Issued by 4most
Johannesburg, 30 Jul 2019
Read time 6min 30sec
About Bumbo International
As provider of infant and toddler products for over 20 years, Bumbo International is a brand closely associated with high quality, comfort and safety. A dominant player in the industry due to its unique and niche product portfolio, Bumbo International enjoys a strong footprint in both the local market and internationally, predominantly in the USA, Europe, Australia and Canada.
Solution: SAP Business One
Industry: Infant and toddler product provider
User: Bumbo International
However, what might not be as well known is that the manufacture of all products, for both local and global distribution, takes place locally (Jonibach Manufacturing). “It is another great South African success story,” says Yolandè de Wet, Financial Manager, Bumbo International. “We make use of a local distributor within the South African market, while Bumbo International Trust manages global distribution,” she continues.
In the beginning
With all products manufactured under stringent ‘baby product’ standards, the need for strict controls and exact processes has always been non-negotiable. As far back as 2007, Bumbo International saw the need for a single technology infrastructure capable of managing all facets of its operations while providing a single real-time view of the business.
“Back then our technology infrastructure consisted of multiple vendors,” says De Wet, with the resulting lack of integration and problematic reporting merely the tip of the iceberg. To stay on top of an evolving business, Bumbo International needed to rethink its IT strategy and bring it in line with current business requirements and future growth plans.
A strong industry recommendation, together with an awareness of the benefits of SAP, saw Bumbo International quickly settle on SAP Business One from 4most, a leading supplier and implementer of SAP Business One and ERP software technology, as its platform and vendor of choice.
“We were of no doubt that it would be able to deliver our requirements from A to Z, thereby helping us take the next step as a business,” says de Wet.
While the initial implementation was slower than expected and, at times, challenging, De Wet reflects on this having been an opportunity for the business.
“Setting up an entirely new technology infrastructure demanded we have as deep an understanding as possible of every aspect of the business,” says De Wet. It provided the chance for Bumbo International to truly drill down into its processes, define exactly how said processes needed to be defined, and how all facets of the business fitted together.
The past 12 years
A highly reputable and increasingly well-known brand, coupled with an expanding product portfolio and a business underpinned by a strong technology infrastructure, has seen Bumbo International grow from strength to strength over the past 12 years.
“Our range has increased from predominantly only infant and toddler seating, to include bathroom options as well as a range of accessories,” says De Wet. As a result, manufacturing requirements have increased, together with the resulting knock-on effect of an expanding business and on other areas of the organisation.
“The business has grown,” says De Wet, “and with that, a shift in operational requirements.” Multiple products coupled with changes in production has seen an increase in the number of reports needed, easier access to information and a far deeper view of the business required.
The existing SAP Business One infrastructure was set up in 2007 to meet the requirements of the business then. Now, 12 years later, Bumbo International needed to take a closer look at its SAP Business One infrastructure in order to align it more readily with today's, and tomorrow’s, business needs.
“SAP invests heavily in R&D,” says Marius Fabian, CEO, 4most. This ensures SAP customers remain at the forefront of technology, allowing their original investment to grow with them, meeting any new requirements as the business evolves. “In the case of Bumbo International, as its business has continued to expand since its original investment in SAP Business One, so too is the SAP technology able to continue to meet its new requirements.”
“One of the biggest requirements has been the manufacturing floor,” says De Wet. Due to multiple products, the business needs far greater insight not only with regards to what products need to be produced but, as importantly, every single component required to produce a finished item. “All products are manufactured to order,” explains De Wet. Therefore, to ensure quick and efficient production turnaround times, essential for guaranteeing customer satisfaction, easy access to reliable information, in real-time, is essential.
Completely satisfied with its original choice of solution and vendor, the last while has seen Bumbo International working closely with 4most to truly maximise all of SAP Business One’s potential and business benefits. “The major objective has been to allow us to drill down even deeper into every aspect of the business, thereby taking our investment in SAP Business One, and our business, to the next level,” adds De Wet.
Far greater access to information, tighter controls, increased user friendliness and enhanced reporting has seen a smooth and seamless transition for both users and management alike with regards to the increased functionality. “It is what we have had before, but on steroids,” enthuses De Wet. “We have a team of very happy users.”
Increased transparency, a much deeper and more holistic view of the business together with accurate forecasting and revenue projection has seen Bumbo International gain far greater control over every aspect of its business, with the increased functionality in its manufacturing sector of greatest benefit. “We now know precisely what products need to be manufactured, together with exactly what has to be procured to enable this,” says De Wet. “It’s about the control! With greater controls, one is able to manage the business far more effectively.”
When speaking to the 4most relationship, De Wet is as enthusiastic. “The 4most team have walked every step of the road with us, from as far back as the original implementation in 2007 to the current increase in functionality and closer alignment of SAP Business One with our business today.” From readily available support to its value-added consulting and intricate understanding of the business, De Wet has no doubt that Bumbo’s relationship with 4most will span many more years.
“We believe in the sustainability of relationships and working closely together, ensuring a win for all,” says Fabian. “At 4most, we believe in true partnership. It is about walking alongside our customers every step of the way, gaining as deep an understanding of their business as possible in order to ensure we can deliver real value in our role as business partners and consultants rather than simply supplier. At 4most, we take our customer’s success very personally!”
With far greater alignment between the entire functionality offered by SAP Business One and where Bumbo finds itself today, De Wet has no doubt that this will continue. “SAP Business One has proven itself as a future proof long-term investment and partnership,” she says. “As we continue to grow and evolve in today’s ever-changing marketplace, we have no doubt SAP Business One will continue to meet current and future requirements.”
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