Johannesburg, 21 Nov 2023
SAPPO actively positions itself as an innovator and leader in agriculture. Over the years, SAPPO’s industry interventions have yielded a significant impact. As the global landscape changes, SAPPO is constantly looking for new ways to unlock value for the South African pork industry.
SAPPO faced significant challenges in its data management processes. Member information was scattered across various Excel sheets within different parts of the organisation, while intelligence reports were manually prepared and analysed. Limited in-field information also hindered their understanding of on-farm activities. SAPPO recognised the need for a modern and centralised solution and approach to address these data issues. They envisioned a central platform that would bring together not only pig producers, but other participants from the entire value chain, including other types of farmers, fostering collaboration to address shared challenges. Achieving their vision required a long-term partnership with a dedicated and adaptable technology provider.
In their journey towards software as a service, SAPPO partnered with 4Sight, which positions itself as a leading technology provider and a Microsoft Solutions Partner, to develop a custom platform consisting of a web portal on Microsoft Azure and mobile app developed using the previous Xamarin framework, now migrating to MAUI. Together, they transformed the way SAPPO operated, resulting in the creation of the innovative ‘World of Pork’ system.
The World of Pork mobile app delivers ease of use to the business development managers (BDMs) visiting small-scale and developing farmers – providing them the means to collect valuable information, log the visit and all details on the particular farm. Additionally, it offers SAMIC (South African Meat Inspection Company) the ability to capture abattoir statistics, essential to render levies due and billable, and, importantly, biosecurity assessments, with veterinarians completing surveys for commercial farmers to gauge numbers on illness headcount. Ultimately, this renders all the outcomes on the web portal as intuitive reports and dashboards via Power BI.
Benefits and outcomes
Nico Scheltema, Head of Business Intelligence at SAPPO, praised the collaborative efforts between SAPPO and 4Sight over the past four years, resulting in the development of solutions for four out of their five departments – tailored offerings leveraging Microsoft’s Azure Services that precisely met SAPPO’s needs, empowering them to overcome business challenges efficiently. 4Sight’s approach involved gaining a comprehensive understanding of SAPPO’s operations, requirements and existing systems. 4Sight had the capacity and highly skilled resources to quickly adapt and manage their needs as they changed and fluctuated. The flexibility and expertise allowed 4Sight to support SAPPO’s evolving requirements, ensuring that the platform consistently met their expectations, utilising Microsoft Technologies: Power BI, Power BI Embedded, Azure SQL, Azure App Services, Azure Functions and Xamarin Forms.
Nico Scheltema, Head of Business Intelligence at SAPPO, said: “4Sight is willing to learn and work with you to achieve your desired vision for your company.”
The relationship between 4Sight and SAPPO has evolved into a sustainable long-term partnership, generating substantial value for the organisation. With the World of Pork system, SAPPO successfully onboarded all stakeholders onto a unified platform delivering easy, secure access and visibility for all their partners. This fostered collaboration and enabled streamlined data management and decision-making processes.
Scheltema added: “4Sight’s deep understanding of our business really helped SAPPO create better solutions faster.”
4Sight’s dedication and willingness to understand SAPPO’s goals and challenges played a pivotal role in the success of the partnership. With 4Sight and Microsoft’s support, SAPPO has revolutionised the South African pork industry and beyond that, the entire agricultural industry, ensuring the sustainability and profitability of the sector while transforming the way data is managed and accessed throughout the value chain.
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