Leading lifestyle retailer Deacons Kenya Limited has invested Kshs 36 Million (USD 448,000) in a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The ERP solution, dubbed Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5 integrated with LS Retail, is aimed at linking different business processes by correlating information from various functions and using it to run the whole business more smoothly.
Generally The key objective of an ERP system is to integrate information and processes from all functional divisions of an organization and merge it for effortless access and structured workflow. The integration is normally accomplished by constructing a single database that communicates with multiple software applications providing different divisions of an organization with various business statistics and information.
Ideal ERP system should integrate following organizational processes in a central database repository and in a merged computing platform:
- The core Business of the company, be it manufacturing or service delivery
- Financial, all accounting issues
- Human Resource Management , critical in most organization
- Customer relationship management. In Kenya, the biggest complain about most companies is to do with customer care. As they say, customers are always right, so the companies need to equip themselves to handle with customers
- Supply chain management..inventory, procurement, invoicing. and so on
Back to the deacons investment. That is some cool money but i bet the system is not locally made which leaves a big question mark over the local developers. What is the real problem here for the local developers? Is the reliability? Is it the name? Is it the lack of technical knowhow? (I really doubt that) …
The final phase of the ERP implementation process is slated to be commissioned by January 2011 offering the company flexibility to support the varied needs of multi-brand and multi-locational business, regardless of size, location, or type of business.
Deacons Chief Executive Mr. Muchiri Wahome said: “We expect that the new system will enable us to further improve workflow efficiencies for financial consolidation, give clear business insight with integrated analytics and offer efficient means of exchanging data from various divisions. This way, we will be able to respond more proactively to ever changing business conditions.”
The planned expansion of Deacons within the region necessitated the investment into the new ERP platform. Mr. Muchiri said the new ERP will help in the management decision-making process in the company. He said the system will even more crucially help in effectively managing inventory levels, warehouse space and processes – an important element of Deacons whose business involves storage and movement of goods across its current 23 stores in East Africa.
“The ERP Solution will potentially help us operate a lot more effectively and efficiently in a business like ours. It will now be much easier, for instance, to monitor profitability per division and track performances per brand. More importantly, we will be able to have comprehensive, up-to-date financial information making it easier to spot trends and gain insight into our business activities,” said Mr. Alfred Kithusi, the Group Operations Director.
He added that Deacons will in addition be able to control and manage the entire life cycle of fixed assets from acquisition to disposal and therefore help deliver improved supply chain management.
Deacons ICT manager, Ismael Omol commented: “the ERP solution will cover all brands managed by Deacons, and to ensure successful implementation, the users underwent rigorous training by the system implementers. During the training sessions the staff had access to user manuals, in addition to a fully set up training laboratory for their practice sessions.”
Deacons announced that it is seeking KES 800 million in new capital last week through a public offer to help fund its expansion strategy in East Arica. The ERP is a part of wide-ranging changes and is intended to handle business expansion and store footprint management.
About Deacons Kenya Limited
Deacons is the umbrella company which owns and manages various internationally acclaimed fashion brands that meet the needs and preferences of a varied market segment.