Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) in South Africa’s manufacturing sector face some of the toughest operating conditions they’ve seen to date.

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Load shedding, continued supply chain disruptions and a volatile rand dollar exchange rate are all putting their resilience and adaptability to the test.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for SMB manufacturers to invest in the right business solutions.

“Against the backdrop of difficult economic conditions, SMBs need to be more agile, efficient and competitive to grow their businesses,” says Heinrich de Leeuw, Managing Director , SEIDOR in South Africa.

“The right enterprise management solution can enable them to streamline their business processes and gain the visibility into their operations they need to navigate a complex and fast-changing environment.”

de Leeuw outlines some of the qualities a SMB manufacturer should seek from an ERP solution:


An ideal ERP solution should feature tightly-integrated modules that work together seamlessly. This provides a single source of truth for all business information. Such a solution enables the back-office and shopfloor teams to work seamlessly together.

As an example, a South African contract manufacturer of personal care and cosmetic products for retail customers and brand owners, was frustrated by multiple, disparate applications and their limitations.

Working with SEIDOR to implement SAP Business One has enabled the company to enjoy direct benefits such as improved cost analysis, a leaner warehouse, more accurate forecasting and better production management.

Industry-specific functionality

Whether in discrete, batch or processing manufacturing and whether it is production of food or vehicle components, SMBs will benefit from a solution with functionality designed for the specific processes and vertical market. Some particular features to consider include inventory management, warehouse and supply chain management as well as material requirements planning.

End-to-end process automation

The right ERP solution should boost productivity and efficiency by enabling automation of repetitive tasks across complex processes such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, and inventory management. They help reduce the need for the team to key in data into multiple systems or repeat the same process over and over again.

Real-time insights into business performance

An ERP platform should feature powerful reporting and analytics tools that enable performance tracking in real time. Users should be able to access up-to-the-second insights about the key performance indicators that matter to the business, so that a faster, more accurate, and timely decisions can be made.

Fast-tracked, affordable implementation

SMBs can’t afford to throw large budgets at ERP implementations or wait years for return on investment. They need ERP software that can be rolled out fast. An  implementation partner with fast-tracked, templatised ERP methodologies can help to accelerate deployment software and the road to business value.


Today’s leading ERP solutions are highly configurable, allowing users to modify the system to their unique requirements. They can also be easily integrated with other systems, such as e-commerce platforms, point-of-sale systems, and customer relationship management software

Scalability and adaptability

An SMBs business might be small now, but it may grow in the future. Needs may evolve as the organisation changes and the ERP solution should offer pathways to changing and growing without needing to rip everything out and start all over again.

“SAP Business One is an example of a powerful ERP suite that offers a complete solution for small and medium manufacturers and meets all their requirements,” says de Leeuw.

“SEIDOR has a proven track record in helping SMB manufacturers in South Africa and other parts of the world unlock its benefits—with an accelerated methodology for deploying preconfigured SAP Business One solutions,” he continues.

SEIDOR’s template-based approach offers a number of attractive benefits, including fast implementation of best-business-practices.

The rapid implementation time and a low-disruption approach minimises the impact of the rollout on the business, allowing operations to continue as usual. Once implemented, the solution offers process harmonisation across business units and reduced operational costs.

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