In Kenya, companies have boosted their expenditure on cloud and ERP services by 38% as businesses seek more efficiency during the pandemic. A survey by World Wide Worx in collaboration with Dell Technologies, Intel, F5, and Digicould Africa shows an increase in investment in ERP and Cloud services across the continent, with South Africa recording an 82% increase. Zimbabwe boosted its ERP Services spending by 50%, while Nigeria and Botswana recorded a 50% increase.
The survey attributes the surge to the growing need for businesses to be more efficient, with 63% of the firms citing efficiency as the main benefit sought from the services. This compares to other benefits of integrating ERP systems like operational flexibility (53%), customer service (45%), and speed (37%).
The surge in ERP systems and cloud spending reflects the growing need to embark on the digital transformation journey, transforming how they handle information, customer experience, and operating models for the long term.
Deidre Frier, a Solutions Engineer at SYSPRO Africa– Global Developer And Distributor Of ERP Software for manufacturers and distributors in Africa, says digital transformation for companies that are not originally digital native like manufacturers can invest in digital tools to collect data, which can then be used to improve their processes and boost how they monitor production processes.
Giving an example of the manufacturing sector, the Solutions engineer says manufacturers should consider digitizing their shop floors utilizing tools like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which can capture useful data to improve throughput.
Jane Masiga, CEO of Mission for Essential Drugs (MED)s, a distributor of medicines and medical supplies in 8 countries in Africa, says integrating their barcode scanning systems to Syspro ERP systems has boosted their operational efficiency. MEDs has been using ERP systems since 1994 to run its supply chain, procurement, inventory management, and order processing functions. According to Ms Masiga, the ERP system has improved timelines for processing orders and cut order processing errors. Syspro APIs also allowed them to integrate their website e-commerce to ERP.
Speaking on the benefits of their ERP transition, Jane says:
“We consider the ERP as the heartbeat of MEDS because that is what runs MEDS business and that’s the system we can not [do] without… Managing the 3,000 clients and items with manual interventions could prove a challenge.”