FAW SA chooses best of both worlds with SAP Business One from 4most

FAW SA chooses best of both worlds with SAP Business One from 4most

By Phumeza Tontsi for 4most
Pretoria, 25 Mar 2014

FAW SA will implement 4most Enterprise Manager for Automotive (OEM and DMS), powered by SAP Business One, to assist it with current operational needs and future growth expectations.

As the local representative of FAW Group, China's oldest and largest vehicle manufacturer and one of the world's foremost vehicle producers, FAW SA has operated within South Africa for 20 years. Having established itself as a leader in the local commercial truck market, the brand is synonymous with tough, reliable and affordable. As part of its commitment to the local marketplace, and in that, the expansion of its offering within South Africa, FAW SA invested in a truck assembly plant in Port Elizabeth in 2012. With an annual capacity of 5 000 units aimed at both South Africa and neighbouring African countries, FAW SA is geared for significant market growth.

However, FAW SA's existing technology infrastructure was lacking in its ability to address current requirements and future growth plans. A lack of integration between departments was resulting in less than optimal functionality, an issue needing be addressed to enable FAW SA to continue moving forward. "We needed a holistic and integrated solution," says Cheng Zhang, Project Manager FAW SA. "Not only to meet current requirements and future expansion, but one cognisant of our specific needs and requirements relevant to the automotive industry."

With SAP the international FAW Group standard, the local office began researching local vendors. But, FAW SA's requirements are slightly more complex than conventional vehicle manufacturers. With most of its traditional business operations centralised in China, SAP R/3, an enterprise-wide information system designed to co-ordinate all resources, information and activities needed to complete business processes and hence, more suited to larger business, was not ideal.

"We needed the best of both worlds," comments Zhang. "SAP functionality for relevant local business processes, integration with head office in China and local dealerships, while also industry specific, scalable and able to seamlessly grow with us. And all at an affordable price."

"After a full analysis of FAW SA's current and future requirements, we recommended 4most Enterprise Manager for OEM and DMS, powered by SAP Business One," says Marius Fabian, Managing Director, 4most. A leading supplier and implementer of SAP Business One and ERP software and technology, 4most provides powerful and integrated business management and business intelligence solutions for small, midsize and growing companies.

"It was the perfect fit," continues Fabian. "The powerful SAP Business One platform is ERP tailored to a less complex environment and will provide FAW SA with all the necessary functionality, while offering seamless integration with required business entities throughout its international and local operation." In addition, industry-specific customisation provided by 4most Enterprise Manager's automotive solution, currently the most innovative SAP Business One-powered automotive offering, will provide niche functionality geared specifically to the automotive industry's requirements.

Traditionally comprising two separate components; NSC (National Sales Company) and DMS (Dealer Management System), taking FAW SA's unique position of owning some of its dealerships as well as having privately-owned dealerships in the value chain, a tailored solution including functionality across both these automotive solutions was developed.

"There is a market perception that SAP is only suited to larger enterprises," says Fabian. But this is not the case. "SAP Business One brings a lot of the benefits of SAP ECC6 functionality to smaller and midsize business, enabling top functionality and business process management right from the start, scalable and at a fraction of the cost," he adds. And with the interoperation of 4most Enterprise Manager, relevant and additional industry functionality can be delivered via a cloud and local intranet environment.

"4most Enterprise Manager, powered by SAP Business One, clearly comprises all the core functions we need to manage our growing business," says Zhang. "It will enable us to run our business the way we want and need to; anywhere, anytime and on any device, industry specific and in real-time.

"But it's about so much more than just the technology," he adds when discussing FAW SA's relationship with 4most. "4most understands our business. Having truly partnered with us from the very beginning, they have addressed our requirements while sharing their knowledge and expertise, advising us of industry standards and best practices," adds Zhang. "We may not know the future, but we know 4most will continue to grow with us, helping to define our future business blueprint as we begin to realise our substantial expansion plans."

In addition to its automotive solution, 4most Enterprise Manager, powered by SAP Business One, is available as industry-specific solutions across retail, wholesale, distribution and logistics.