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Transport holdings to implement 4Most enterprise manager (EMA), backed by powerful SAP Business One


As representative of Imperial Logistics Group in Botswana, Transport Holdings operates as a cross border logistics provider between South Africa and Botswana. With a focus primarily on the mining and FMCG industries and services ranging from global clearing and forwarding to consolidation and linear or normal transport, Transport Holdings enjoys contracts with most major mining houses, the SPAR Group and Bolux Milling.

"The last few years has seen phenomenal growth," says Anthony Lee, managing director, Transport Holdings. This in turn placed enormous strain on the existing operational infrastructure and systems. "Our business had definitely outgrown its current environment," continues Lee. The combination of a basic ERP system, together with excel, was simply not capable of providing the necessary scalability required to cope with the company's geographic expansion. "Earlier this year saw us expand operations into Mozambique, with Namibia planned for the end of this year," continues Lee. "Our current ERP system was incapable of managing numerous destinations and increasing places of operation." In fact, the existing system was already not coping with any of the current requirements outside of Johannesburg and Gaborone. Add to this the propensity for human error and time consuming nature of excel, coupled with no real-time access to information, and the need for a new infrastructure quickly became business critical.

With a very clear understanding of its requirements, Transport Holdings went to market early 2013 in search of a suitable vendor and solution. Engaging with approximately 20 potential vendors, Transport Holdings presented their requirements and invited proposals. "It was both an extensive and intensive process," says Lee. With the assistance of James Robertson, independent business systems advisor, Transport Holdings was able to furnish a 260 paged document detailing the exact scope of the project and specific requirements together with terms and conditions. "As a result we were able to provide all potential vendors with an iron clad and detailed list of requirements and our preferred method of engagement, "continued Lee.

"We landed up with about three to four final proposals," continues Lee, with many potential vendors disqualifying themselves upfront due to resistance to work within Transport Holding's parameters. "We approached the project from the point of view that we were purchasing a delivered service and product – an integrated transport management and ERP solution. We were not prepared to go down the rabbit hole of buying unlimited time or consulting without an upfront commitment to a final result," says Lee. "This was non-negotiable for us and as a result many potential vendors withdrew from the tender process."

4most, a leading supplier and implementer of SAP Business One and ERP software and technology, was selected as the chosen vendor. A provider of powerful and integrated business management and business intelligence solutions for small, midsize and growing companies, the 4most Enterprise Manager (EMA), powered by SAP Business One, has been specifically developed, tried and tested as industry specific across transport, retail, wholesale, distribution and logistics.

"Simple yet powerful, 4most's EMA can easily be tailored to fit specific business needs today, whilst able to adapt to the changing needs of tomorrow," says Marius Fabian, managing director, 4most. An integrated management solution, EMA provides a single system that automates processes and delivers a reliable, unified picture of operations based on up-to-the-minute information.

"We have no doubt that 4most's EMA is more than capable of meeting our requirements," says Lee. And by virtue of it being powered by SAP Business One, it brings with it the credibility of an independent programming language complying with all necessary and relevant standards and procedures.

But the decision to go with 4most was about so much more than technology. "4most were completely aligned with us as a business and how we wanted to engage," stresses Lee. "In fact Marius and his team not only unequivocally accepted our implementation terms and conditions, but were also more than prepared to agree on a fixed price." 4most's reputation and track record of successful implementations in Botswana was another key factor in the decision making process.

"4most has a very systematic and procedural driven engineering approach towards software and solution design," continues Lee. "This made them stand out head and shoulders above their competitors." With no transport management system currently available in the local market, Transport Holdings knew they were going to have to go with a customised system. "Our focus was therefore on who could give us exactly what we wanted," adds Lee. "And there was no doubt in our minds that the answer lay with 4most."

"It's a perfect fit," continues Fabian. "The powerful SAP Business One platform will provide Transport Holdings with all necessary functionality, whilst offering seamless integration with required business entities throughout its expanding African operation." In addition, industry specific customisation provided by 4most's EMA will provide niche functionality geared specifically to industry requirements."

Currently in design phase, with implementation planned towards the end of 2014 and ‘go-live' scheduled for February 2015, Lee is confident that 4most's EMA will yield the required benefits. "The 4most solution will provide us with a completely integrated business and the necessary controls required for operational efficiencies, with its ability to upscale as our business continues to grow throughout Africa of critical importance."

"Running a business which is tightly controlled and managed is key to its success and survival," continues Lee. "We have no doubt that our investment will deliver a solid return; providing greater controls and efficiencies, reducing human error, saving time and in that increasing productivity," continues Lee. "We look forward to growing our business, and our relationship with 4most, over the coming years."


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