Crystal Ventures Leverages SAP S/4HANA to Transform Business Processes Across Group Companies

A lack of automation can undermine an organisation’s efforts for greater efficiency and profitability and leave decision-makers blind to real-time information about the business. Data suggests up to 22% of a typical employee’s time is spent on repetitive tasks, with up to 10 errors per 100 steps in manual data entry.

For CVL, one of Rwanda’s leading investment groups, a reliance on manual processes by several of its group companies left it lacking the automation benefits, efficiency, and agility to speed up its growth strategy.

“Our operational efficiency was undermined by reliance on manual processes in many of our business practices,” says Arnaud Muhizi, Project Manager at Crystal Ventures Limited. “Overheads were initially captured separately from the cost of production, which made accurate profitability planning challenging, and our project management practice was operating at a sub-optimal level due to the lack of real-time reporting tools. In addition, production, HR, quality and plant maintenance processes were all manual, hence lacking.”

Crystal Ventures Limited is an investment company established in Rwanda in 1995 with the aim of meeting the challenges of economic recovery and taking advantage of growth opportunities in the region.

Since its founding Crystal Ventures Limited (CVL) has grown into the biggest investment company in Rwanda, employing 12 000 people with operations spanning the manufacturing, hospitality, security services and construction sectors.

Crystal Ventures approached several technology vendors and, following a rigorous evaluation process, chose SAP as the best fit for its requirements. “We chose SAP S/4HANA as our enterprise nerve centre, and deployed integrated solutions that would cover our end-to-end business processes.”

With nine subsidiary companies forming part of the rollout scope, Crystal Ventures worked with implementation partner ISS Middle East to digitise all manual processes and implement a broad range of integrated SAP solutions.

Processes covered by the implementation include human capital management, document management, project management, quality management, materials management, plant maintenance, production planning, finance and cost control, and sales.

The entire project took place over eight and a half months, with 3000 users onboarded to SAP SuccessFactors and 450 users onboarded to SAP S/4HANA.

“Since our go-live, senior management has gained real-time visibility over the performance of project managers, which has contributed to greater efficiency and revenue growth across our construction and manufacturing companies,” says Arnaud Muhizi. “In addition, our costing model allows affected companies to run profitability analyses, and inventory ageing reports are now available to aid decision-making and planning.”

End-users were guided through the changes in processes by regular awareness sessions and extensive training to ensure ready adoption. “We also reorganised department functions to mirror best practice and standard processes, and provided the SAP Learning Hub to the core team. We had regular engagement with the Customer Success Office to ensure the implementation ran smoothly and affected users could easily use new tools and processes.”

Hardeep Sound, Regional Sales Director for East Africa at SAP, says the sheer scope of the implementation and breadth of process coverage has entirely transformed Crystal Ventures and its group companies. “Following this landmark implementation, Crystal Ventures has leapt into the future by laying an unshakable foundation for building intelligent enterprise capabilities. By automating outdated manual processes and improving visibility into key business performance areas, Crystal Ventures is able to more effectively steer its group companies through the complexity of the modern business environment.”