Part of Isuzu Truck South Africa, Kanu Commercial will implement SAP Business One for greater operational efficiencies, improved reporting capabilities and seamless automation.
ounded in 2010 as a family-owned business, Kanu Commercial’s key focus lies in the building and distribution of truck bodies across multiple industries including construction, waste removal and logistics. Enjoying significant market share, with as much as 90% of its business originating from Isuzu Truck South Africa, saw Isuzu Truck South Africa acquire a 100% stake in Kanu as at 1 September last year.
Isuzu saw the need for Kanu to increase capacity as well as speed up delivery to market, with Kanu serving as a ‘one stop shop’ for the procurement and fitting of any additional ‘truck extras’ – from the actual body right through to air conditioning and radios. “This ultimately resulted in the acquisition,” says Duvan de Ridder, Financial Manager, Kanu Commercial. Not only is this testimony to Kanu’s quality output and delivery, but it also establishes Kanu as the only ‘truck body builder’ worldwide to be bought by an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). “Whilst Isuzu remains our primary customer, we continue to service other leading industry brands,” continues de Ridder.
However he adds that in order to continue competing at this level, quality of internal processes is as vital as external output. An existing ERP system, not capable of meeting all daily operational requirements effectively, saw Kanu begin to review its technology infrastructure. “Whilst the current system contains certain modules which do meet our business needs, such as job costing and bill of materials, the lack of reporting is a challenge,” says De Ridder. The inability to extract proper monthly reports at management level, together with not being able to export to Excel, is far from ideal.
“We also require a system that allows for greater user friendliness,” continues De Ridder. An example being the print functionality of its legacy system. “Currently, if I want to print something, I have to go to an output screen, select the printer and only then am I able to print,” says De Ridder. “I am a big believer in working smarter. The smarter we work, the more we get done.” In order to achieve this, a new ERP system was needed.
With Isuzu Truck South Africa an existing customer of 4most, a leading supplier and implementer of SAP Business One and ERP software and technology, the decision to follow suit was easy. “It makes perfect sense to implement the same enterprise management system, allowing for seamless integration between the two businesses,” says De Ridder. He goes on to illustrate the practical example of server access. “With both companies running on SAP Business One, Isuzu will now be able to log directly onto our server.” This will enable it to access sales figures and any other information required, allowing not only the aforementioned integration but also absolute transparency – crucial to the efficient management of any organisation.
With implementation scheduled for July this year, De Ridder is extremely positive about the multiple benefits he sees in store for Kanu. “Whilst I have not worked on SAP Business One before, I have worked on other SAP platforms. Its ability to automate, thereby eliminating human intervention, increases productivity whilst reducing human error, key to efficient operations.” Examples of this include the automation of journal entries as well as the automation of e-mails, directly from purchasing to suppliers. “It leads to quicker and more accurate output, with resulting higher productivity.”
In addition, De Ridder also looks forward to increased reporting capabilities. SAP Business One brings with it the functionality to customise Kanu’s reporting, in line with its business requirements, providing real-time access to accurate information, in as much detail as needed. “It will also allow us to map our chart of accounts to current accounting standards,” continues De Ridder. Currently, Kanu’s balance sheet exists in a 1990s format, far from conforming to current standards.
“Not only will SAP Business One provide us with the technology infrastructure to take the next step forward, whilst providing a solid foundation for future growth, but similarly we look forward to increased efficiencies and productivity as we continue on our quest to work smarter,” concludes De Ridder.