System integration opens the door for growth for leading South African Co-op Kaap Agri

For agri-supply businesses around the world, the need to create dynamic supply chains and manage systems to ensure the delivery of quality products and services to customers is imperative if they are to grow and thrive in an ever more competitive market.

The nature of agri-supply businesses requires a significant need to work with third party suppliers and to integrate their systems (straight through processing) to form a seamless supply of management information to ensure service levels are continually achieved.  A lack of visible, real-time information accurately representing the key performance indicators for the business creates inefficiencies and constricts growth because of slow and inefficient processes.

Kaap Agri, one of the largest agricultural co-operatives in South Africa with around 200 outlets and more than 2,500 suppliers, needed supply chain visibility in real-time to deliver control and discipline which in turn enables the business to grow. A significant change to the business growth model transformed the needs of the business, whereby one single integrated system moved to a requirement to integrate multiple systems from both suppliers and acquired businesses.  This had the potential to create serious inertia and absorb resources, without a well thought through and executed solution.

There followed a competitive tender process whereby Proagrica was chosen as the only company that could deliver integration as a service, knew the system architecture and presented a cost-effective solution.  Subsequently two systems have been delivered – an Integrated Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and a Procure to Pay solution.

This has successfully integrated all internal systems including the main financial system alongside point of sale software. The Procure to Pay system has connected Kaap Agri’s entire supplier base to interact electronically and provides management with a real-time dashboard that delivers visibility of the entire chain and how it is interacting with the core business. At any one time messages will show whether the system is running effectively or whether there are any critical control problems, immediately creating a ticket to follow up or escalate if required.

Visibility and support are the key differences to the business ensuring when something goes wrong it is immediately identified and acted upon automatically. This has provided the confidence for the business to take a longer-term view and drive a more diverse growth strategy.

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