SoluGrowth and DAC Systems, implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform at the Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority in South Africa to manage its peak levies and grants transactions.
The function of Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority is to promote, facilitate, and incentivise skills development in the food and beverage manufacturing sector across South Africa. FoodBev SETA is one of 21 SETAs across the economy mandated to put the National Skills Development Strategy into practice. Its activities involve collecting monthly skills development levies from companies and disbursing grants to qualifying employers.
Sector Education and Training Authority is the vocational skills training organisation in South Africa. Each SETA is responsible for managing and creating learnerships, internships, unit-based skills programmes, and apprenticeships within its jurisdiction. Every industry and occupation in South Africa is covered by one of the 21 SETAs.
SoluGrowth, a South African business process solutions company with DAC Systems as specialist ERP implementation partner, recently implemented the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform at the Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority, FoodBev SETA.
Business Central is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution which enables customers to replace their disparate applications into a single solution that manages all aspects of business including finances, operations, sales and customer service.
As a Microsoft Gold Certified Systems Integrator with more than two decades’ experience, DAC Systems specialises in successfully delivering business solutions.
According to Siyabonga Dyosiba, Senior Manager ICT at FoodBev SETA, its major challenge was managing a large amount of financial data related to the skills development levies. The ERP system needed to accurately import this data, perform specialised calculations to keep payments updated, and automate grant payments four times a year. It was crucial to have a faultless process due to the financial sensitivity of these payments.
Like every other SETA, FoodBev uses a specialised Levies and Grants module in its ERP environment to collect the monthly skills development levies that all companies pay to the SA Revenue Services, SARS.
This results in a significant amount of financial data that must be imported into an ERP system. Specialised calculations must be done to ensure the levies and grants payments remain updated for a period that stretch back to 2000.
FoodBev SETA needed to manage high volumes of data, particularly during peak periods like when levies are collected, and grants are paid out. Additionally, certain processes must be followed with levies and grants that need to be paid out four times per year to employers who qualify for mandatory grants. The system must perform automated calculations for grant payments.
“Given the sensitivity of the payments, there can be no errors,” says Laetitia Cassidy, Manager at SoluGrowth.
SoluGrowth and DAC identified the best system that would meet all the needs of FoodBev and Microsoft’s Business Central was the logical choice and ticked all the boxes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution. It is designed to consolidate disparate applications into a single, comprehensive system that can manage finances, operations, sales, and customer service. The platform allows for a high level of customisation, meeting the unique requirements of various end users. Furthermore, it offers disaster recovery as part of the service offering and can easily scale to meet peak data processing demands.
The system was rolled out at FoodBev to provide the organisation with a more effective way of integrating its data while accessing a custom-developed Levies and Grants module.
The initial phase of the project implemented General Ledger, Budgeting, Journal Entry Process, Cash Management, Asset Management, Creditors, Debtors Management, Vendor Management, Contract Management, Purchasing Management, and Projects functionality as well as Reports. This enabled FoodBev SETA to enjoy a more robust set of business management tools from the outset.
The project and technical teams of DAC Systems performed custom development of the following modules to comply with the business requirements for FoodBev:
- Levies and Grants module
- Purchase requisition module
- Enhancements to GL Budget module
- Enhancements to Projects Budget module
- Enhancements to procurement module
- Demand Management module
- BBBEE functionality
- Integration with National Treasury’s Central Supplier Database
SoluGrowth follows a System Development Lifecycle Process model to work closely with an end user to best determine their needs and make them an integral part of the process. DAC provided extensive functional and technical support to ensure that the project was a success. The cutover from the old to the new system was a seamless process that did not result in any downtime or business disruption.
It was important for FoodBev to ensure the necessary training for system users to become comfortable with the new environment.
“Together, we worked with the client, conducted extensive system user training, and helped to ensure that the company embraced the new environment,” says Laetitia.
Business Central introduced efficiencies into the systems process of FoodBev. The analytics and reporting features assists FoodBev in making decisions based on real-time access to business intelligence.
Using Business Central, FoodBev can scale to meet demand during peak data processing times such as when levies must be collected, and grants paid. Business Central also integrates into the existing Microsoft environment of FoodBev to maximise the existing investment the organisation has made in Office 365 and other applications.
The cloud-based architecture of Business Central includes disaster recovery as part of the service offering.
The flexibility of using a solution like Business Central allows FoodBev to securely access data from the cloud using the latest technology that can scale according to any use case. It also provides SoluGrowth with a solution that can easily be implemented at any other SETA to ensure accurate levies and rates pay outs.
SoluGrowth and DAC Systems will continue to optimise the FoodBev solution in line with regulatory, reporting and process advancements. Business Central offers flexibility and ease of customisation for customers.
“Our partnership with SoluGrowth and our expertise in Microsoft solutions have enabled us to design and implement systems that directly meet the clients’ needs, no matter how specialised they might be. This illustrates the power of Microsoft’s flexible platforms and commitment to deliver solutions that drive growth,” says Tinus Botha, Programme Manager at DAC Systems.Click below to share this article