expertise and logical processes tailored to suit our business. I am impressed that we were able to come up with ideas in terms of reporting and make our system work for us to deliver on our KPIs by customising marketing and manufacturing documents to contain key information for business decision-making.

“Our skills and confidence as a team with SAP Business One is at a point where we can expand and refine our workflow integrations and ask even more of the system,” concludes Moolman.