Kenafric Industries switches into high gear with SAP ERP platform

As the economic landscape in Kenya continues to modernise, Kenafric Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of confectionery, food, footwear and stationery products in Africa, has deployed a comprehensive SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to drive greater efficiencies throughout the organisation.

In 2013, Kenafric Industries opted to deploy SAP's All in One, Financial and Control, Material Management, Production Planning, Plant Maintenance, Sales and Distribution, Quality Management, Payroll, Document Management, Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management modules.

Founded 25 years ago, Kenafric Industries provides direct and indirect employment to 1800 people and has a presence in 14 countries in Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Congo.

In recent years, amidst the growing international competition, Kenafric Industries made a strategic decision to investigate technology solutions to improve productivity, which would enable the organisation to remain a leader in its field on the African continent.

"We looked at technology solutions that would not dilute, but complement our current tried and tested Lean & Process improvement methodologies, which involves all our employees. We also required a solution that would give us 360 degree visibility, interoperability and transparency across the value chain of our Confectionery, Food, Footwear and Stationery business verticals in and beyond Kenya's borders," said Gopalan Uppiliappan, Group General Manager – Business Improvement (BI) at Kenafric Industries.

He explained that after evaluating various Management Information Systems Framework solutions, Kenafric's Board of Directors unanimously decided to implement SAP because of its long-standing reputation as the de-facto enterprise software for virtually every industry today.

"SAP's implementation partner, IMark Technologies, had a track-record of integrating SAP's best practice change management methodologies in Medium and large organisations whilst meeting tight time-lines and the capacity to up-skill our staff to meet the go-live deadline at the same time."

S. Iyer, Managing Director at iMark Technologies cited that the overall implementation and transformation journey was broken into two phases. "The first phase involved the SAP ERP implementation, including training of the Users in its functional modules. In the second phase, iMark Technologies rolled out its i360 and iPortal Intelligence and Collaboration self-service Portal framework, which provides Kenafric Industries advanced visibility into the Business Performance and workflow based collaboration for the Company’s Processes supported by Document and Knowledge Management Integration.

"The SAP ERP implementation was done in a record 86 days, and the company has already noted a significant impact on operations. By using i360 built on SAP business intelligence (BI) solutions, the business has access to predictive analysis tools to examine business trends and to make meaningful business decisions based on the aggregated data. The process of continuous enrichment has begun at Kenafric and we expect the efficiencies to rise as users start achieving perfection and embrace the enormous capabilities that SAP offers," said Iyer.

Andrew Waititu, Managing Director at SAP East Africa concurred. "This implementation at Kenafric Industry is significant. Market perception in East Africa has always been that SAP is expensive to implement and maintain and only reserved for the big players but Kenafric and iMark Technologies have turned this paradigm on its head."

Waititu said the implementation was done cost-efficiently, keeping the customers' budget in mind and in record time.

Mr Mikul Shah – Executive Director of Kenafric Industries Limited pointed out: "With SAP ERP, we now have an end-to-end integrated solution for all our critical departments, giving Kenafric Industries one view of its business operations. The system has also enabled the automation of work-flow approvals through a single unified portal, thereby increasing human resource efficiency. This allows us to be more competitive in the markets we operate and provides a solid a foundation for scalable growth across the continents' borders."

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