'The opportunities for fast growth must be supported by your business software.' This was the basis principle for Pieter Kok, director of Cape Five NL, when he was looking for a suitable ERP solution for his business. Cape Five NL was set up as a European Sales Organization for the mother company Cape Five, from South-Africa. Since then, the trader of Cape fruits has known substantial growth, particularly in terms of trading apples, pears, stone fruits and citrus fruits.
At an earlier stage, SAP Business One was selected as the ERP system to support this growth. That solution, however, turned out to lack necessary functionalities specific to agri-food, such as 'Batch Administration'. Searching for an ERP system with functionalities specific to agri-food, Cape Five NL soon found Schouw Informatisering, from Etten-Leur, in Holland. Schouw Informatisering offers comprehensive business ERP solutions, based on Microsoft Dynamics® NAV. This package focuses on general functionalities, such as financial administration, in combination with purchasing, sales and warehouse functionalities. To be able to serve the specific demands of the food industry, those packages are enhanced by proprietary software, specifically developed for the food industry: SI Foodware®.
Starting with basic functionalities
Cape Five NL noticed that the advantage of that ERP combination is that you can make the solution as simple or as complex as is required for your business. Gerrit Klop, Financial Manager at Cape Five NL, has been thinking long and hard about that: "At present, Cape Five NL needs a number of basic functionalities, such as Purchasing, Sales, Finance, and Batch Administration. In the future, we can add SI Foodware modules like Quality and EDI to our package." The advantage of this is that the solution can always be accommodated to the growth of our business. "The additional options for the system are always available en you only pay for what you use," Gerrit Klop says.
Cape Five Nederland is a small trading office, but is dealing with business processes that are specific to large agri-food organizations. Every week, around 50 growers take their fruit to the packing station of Cape Five, in South Africa. The quality of the growers, and even that of the produce provided by one specific grower, varies greatly. In order to reward each grower fairly, it is important to gain insight into the levels of quality for each batch provided. The specific agri-food Batch Administration model in SI Foodware allows Cape Five to register all logistic en financial transactions, and trace those at the levels of suppliers, batch contracts, batches, lots, items characteristics, or customers. The Batch Administration also provides in situations in which no regular purchase transaction is included, but in which trade takes place on a commission basis, for instance. The aim of the batch administration is to always provide a precise overview of the costs, which enables the determination of real time results of those batches.
When the products arrive in the Netherlands, they are inspected. The registration in Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware allows linking the correct quality of each of the batches to the growers. Gerrit Klop: "We can even report at specific item level. This gives us insight into the product level of each grower, and allows us to pay the growers the right price. This is then processed automatically via the 'Report' and 'Pay' functions on the Batch Administration module of SI Foodware."
'Role tailored' user experience
Cape Five works with a role based interface, which allows users to set up their screens themselves, individually. Gerrit Klop: The Role Tailored Client works really great. I can set the navigation in the ERP system very precisely, just as I like it to work with. You can drag, add and remove buttons and fields. It works very simply and it saves a lot of time, because it has been set up precisely to match your daily activities."