JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The real measure of a modern business backend is not simply in its flexibility, power and features. Lessons learned from the past have made companies weary of legacy traps, involving systems that fail to continue delivering.
Given the rapid pace of innovation in today’s world, the ability for a back-office system to adapt and compliment the uncertain journey of a business is critical. In short, the real measure of a successful solution is not in its first stage, but the growth that comes afterwards as well as the agility it provides to adapt to a changing competitive landscape.
Last year, the Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) selected SAP HANA as its platform of choice, pulling 23 separate systems together under one umbrella. As a major producer of sugar, comprising 66 percent of Swaziland’s output of the crop, RSSC implemented SAP modules to address everything from its farming to factory supply chain, payroll, manufacturing processes and resource consumption.
The scale of this enterprise should be appreciated: with more than 3,500 employees and managing in excess of 15,000 hectares of sugarcane, which results in a 2.3 million tonne cane harvest, RSSC drives revenue of over one billion Euros every year.
SAP was able to meet 97 percent of RSSC’s requirements, delivering remarkable efficiencies and innovations. For example, the time to change resource targets such as water or fertilizer was reduced from weeks to mere hours. By unifying its environment into a single consolidated view, RSSC was able to enhance its reporting, transparency and prediction capabilities. This incredible impact has convinced RSSC of SAP’s value and it eagerly awaited the next game-changing solution.
“We are confident that SAP will continue innovating and providing solutions for us,” said Rob Coombe, IT Director at RSSC. “We are presently working closely with SAP Consulting and plan to deploy a large number of rapid deployment solutions in the near future.”
That work has since paid off. Late last year, SAP worked with the RSSC steering committee to identify and implement 23 additional rapid deployment solutions (RDS), powered by the SAP HANA platform. The implementation was accomplished within a 28 week period and the first month saw more than 325,000 transactions completed.
“At SAP we know that solutions are no good if there isn’t a strong partnership between us and our customers,” says Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa.” The rapid and successful deployment of SAP solutions at RSSC owes a lot to the company’s clear vision of what it wanted to accomplish. The MD of Royal Swazi Sugar, Nick Jackson, and the SAP Program Director, Rob Coombe, played a critical role by providing senior management support throughout the project.”
The new additions to RSSC’s SAP environment were prompted by the sugar giant’s desire to maintain industry best practice standards, reflecting the same levels as its global peers. The improvements were implemented directly by SAP Africa, which also included skills training to ensure RSSC’s solution maintains its credibility in an industry that holds up very high standards.
“Sugar is a rather complicated and incredibly competitive business,” says Coombe. “A mistake can quickly escalate to massive losses and the market is always changing. SAP HANA has given us the agility to navigate those challenges, which we are now expanding to take even further advantage of the technology at hand.”
A technology solution is not worth much if it does not allow an organisation to grow and innovate. After seeing impressive gains thanks to implementing SAP HANA, RSSC had no concerns about engaging more SAP solutions. These, in turn, were delivered quickly, efficiently and with no corners cut.
RSSC can look confidently towards the future with its ambitions around growth and innovation, while its continued patronage is testament to SAP’s ongoing commitment to the business technology leader’s customers and technology platforms.
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