CraigCor supplier-customer integration with SAP Business One

Supplier-customer integration with SAP Business One created an all-encompassing package for CraigCor Distribution to manage all aspects of their growing business


Sub-Saharan equipment, automation, and process solutions distributor, CraigCor Distribution Co., has increased its distribution efficiency, strengthened its financial controls and gained critical business insights with SAP Business One, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for small and mid-sized businesses (SME).


Known as a dynamic and forward looking business, CraigCor Distribution is in a powerful position to be able to quickly adapt to changes and adopt new technologies to benefit them as the company evolves. As a result they have been able to replicate successful decision by their main supplier to implement a SAP solution.


“The SAP Business One solution we implemented has enabled us to focus our attention on our two core strategies—regional growth and product line growth—in each of our locations,” says Matthew Lingenfelder, Managing Director of CraigCor Distribution Co. “We have also achieved a greater level of inventory control.”


“SAP Business One also provided us with the stable platform we needed to execute our core strategy of regional and product growth by giving us the tools to run remote offices and manage different product lines,” continues Lingenfelder.


CraigCor Distribution Co. is an authorised distributor of Allen Bradley equipment for Rockwell Automation South Africa, as well as the exclusive distributors of Hardy Process Solutions, and Spectrum Controls’ equipment. The Company has serviced the distribution industry for more than 10 years with their culture of innovation. This, combined with its knowledgeable and experienced work-force, has enabled the Company to gain significant traction.


The company made the decision to consider and investigate a new and comprehensive business management system after an array of challenges with its previous systems started holding it back and restricting it from achieving its growth strategies.


“Our previous business system consisted of an accounting-only package, and an Access based CRM tool to track our sales opportunities. Running two separate systems gave rise to an uncontrollable spread of Excel and no integration functionality between financials and CRM.


“As a result of our separate, non-integrated systems we weren’t able to accurately and effectively get information across the various business functions. We needed something that would be able to provide us with a real-time, 360 degree overview of our business to ensure we were delivering service in accordance with our quality policies,” says Lingerfelder.


In addition to the spread-sheet and integration challenges, CraigCor Distribution wanted a system that management would be able to manage and support themselves. They were also looking for a solution that would be able to provide them with some enhancement tools to give them a competitive advantage. Lingerfelder says, “We wanted that little bit extra from the solution, and we were excited by the fact that SAP Business One came standard with tools such as mobility, EDI, alerts, approvals, and remote access.


“As a result of these standard extras we were able to dramatically improve our business efficiency. SAP Business One’s query, alert and approval functionality provides us with a high level of automation and control that improves quality,” continues Lingerfeld.


CraigCor Distribution’s SAP Business One solution was implementation by Bluekey Software Solutions, the best performing SAP Business One Partner in South Africa since 2005. They specialise in the implementation, development, and support of SAP Business One for SME’s throughout Africa. CraigCor was very specific about their needs and expectations, which provided the highly experienced Bluekey consultants to provide them with the solution they needed.


Alex de Ryhove, Director at Bluekey Software Solutions said, “The solution that we implemented for CraigCor Distribution was standard SAP Business One along with the Boyum Usability package, which allowed them to self-implement data validations, layouts, and additional user-defined fields.”


“The solution gave them the ability to review procedures they had in place, for example, the sales process from sales quotes to invoicing, highlighting any procedural changes that needed to take place. Relationship maps were also used to track document flows and make sure that any new procedures were followed, as well as providing management with the 360 degree, real-time insight they needed,” adds de Ryhove.


Upon completion of the newly implemented system, CraigCor Distribution started realising the benefits almost immediately. “We gained immediate access to all our company data across all our branches and departments with the click of a button—something we had never been able to do!


“We have been able to increase overall control of our sales processes by implementing a policy whereby a customer needs to accept and sign off on one milestone before the next process can start. To complement this, we have also enhanced our credit control procedures to give us immediate visibility into customer balances and payments history,” says Lingenfelder.


De Ryhove adds, “previously management was reliant on their bookkeeper to provide them with financial information and answer ad hoc queries. Management can now access the information themselves with no more than a few mouse-clicks. This provided them with an all-round increase in control over their business and allowed them to focus on growing their business.”


When asked about the benefits gained and how Bluekey contributed to the overall success, Lingerfeld said, “the Bluekey team was very committed to the project and took all the necessary steps to ensure that they had a complete understanding of our needs and requirements. They were technically very strong and had a great understanding of the product and how to incorporate our requirements into SAP Business One.”


“As a result of a professional project and implementation team we were able to recover the costs of the implementation within 2 years. We also had a headcount saving of 5 people through the automation of certain roles and relocation of those staff members into areas that needed more work,” concludes Lingerfeld.


SAP Business One is an affordable and easy-to-use business management software solution that enables you to manage critical business functions in a single integrated business management system. With SAP Business One, you can instantly access complete and up-to-the-minute business information, so you can respond to customers faster and grow your business more profitably.

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About Bluekey

 Bluekey specialises in making SME’s best-run businesses through the sales, implementation, and support of SAP Business One throughout Africa. Bluekey is headquartered in Johannesburg and has branches in Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Bluekey is Africa’s largest SAP Business One provider, a SAP-certified Gold Partner and SAP Africa Partner of the year for SAP Business One 7 years in a row (2005 – 2011), and SAP EMEA Pinnacle Award winner. READ MORE…

For more information about Bluekey Software Solutions contact:

Craig Johnston | 021 685 7000 |


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