Close collaboration between Northam Platinum, SAP and implementation partner Deloitte delivers rapid time-to-value.
With the platinum market experiencing a period of near-unprecedented pressure, how does one of the world’s leading platinum producers manage its financial resources in an optimal manner to ensure the sustainability of the business? For Northam Platinum, the ability to make quick, accurate financial decisions based on a single version of truth was paramount.
“Our legacy systems were hampering our growth efforts and frustrating our decision-making capabilities. We had as many as 120 legacy systems that were not integrated, which made it difficult to make real-time decisions based on a single version of truth. And as a growing business, our existing systems were simply inadequate to handle the growing demands and the impending growth of our business. Our objective was to integrate all our disparate systems – and do it quickly,” says Ayanda Khumalo, Chief Financial Officer at Northam Platinum.
Northam Platinum is an independent, fully empowered integrated platinum group metal (PGM) producer that mines, processes and markets PGM and associated products worldwide. The company has two primary PGM mines, Booysendal and Zondereinde, the latter of which is also the location of Northam Platinum’s metallurgical operations, including a smelter and base metals recovery plant. It has just acquired a third mine called Eland Platinum which was not operational and will thus improve employment in the area as it becomes operational. Northam Platinum employs 12 000 people across its various operations and plans to grow this number
“Our ambitious project scope encompassed financial accounting, management accounting, costing, capital projects, procurement, inventory management, personnel administration, organisational management, payroll, governance, risk and compliance, reporting and scalability. We also had an aggressive timeline, which meant we had to leverage our implementation partners’ industry knowledge and best practices,” explains Khumalo.
Northam Platinum chose SAP S/4 HANA as the technology that would meet their stringent requirements, with implementation partner Deloitte using their Deloitte Mining-in-a-Box pre-configured solution which incorporates lessons learnt and best practices adapted from SAP implementations for more than 20 organisations over the past 23 years. Deloitte also developed a business requirements model by defining and listing the business process prints and developed a business blueprint, which included the key requirements of Northam Platinum.
“Due to the short timeline of the project, there was some internal uncertainty over changes to the business. We managed this by aligning our senior stakeholders to the end vision and goal of the project on a continuous basis. Buy-in from the executive team contributed greatly to driving ownership in the business processes and overall solution. A key success factor was also that our internal team and external implementation partners all worked as a single unit to drive the project to completion,” says Khumalo.
While the project initially planned for 200 users, it went live with a total of 540 users, with a further 220 additional users planned. The entire project was implemented and went live within nine months, with an additional six-week post go-live support phase. Northam Platinum’s implementation of SAP S/4 HANA was recently recognised for excellence at the SAP Quality Awards, where it won gold in the ‘Fast Delivery’ category.
“We now have improved real-time information for cost control across our business, with easy-to-use and more efficient reporting capabilities to meet our monthly, quarterly, half-year and annual financial reporting requirements. In addition, the integrated payroll and time management solution gives us improved visibility, automation and control over salaries. Most importantly, it is a sustainable solution that can scale easily as we acquire new assets. In any business, growth is about efficiencies, and our SAP solution has certainly achieved that,” says Khumalo.
Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, says: “As one of the leading platinum producers, Northam Platinum has taken a leap forward by establishing a powerful framework that can improve financial decision-making by providing a real-time single view of the truth. As the digital revolution gathers pace and transforms traditional business models, the best run companies are the ones that will succeed. We look forward to a continued partnership with Northam Platinum as it scales into new markets and territories.”
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 388,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
# # #
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2018 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.
Note to editors:
To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.
For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
South Africa: +27 11 235 6000
Kenya: +254 706 758764
For more information, press only:
Ansophie Strydom, SAP Africa, +27 (11) 235 6000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Hunter, SAP Africa, +27 (711) 787 035, email@example.com