Small and medium enterprises in the fast-growing East African economic region leverage cloud technologies to automate, improve and accelerate business processes and growth.
NAIROBI, Kenya, August 18 2020 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- SMEs in the East African region are using digital transformation initiatives to increase their competitiveness and ensure they are set for growth despite challenging trading conditions.
According to Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: Central Africa at SAP, investments into new technologies will greatly assist SMEs in the region as they adapt to a very different operating environment. “As one of the most important drivers for job creation and economic growth, the SME sector is vital to the region’s economic recovery. Technology will continue to play a determining role in how well the sector recovers from this year’s events, while also digitally-tooling organisations to out-perform their competitors in this new economy and enabling them to execute the business, operate, and thrive in the market.”
In 2017, SMEs accounted for 98% of all businesses in Kenya and created 30% of all jobs annually. According to the International Trade Centre, SMEs contributed 34% of Kenya’s GDP in 2016. However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic should not be underestimated: a recent Deloitte study found a 50% reduction in household and business spending, with direct consequences for the country’s SME sector.
“SMEs will need to reduce inefficiencies and improve decision-making to ensure they continue to survive – and thrive – despite our current challenges,” says Guerreiro. “In an encouraging sign, a growing number of East African SMEs are leveraging technology to improve business decision-making and drive greater efficiency across their operations.”
Gaining insight into total business performance
Guerreiro says gaining granular insight into the financial and overall performance of the business is essential to the growth and survival of SMEs. “Business leaders can no longer make educated guesses about the performance of the business. You need certainty over the total performance of the business at all times, not weeks or months after the fact.”
For Kenyan candy manufacturer Mzuri Sweets, an over-reliance on spreadsheets and manual processing for reporting hampered the company’s growth efforts. The company employs 800 people and provides a range of confectionary goods to the Kenyan market.
After choosing SAP Business One and working with SAP implementation partner ACEteK, Mzuri Sweets now have a fully automated system that is accessible from web and mobile, enabling directors to make approvals from any location.
Ashika Modasia, Senior Accountant at Mzuri Sweets Ltd, says: “SAP Business One has united our company into one platform, bringing visibility to our management and allowing us to focus on growth.”
Stationery manufacturer Safari Stationers faced a similar issue. Its previous accounting system could not support the growth of a low margin, high volume business. Company management knew it needed a new system that could provide accurate monitoring and synchronise its operations.
Following the implementation of SAP Business One, Safari Stationers can monitor credit more easily, set up sales parameters to ensure only the correct number of orders are taken, while accessing richly detailed reports that have improved decision-making across the business. General Manager Deepti Vara says: “It’s been a smart and efficient journey with SAP Business One, and we are excited for the future.”
Automation pays off for Mauritian engineering firm
Guerreiro adds: “Having systems and processes in place that automate back-office operations can also free up valuable internal resources, which can be deployed to high-value areas to support the SME’s growth.”
This was certainly the case for Mauritian engineering services firm Sotramon Limitée. With access to only basic accounting information and relying on manual processes, the company could not rely on its existing systems to support adequate stock taking, analysis or up to date information about the business.
ACEteK supported the company’s digital transformation with an SAP Business One implementation that sought to replace manual operations with automated processes that enabled easy access to up-to-date reports. Sotramon Chief Executive Officer Barbara Ah-Sue says: “SAP Business One has changed my life. It has given my business independence, accessibility and versatility.”
Guerreiro believes there is great potential for further investment into new technologies that could help SMEs unlock new market opportunities. “Ultimately SMEs should strive to become Intelligent Enterprises that apply advanced technologies within integrated, agile business processes to turn insight into action. As the sector expands its capabilities, SMEs will be better placed to sense opportunities, risks and trends, and take advantage of market opportunities.”
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.
As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 440,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
# # #
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
© 2020 SAP SE. All rights reserved.
SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see https://www.sap.com/copyright for additional trademark information and notices.
Note to editors:
To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.
For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)