Labour issues recently made headlines as one of the major challenges facing the South African mining landscape. “Rising labour costs as well as increasing electricity costs are just some of the obstacles facing the sector,” says Johan Theron, a Director at Deloitte Consulting.
“Many operators in the industry are currently focusing their efforts internally to stabilise the business, with a very strong emphasis on cost. Effective cost management can however create opportunities for growth when armed with tried and tested business processes and a business software solution such as Sage ERP X3,” says Theron.
As one of South Africa’s leading professional services firms, Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services through nearly 3 600 people in all the major cities in South Africa and Southern Africa.
During 2011 Deloitte embarked on a partnership with Sage ERP X3 that was aimed at the delivery of a cost efficient Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to its Mining Shared Services Division. Sage ERP X3 effectively forms part of a Deloitte service delivery model that allows mining companies to co-source and/or outsource transactional and knowledge processes and take advantage of the cost benefits offered by consolidating and streamlining back office processes. Deloitte’s mining industry expertise coupled with Sage ERP X3’s sector specific software capabilities are the two core ingredients to a winning recipe.
Organisations within the mining sector utilise ERP solutions for a diverse number of reasons. “Smaller companies may only utilise an ERP solution to manage its finance and purchasing, whereas bigger operators need to structure their business solutions around a more complex collection of needs. A scalable ERP solution is therefore essential to adapt to the business’ needs however they may expand or change,” explains Theron.
“Sage ERP X3 was designed with the mid-to-upper end business in mind, which makes it a great match for the mining industry, among others,” says Keith Fenner, Senior Vice President of Sales for Africa at Softline Accpac, part of the Sage Group plc. The ERP solution excels at streamlining all operating and processing aspects of single or multiple business operations.
“The product is essentially a complete web-based integrated management suite, covering all operational needs in terms of production management, distribution, logistics, asset maintenance, finance and human resources,” says Fenner. “It is a multi-legislative, multi-lingual and multi-currency solution that can be seamlessly integrated on both a national and international level.”
One of Deloitte’s first major clients recently went live on Sage ERP X3 with a further three mines showing satisfactory results. “We are very comfortable with the product,” says Theron. “Sage ERP X3 does not come with the hefty price tag that some of its bigger counterparts presents, which makes it the ideal solution in a tough economy.”
Cost of ownership is a focal point and with that in mind Deloitte introduced a software finance plan option, to stagger the initial implementation cost. “The return on investment makes the implementation of a Deloitte Mining Shared Services offering well worth it,” explains Theron. The package comprises of an ERP solution, financial co-and outsourcing services in addition to information technology outsourcing services.
The ability of Deloitte’s Mining Shared Services Division to drive the back office productivity levels of its clients, delivers tangible results. “It is not just a system, but a comprehensive solution that leverages the industry expertise provided by Deloitte and the robust applications delivered through Sage ERP X3,” concludes Theron.