Leading African FMCG Manufacturer Gets Future-fit with Speedy HANA Database Migration

Bidco Africa, the largest manufacturer of FMCG in East Africa, migrates to SAP HANA Database to gain real-time, in-memory computing capabilities and improve its delivery to customers

With two of the continent’s fastest-growing economies and household consumption set to grow by more than 55% between 2015 and 2025, East Africa is poised to solidify its place as one of Africa’s most important economic hubs. For the manufacturers of some of the region’s most popular and loved consumer goods, it’s a good time to deploy some next-generation technology to enable it take advantage of East Africa’s immense and growing opportunities.

Bidco Africa is the leading manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods, FMCG, in East Africa, with over 50 brands across multiple product categories including Edible Oils & Fats, Hygiene and Personal Care and Food and Beverages. Founded in Nairobi in 1985 as a soap manufacturing plant, Bidco Africa has grown steadily over the past 30 years to become home to some of East Africa’s most loved household brands. Its footprint spans across Tanzania, Madagascar, Uganda and Kenya, with aspirations to expand to other parts of Africa.

According to Alkane Patel, the Chief Information Officer at Bidco Africa, the company plans to speed up its operational processes to improve the delivery of products to customers. “As our business grows and expands, our data has grown. With the world on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we wanted to migrate our data to an in-memory computing platform that could seamlessly integrate with legacy and non-legacy systems to enable us to make accurate business decisions quickly and at scale. We had started using SAP technologies in 2010 and felt it was the right time to make the shift to the SAP HANA Platform.”

Patel and his team also needed to provide real-time visibility over critical business and operational data, regardless of geographic location. “Whether for our operations in Kenya, Uganda or Madagascar, we needed to stay connected to on-the-ground data and get an accurate view over the total business at any point in time. SAP HANA has real-time capabilities that will enable us to run our largest reports on-demand, while our overall data size has been reduced three-fold, greatly reducing backup times. Vitally, we now have complete visibility over the market dynamics impacting our various operations, and can make informed business decisions based on accurate, real-time information.”

Bidco Africa, with the support of its implementation partner, Seal Infotech, has completed the migration to SAP HANA in record time. Satya Devaki, the Associate Director at Seal Infotech, said that the implementation team managed to complete the entire landscape migration in two months, including time needed for testing. “We achieved the migration of production systems data and processes in 24 hours after a rigorous testing and Quality Assurance process.”

Santosh Diwakar, the project manager at Bidco Africa believes that the business now has the platform in place to start supporting key operational processes with next-generation technologies.

“We have invested in the latest technology to improve our delivery capabilities to customers. With the support of our partners at SAP and Seal Infotech, we have developed a roadmap that plots what our IT landscape will look like in 2020, and that can provide us with access to next-generation technologies such as S/4HANA, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation. More importantly, by equipping our teams with improved resources they will conduct day-to-day processes more quickly, creating a net positive effect for our business, our people, our customers and our partners,” Santosh said.

Pedro Guerreiro

Pedro Guerreiro, the SAP Central Africa managing director, said: “By moving critical business data to SAP HANA and increasing visibility over the entire enterprise and ecosystem, Bidco Africa has taken bold steps to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise. With the implementation of its technology roadmap and further integration of Innovative technology, Bidco Africa will maximise the value of its data insights, empower employees, enhance the customer experience and bring greater agility to its overall operations.”