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International construction firm uses local Sage ERP specialists to boost efficiencies


Johannesburg, 07 Dec 2007
Read time 3min 30sec

Red Man Technologies, a South African-based business integration company, has been chosen by Global Design and Build Solutions (GdbS), which specialises in international construction for both on and offshore projects and whose headquarters are in Mauritius, to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution from Softline Enterprise to boost efficiencies and profitability.

"With current contracts valued at US$80 million and an annual projected revenue of $30 million, we need an integrated, automated system that delivers real-time information in order to be able to deliver the rapid response and quality of service we promise our customers," says GdbS executive director for procurement and logistics, Mark Webber.

"Our original system, which required manual input as well as manual management, was giving us information too late for us to act on it.

"Also, as an international company, we manage many remote sites where our employees need access to a single database that has all the current information they need. It was crucial, therefore, that we eliminate duplication of input - and functionality - as well reducing the time gap between inputting and accessing information.

"But we didn`t want the expense and management and maintenance complexity of a proprietary system. We went looking for an off-the-shelf system that would need only minor customisation to fit our particular needs in the construction industry.

"Of the products we looked at, Sage Line 500 was the only one that promised to give us that."

Hein Pretorius, managing director of Red Man Technologies, GdbS` implementation partner, says that because of the flexibility and rich functionality of the Sage solution, Red Man was able provide a 95% fit for GdbS business processes, with only 5% of the package needing to be customised to accommodate integration with a third-party quantity surveying application.

"Also, the Sage procurement module is so comprehensive that it can easily accommodate very complex environments, like the construction industry. And, our experience with Sage and with this kind of industry goes back a long way. So we`re expecting no challenges with the implementation."

"What we`ve appreciated about the way Red Man has gone about preparing us for the implementation is that they`ve steered us away from additional functionality that we would have opted for and, in fact, could get from modules we were already planning to use," Webber says. "In other words, Red Man has ensured that we spend only what we need to spend on this implementation."

Although the implementation is still in its initial phases, GdbS has already seen benefits. "Just by having Red Man work us through our business processes, in order to map them to the outcomes we wanted, we`ve spotted ways of improving the way we do things. On its own, that`s an enormous benefit. It also means that we`re assured of optimising the Sage solution and getting the best possible return on it."

"One of the best ways of getting a quick, substantial return on investment in a software solution is to ensure that you have a good ratio between your purchase price and your implementation costs," Pretorius says. "And the best way to ensure that your implementation costs are not bloated out of proportion to the technology is to go with implementation partners with extensive experience of using technology to make businesses more agile.

"It`s a fundamental philosophy, because there`s no way you can make your customer`s more agile if you are not agile yourself - using experience to cut through all the technology knots to make the technology do what the business wants and not the other way round.

"It`s also experience that enables you to do the implementation right first time - and not incur the cost, time, and headaches of rehashing any part of it."

Softline Enterprise

Softline Enterprise is a leading supplier of business management solutions, delivering performance and web capability that is essential for success in today`s competitive business environment. Addressing finance, construction, distribution, manufacturing, services, retail requirements, CRM and eBusiness, the product offering also supports and consolidates activity across expanding business needs. Available on a wide range of operating systems and compatible with a host of industry leading databases, it gives mid-range and larger organisations the reliability and scalability required to keep ahead of competitors.

Softline Enterprise products are supported through a network of accredited partners which bring together the individual product and service components to deliver a complete and tailored solution.

Softline Enterprise products include:

Sage 1000 - a new, single business management software application designed to span operations across mid-sized businesses, integrating front office CRM and back office ERP systems. By sharing information between functional areas, businesses can enjoy greater efficiency, experience fewer errors from re-keying of data, and increase service levels by making it easier to give accurate, timely information from across the business to customers.

Sage Line 500 - offering all the advantages of a traditional ERP solution, Sage Line 500 provides tight financial control with full visibility of costs and powerful reporting tools. In addition it includes an evaluation of market trends to assist customers to make informed strategic decisions. The product also manages cash flow through close budget control and efficient purchase requisitioning and supports international business with multi-language, multi-currency, multi-company features. It includes vertical solutions such as manufacturing, construction and retail.

Sage SalesLogix - an affordable, fully scaleable and powerful CRM solution that is easily customised for medium sized and divisions of large corporate businesses. Sage SalesLogix is designed to integrate seamlessly with other business software and back office applications, providing businesses with a holistic view of each customer.

Softline

Softline is a leading provider of accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions to small, medium and large sized companies. Founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and Steven Cohen, Softline was established during the formative years of the software industry and listed on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa in February 1997. Softline expanded to establish a strong position within its area of focus in South Africa and Australia.

Focused on the development of accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions, Softline has a 17 year track record as a market leader. The group has a broad range of products offering users a variety of software solutions to run their businesses efficiently. Softline`s leading brands include Softline Accpac, Softline Enterprise, Softline Pastel (Accounting and Payroll) and Softline VIP. The combination of the group`s product offerings, provide Softline customers with comprehensive, well-branded accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions.

In November 2003, Softline was acquired by Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 company. The software group includes market-leading businesses throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, supplying business software to the small, medium and large sized business community.

Softline has a solid track record of profitability and cash generation. The group delivers quality accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions that improve the efficiencies of businesses around the world.

Sage

The Sage Group plc, an established FTSE 100 company, is a leading supplier of accounting and business management software solutions and services to 5.2 million small and medium sized clients worldwide. With over 13 000 employees, the Sage Group comprises market-leading businesses throughout Europe, United Kingdom, North America, South Africa and Australia. Its products and services are sold through a global network of 23 000 reseller partners, 40 000 accountants as well as directly to clients from Sage companies throughout the world. For the financial year ending 30 September 2006, the Group`s revenue grew by 22% to lb935.6m and the operating profit rose by 18% to lb235.8m.

Editorial contacts
Sefin Marketing Anique Human (011) 476 3751 anique@sefin.co.za
Red Man Technologies Hein Pretorius (011) 881 5834 heinp@red-man.co.za
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