Connectivity – the new normal for agribusiness in South Africa


In South Africa, 7.5m messages and R22bn in trade are transmitted every year via the portal and EDI solutions used by agriculture supply chain businesses within the Proagrica Network. The extent to which transactions are conducted via integrated data solutions such as these is rapidly increasing and poised to become the new normal for businesses operating in South Africa and beyond.

For new users, this means connecting your business just once and instantly link to a vast network, already populated by major players in the industry.

Proagrica’s agriculture network is already utilized by many businesses across the world, keen to take advantage of the benefits it provides in integration and data analytics.

“Essentially, the solutions are out there,” said Peter Leppan, Regional Director, EMEA at Proagrica. “Many of the annoyances and costs we take for granted in business simply don’t have to exist. This isn’t speculative. The tech exists and can change the agricultural supply chain in African countries. It’s simple, it’s powerful and it’s scalable with whatever direction businesses may take.”

As demonstrated by Proagrica’s move towards 100% connectivity in the agriculture supply chain, an increasing number of businesses are taking advantage of electronically connected solutions. These do not just deliver increased profitability, but eliminate many common pitfalls in business that result in lower customer retention, satisfaction, and business growth:

  • Automated ordering: Electronic transactions remove every stage of an order that could be potentially slowed down or distorted by human input. A major manufacturer/supplier calculated the benefit per EDI order to be R512 (Forrester Research)[i]
  • Quick response: Customers can receive a much faster response, with real-time updates direct from trading partners. Leading businesses reported 92% (Aberdeen Group) reduction in time spent processing an invoice
  • Improved efficiency: Eliminate the errors – and resulting costs – incurred from manual data entry. No more wasted time or correcting the fallout from simple mistakes, with results showing costs falling by 70% to 90% for each order process (Gartner).
  • Increased customer loyalty: All of the above combine to drastically increase a business’ value offering, greatly boosting return business and retention.

Businesses across the world have already reaped the benefits from digital integration – savvy agribusiness leaders in South Africa are also seizing these opportunities, recognizing the potential for growth and profitability.

“Moving towards 100% connectivity means that every business in the supply chain has the chance to thrive and grow, despite the changing industry,” added Peter. “It’s about taking that first step – investing now for a sustainable future that works for your business and your customers.”

[i] Price converted from USD

Read on to find out more about 100% connectivity and the benefits it could bring for your business:

Connecting smallholder farms and their suppliers in Africa

Connectivity – meeting the rising food production demand in African agribusiness


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