South African fruit exporter 'SAFE' use ERP software to improve profits

Software experts at Cape Town-based producer and exporter SAFE (South African Fruit Exporters) are harnessing the power of "open source" software to streamline everything SAFE does - globally, centrally and in real time - to deliver greater efficiency, reduce costs and improve profit.

Their work is pioneering web-based cloud storage applications in the Fresh Produce Export Industry in South Africa. Openbravo is an ERP solution developed in Spain.

The SAFE Openbravo implementation team recently visited top software developers in Beunos Aires, Argentina to assist their implementation of the customisation of Openbravo for SAFE. 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that enables a business to use a system of integrated applications to manage and automate "back office" functions from finance to technology, services and human resources. 

After bringing General Ledger and master files across to Openbravo, SAFE's Openbravo customisation programme has now entered phase two - logistics. The final hurdle will be "onboarding" of the warehouses, coldrooms and pack houses into the system.

"We will have the entire business on Openbravo by early next year", says Samantha Hanreck, Group ICT Manager at SAFE. Samantha is working with Eugene van Vuuren of Qbix Consulting, Cape Town, to implement customise Openbravo for SAFE. 

According to Samantha the benefits of the web-based cloud storage ERP solution is already being felt at SAFE in a significant reduction of costs and vastly improved operational efficiency.

Thanks to Openbravo, there is no longer any "doubling up" of data capturing. This saves valuable time and vastly reduces the risk of input error.

"Previously we had farm managers and business unit mangers, from harvesting to packing and warehousing individually capturing data which was then recaptured at head office," says Samantha.

Now thanks to Openbravo we can all be on the same page at the same time. This means that head office has the most up-to-date information about any aspect of the business from hectares planted to produce harvested, warehouses, transported and pallets sold, at their fingertips.

A significant aspect of Openbravo is that it allows "head office" to use accurate data captured during the entire life of a crop - from all their farms - to track production, calculate actual costs and determine realistic pricing.

"The software has already delivered savings in the hundreds of thousands while playing a significant role in making SAFE more efficient," says SAFE chief financial officer, Quentin Scott. "I look forward to the benefits we will achieve for SAFE when the entire business is on Openbravo," he concluded.

For more information:
Wibo van den Ende
Tel: +27 21 657 4000
Mob: +27 82 556 3890

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