Coopers Environmental Science is a marketer and distributor of environmental science products predominantly to government departments in Southern Africa

The exclusive distribution rights Coopers has to the products of companies such as Bayer, United Phosphorus, Termatrac and IGEBA – brand leaders in environmental science – has had a definite bearing on Cooper’s exceptional success. The company has experienced rapid growth over the past five years, based on a philosophy of providing superior products and services to their strong client base. Sales budgets have been exceeded year on year and turnover has tripled during this period.

 

“One of the side-effects of this rapid growth,” explains Jordaan, “is that it started to put pressure on our internal systems. We had a heavily customized add-on module for Pastel to allow us to process our Sales Order and calculate commissions in a way that we need. Unfortunately this resulted in instability within the system and on several occasions having to recapture a day’s work, within data having simply disappeared.”

 

Concerned about the potential impact on the business, especially with further growth planned in the coming years, Coopers turned to their local SAP Business One specialist and No.1 SAP Business One Partner in Africa, Bluekey Software Solutions. “We were impressed from day one,” commented Jordaan. “It was easy to have confidence in a product that has been developed by SAP, and the Bluekey consultants showed great depth of experience and understanding of our needs.”

 

One of the key attractions to Coopers of SAP Business One was the fact that there was no need to any customization outside of the system. “Once bitten, twice shy.” says Jordaan. “We now have a single system that satisfies all our requirement. Any small modifications that we needed, such as extra fields or reports, were easily set up for us by the Bluekey staff.”

 

The transition from Pastel to SAP Business One took place over the course of a month. It was a fairly intensive time for all involved, but the crossover was significantly helped by standard and intuitive look-and-feel of the system. “Our users were capturing transactions within minutes,” commented Jordaan. “Every transaction screen looks the same as every other, and it was easy to apply the initial training to all other aspects of the system.”
“Whereas I previously had to spend hours compiling spreadsheets to reflect sales budgets versus actuals, per sales aread—fifteen spreadsheets per month plus a consolidated sheet—all I know have to do is literally click a butting and the reports are on hand,” explains Jordaan.

 

Prevention is always better than cure. And now Coopers are able to ensure that their business rules are adhered to, rather than fixing mistakes after they happen. Examples of this include the fact that any order with a Gross Profit lower than the permitted percentage is automatically sent through to management for approval. In addition, special offer pricing, with date or volume restrictions, is now handled tin the system, whereas previously the company depended on emails and individuals’ memories to get the pricing right.

 

Esme Nel, the procurement and stock manager, has also been able to move away from the detailed spreadsheets for her resource planning. The MRP wizard that comes standard with SAP Business One allows her to accurately predict demand forecasts for products, and to place orders timeously (and with little effort) taking into account factors such as lead times and minimum order quantities. “What used to take several days can now be done in a matter of minutes,” Esme Nel explains.

 

The future looks solid for Coopers, from a business and systems perspective. “I am confident we have put in place a platform that accommodates the future growth we have planned,” says Jordaan. “It will also allow us to work more closely with key suppliers of ours such as Bayer, who run SAP R/3 and who will benefit from business-to-business e-commerce transactions with customers such as ourselves.”
Coopers see the implementation of SAP Business One as an evolutionary process. They have asked Bluekey to be on-site two days each month, to assist in further streamlining their current business processes as the company continues to grow.

 

Jordaan concluded, “As an accountant, it pleases me to know that we will never have to invest in any other product again. SAP Business One is one of the foundations on which we will grow our business into the future.”

 

“SAP Business One is one of the foundations on which we will grow our business into the future.” Tienie Jordaan, Financial Director, Coopers Environmental Science.

 

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