Barloworld First in Africa to Transform Its Business Using Cloud Solution

JOHANNESBURG, South AfricaIt may have a distinct advantage, but Barloworld Equipment, a subsidiary of the Barloworld Group, realised the need to transform its business operations to maintain its competitive position. With its diverse operations, including technical service centres, warehouses across multiple locations, fractured data and equipment, Barloworld Equipment needed to transform its 12-year-old IT backend system to maintain pace with digital transformation demands.

Barloworld Equipment teamed up with Britehouse, an SAP partner that recommended a hosted CRM solution, SAP Cloud4Customer, which pools company data and delivers business intelligence functions. This would improve the planning and execution of sales, as well as bring service, marketing and e-commerce operations into the fold.

“We opted for SAP Cloud4Customer because it appeared not only to be able to solve our ongoing synchronisation issues, by providing online and offline transaction capability, but also provided us with a number of new options, including a full view of our many operations,” said Barloworld Equipment e-process manager, Andrew Kerr.

Barloworld Equipment is the first African customer to implement SAP Cloud4Customer and now has a single platform that delivers consolidated data management with mobility capabilities and provides real-time flow of information. The project team developed a proof of concept system within two weeks and had six months to implement the entire new solution.

“This project illustrates that Barloworld Equipment really comprehends that, in a highly competitive marketplace, a compelling and sustainable customer experience is built on information and end-to-end business integration. It also demonstrates that cloud-based solutions enable Barloworld Equipment to deliver these capabilities fast and flexibly,” said Ashley Boag, director of cloud at SAP Africa.

“The information fuelling insights leading to added value for Barloworld Equipment’s customers and, simultaneously, more efficient and flexible business processes, comes from many different sources; SAP’s cloud solutions like SAP Cloud4Customer are ideally suited to providing the integration and collaboration that enables Barloworld to retain its leadership position across Africa.”

Said Barloworld Equipment general manager: sales and supply chain, Lloyd Thomas: “This was the fastest SAP implementation with enterprise-wide impact with which I have been involved.”

The result was a backend system that met current demands and created opportunities for future innovation. This successful turnaround is also testimony that updating legacy systems is simple, can be completed without major disruption and in record time, even on a decentralised and highly customised IT backend.

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