One-on-one intimacy layer critical

Johannesburg, 15 Jul 2004
Read time 1min 30sec

In the continuous battle against $1 billion organisations, the one-on-one intimacy layer is among the most effective weapons in the SME's arsenal.

That's the view of Meryl Malcomess, marketing director of SYSPRO, who says SMEs' ability to maintain an entrepreneurial flavour in their business practices is a distinct advantage against large corporates whose marketing strategies are constrained by the dictates of bureaucracy.

"The so-called 'big guns' are governed by too many harsh, restrictive rules," Malcomess points out. "Consequently, as happened with Parmalat and Enron, those in charge lose their comprehension of the business.

"In fact, many of these monolithic corporates are being compelled to break their structures down into manageable cells, creating more profit and loss centres."

Malcomess believes the tendency for big corporates to focus on image is often detrimental to the business as a whole. "This approach frequently results in unprofitable business units being supported at great cost to the organisation. There is generally less diligence in analysing which parts of the business to keep, and which to let go. SMEs, on the other hand, typically adopt a more hands-on approach to management."

She advises SMEs to position themselves and choose their markets carefully, stating that it is possible to compete in dollar- and euro-based markets. However, as First World economies are almost at a standstill, a good strategy is to target growth markets such as Asia, Africa and India.

"Of course, it's essential that the basics are right - efficient production, meeting client requirements, having access to good suppliers and keeping the ongoing cost of ownership reasonable," Malcomess says.


Since its inception in 1978, the SYSPRO Group has been delivering state-of-the-art business solutions to some of the world's leading companies. As a global leader in the production of world-class ERP software, the group now caters to the specialised needs of 6 000 companies in more than 50 countries worldwide. SYSPRO is marketed globally through regional territory distribution centres in SA, the US, Canada, Asia Pacific, Australia and the UK. For more information, go to

SYSPRO is a fully integrated business software solution that provides complete control over the planning and management of all facets of business including accounting, manufacturing and distribution operations in a variety of industries.

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FCB Redline Marcus Sorour (011) 301 1529
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