Tag Archive: Softline Accpac


Softline, a provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, today announced that after months of planning they will be rebranding and will be referred to as Sage  South Africa, effective immediately. Softline is the holding company for prominent South African software products such as Pastel Accounting and Payroll, VIP Payroll, Sage 300 ERP (Accpac) and Sage ERP X3. Softline joined the Sage Group plc in 2003 after delisting from the JSE and is the central team of the Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia (AAMEA) region, a grouping of territories headed by Softline co-founder and CEO of Sage AAMEA Ivan Epstein.

The Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 company, is a leading global provider of business management software to SMEs with over 6.5 million customers in 24 countries. Epstein attributes the rebranding in South Africa to the alignment with Softline’s parent company, The Sage Group plc. in the continued pursuit of a global brand. “Softline has been part of The Sage Group plc for many years and over this time we have continued to grow in prominence.  To move forward we believe that it is now time to leverage the global power of The Sage Group and align ourselves fully with the brand.”

Softline was founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and soon after joined by Steven Cohen. The company was established in the formative years of the business software industry in South Africa, and soon became a leader in the provision of business software and services to SMEs.  The move to Sage will bring about name changes across all of the divisions including Sage VIP (formerly Softline VIP), Sage ERP Africa (formerly Softline ACCPAC), Sage Pastel (formerly Softline Pastel) and Sage Netcash (formerly Softline Netcash) as well as the newest edition to the stable, Sage Alchemex (formerly Alchemex).  “Our current and future customers will continue to enjoy the benefits of our locally and globally developed products that they have come to know and trust, whilst this alignment creates further opportunities to leverage global insights and collaboration.”

Epstein says that while the company’s branding will change, it is business as usual for Sage South Africa. “Our continued vision in South Africa, and globally, is to be recognised as the most valuable supporter of small and medium sized companies, by creating greater freedom for them to succeed,” says Epstein. “This vision supports the path of providing local expertise and leadership combined with global learnings and experience of Sage.”

By Keith Fenner
Senior Vice President of Sales for Africa at Softline Accpac, part of the Sage Group plc.

Keith Fenner

Keith Fenner

Supply Chain Management (SCM) involves the supply of goods or services required by a customer.  The process involves many connected parties that are involved in the goods or services reaching their final destination. APICS defines it as the design, planning, execution, control and monitoring of supply chain activities.

The supply chain management cycle in Africa is vital for our customers to remain competitive with the ability to measure and monitor performance globally.  Planning and visibility is the key requirement in any successful SCM module from a logistical point of view and pre-costing from a financial point of view.  This visibility must extend to your suppliers and all the connected parties in that process in order to land goods at the right time and the right cost.  The visibility will lead to a lower stock holding which in turn will free up working capital to use elsewhere in the business.

How does SCM fit into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Many ERP solutions only cater for a product once landed and costed but this is the first time the costs are known and stock is visible which does limit planning and cash-flow.  Typically goods can end up in stock and then additional costs are apportioned afterwards from a financial costing perspective based on weight, volume or value.  This is a very basic option and can lead to discrepancies when reviewing the gross profit on item level as these additional costs typically alloy across many stock items in a container.  A true SCM solution has a dedicated module where shipping routes, tariff codes, manage rules such as FOB and additional cost categories can be created and used to manage the true costing of goods in detail.  A module like this allows businesses to plan the costings and apply provisionally to stock before the additional cost invoices arrive, as often the stock has already been sold which causes further discrepancies. Once the final costs are known, the module will reverse the provision and add the correct apportioned costs to stock.  Moreover, in a modern web based ERP with SCM, you can simply give access to parts of the module to your suppliers to complete data relevant for shipping again improving collaboration.

When does is the right time to consider an SCM system?

Typically when importing starts to become a major problem in costing is the time to consider this solution.  When the frequency and volumes increase as well as the costs of warehousing, this is the time to review a proper integrated SCM and ERP.  It will massively reduce costs and deliver a better experience and service to their customers.

Advice

The best advice we can give is that SCM is not simple.  A distinction needs to be made between apportioning costs to landed stock which is the most basic requirement for a small business and what an importer looks for in order to better manage costs, improve service and delivery collaboration across the supply chain.  The key to the latter topic is a fully integrated SCM with ERP that has touch points across purchasing, suppliers, stock, warehousing, customers, customer service and costing that also talks directly to the supplier and customer with web based portals.  Luckily Sage ERP solutions have a scalable set of solutions for all sizes of businesses.

 

By Keith Fenner, Senior Vice President of Sales for Africa at Softline Accpac, part of the Sage Group plc.

Keith Fenner

Keith Fenner

Labour issues recently made headlines as one of the major challenges facing the South African mining landscape.  Rising labour costs as well as increasing electricity costs are just some of the obstacles facing the sector.

Many operators in the industry are currently focusing their efforts internally to stabilise the business, with a very strong emphasis on cost.  Effective cost management can however create opportunities for growth when armed with tried and tested business processes and a business software solution such as Sage ERP X3.

During 2011 Deloitte embarked on a partnership with Sage ERP X3 that was aimed at the delivery of a cost efficient Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to its Mining Shared Services Division.  Sage ERP X3 effectively forms part of a Deloitte service delivery model that allows mining companies to co-source and/or outsource transactional and knowledge processes and take advantage of the cost benefits offered by consolidating and streamlining back office processes.  Deloitte’s mining industry expertise coupled with Sage ERP X3’s sector specific software capabilities are the two core ingredients to a winning recipe.

Organisations within the mining sector utilise ERP solutions for a diverse number of reasons.  Smaller companies may only utilise an ERP solution to manage its finance and purchasing, whereas bigger operators need to structure their business solutions around a more complex collection of needs.  A scalable ERP solution is therefore essential to adapt to the business’ needs however they may expand or change.

Sage ERP X3 was designed with the mid-to-upper end business in mind, which makes it a great match for the mining industry, among others.  The ERP solution excels at streamlining all operating and processing aspects of single or multiple business operations.

The product is essentially a complete web-based integrated management suite that covers all operational needs in terms of production management, distribution, logistics, asset maintenance, finance and human resources.  It is a multi-legislative, multi-lingual and multi-currency solution that can be seamlessly integrated on both a national and international level.

One of Deloitte’s first major clients recently went live on Sage ERP X3 with a further three mines showing satisfactory results being very comfortable with the product.  Sage ERP X3 does not come with the hefty price tag that some of its bigger counterparts presents, which makes it the ideal solution in a tough economy.

Cost of ownership is a focal point and with that in mind Deloitte introduced a software finance plan option, to stagger the initial implementation cost.  The return on investment makes the implementation of a Deloitte Mining Shared Services offering well worth it. The package comprises of an ERP solution, financial co-and outsourcing services in addition to information technology outsourcing services.

The ability of Deloitte’s Mining Shared Services Division to drive the back office productivity levels of its clients, delivers tangible results.  It is not just a system, but a comprehensive solution that leverages the industry expertise provided by Deloitte and the robust applications delivered through Sage ERP X3.