Eltizam Asset Management Group, one of the leading physical asset management companies in the UAE, has announced the implementation of the intelligent Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system SAP S/4HANA, with the aim of transforming and streamlining the company’s core back-end operations such as finance, human resources and procurement to keep up with the changing digital economy.
As part of its US$5 million technology investment programme, the next-generation ERP equips Eltizam with enhanced process automation, increased mobile capability, productivity and flexibility and real-time analysis of business data at lower cost of ownership.
Through the implementation of the solution, Eltizam will be able to benefit from the platform’s ability to seamlessly enable operations and facilitate business growth by providing real-time analytics of large volumes of data, using built-in HANA Analytics.
In addition, it prepares companies for future development and integration with the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). The ERP software package SAP S/4HANA covers all Eltizam’s core back-end operations, such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, plan-to-product and request-to-service and other core capabilities.
Chris Roberts, CEO, Eltizam Asset Management Group, said: “Eltizam remains keen to drive Digital Transformation across various operational areas of the organisation to enhance efficiency. Adoption of technological advancements have become so important, both for individuals and corporations, in order to fully benefit from the advantages of digitisation. Eltizam remains committed to staying ahead of the curve by investing in and adopting the latest industry technologies to work better, faster and ensure customer satisfaction. Furthermore, technology is one of the six important pillars of our company’s culture, which we call ‘Get Wonky’.”
“We look forward to reaping the benefits of SAP S/4HANA platform – from sales transactions to complex analytical applications – which is also set to significantly increase our productivity and enhance the services that are being offered to our clients. Apart from improved customer experience and productivity, the speed of SAP S/4HANA cloud will help our business arrive at better, more informed decisions thanks to its capability to process data in real-time. We are already seeing benefits of SAP S/4 HANA in allowing our teams to work remotely, with full system capabilities, which is critical during the current challenges posed by the COVID 19 virus.”
Mansoor Khan, Group IT Director of Tamouh Integrated Business Services (TIBS), a direct subsidiary of the Eltizam Group, which operates across the UAE and MENA region, said: “In this era of Digital Transformation, large organisations build their operations around ERP systems. S/4HANA has the ability to transform end-to-end operations for clients-serving businesses, by enabling the intelligent digital ERP solution. The solution will allow Eltizam to respond to new customer demands faster and develop a digital roadmap.”
TIBS implemented the solution across the group of companies. It provides its clients with specialised business solutions focused on system automation and process efficiency, thereby enabling them to boost customer satisfaction and happiness.
Intelligent CIO asked Chris Roberts, CEO, Eltizam Asset Management Group, further questions about the solution.
What necessitated your decision to implement the solution?
Eltizam’s growth trajectory over the past decade, and our future-proofing agenda (including the growing requirements for increased mobility and real time data capabilities), outlined a clear need for a next generation ERP system to support our future growth plans. Prior to doing so, we first evaluated a number of strategic options and based on our assessment, the SAP S/4 HANA came out on top as a platform that meets our future needs.
It has been very useful and effective as the platform enables us to seamlessly operate and facilitate business with the real-time analytics of large volumes of data using the built-in HANA Analytics feature. Moreover, the system has several other features that we are looking to capitalise on as we integrate other technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning into our services and operations.
Has the solution given you increased visibility into your operations? If so, how?
The data analytics capabilities of S/4 HANA have definitely provided our leaders (group, entity and function level) with better visibility into their operations. What used to be a month-end system generated Excel report is now a few clicks through a mobile app -available 24/7 and not restricted by on-site data networks. Even though we have not extracted the full benefits of this part of the new system, some degree of improved visibility has been evident to date and the general feedback we have received so far is positive.
Is the solution delivering on your objectives?
Although we did not have a crystal ball to predict the COVID-19 pandemic, this current situation has turned out to be the best proof that our system-objectives have been met. Through improved remote-working capabilities over the legacy system, our employees across the group have managed to work seamlessly from remote locations. We could not have asked for a better test of the system’s capabilities than the current situation that we are facing.
How far has the solution future proofed your company?
With the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on workplace activities, the new system has delivered amazing results in keeping us connected and fully operational while working remotely. We see that as the ultimate test of our future proofing plans – how well we operate facing maximum disruption. A practical example of this has been ERP approvals through mobile devices, something new that came with SAP S/4 HANA. This has come in very handy, especially now that many team members are working outside of their office networks. What we look forward to next is seeing the strong data analytics capabilities of the new system, as this is a key component of our future proofing plans and part of our technology roadmap.
Did the solution require any additional training for staff?
Yes and no. As this was an SAP system upgrade, users did not require training on the original features that were part of the legacy system. However, training was needed and delivered on the new features such as the suit of apps that come with SAP S/4 HANA. This training will continue to take place for some time until the full benefits of the system are achieved.
How has the solution increased your mobile capabilities?
As described above, a key benefit of the system upgrade has been the switch to approvals on mobile devices. This has enabled better real-time decision making and faster processing times to support our operational needs. Ultimately our team members become more responsive, which leads to customer happiness.
What are the benefits of the solution’s integration with the IoT, Blockchain, AI and ML?
SAP has designed the latest generation S/4 HANA system to answer the needs of IoT, Blockchain, AI and ML. The system, along with its out of the box data capabilities, is ready for integration projects to connect these new technologies. We are currently working on IoT projects that are related to asset maintenance, which we hope to go live with before the end of the year.
Can you explain how the solution will facilitate your business to arrive at better, more informed decisions?
Transaction processing and financial accounting and reporting for an interrelated group of companies is something that requires a great ERP system, and there are many systems that exist to provide those basic requirements. What our investment in S/4 HANA brings is the empowerment of our management teams with data analytics, both out of the box, and through integrated BI platforms like Power BI in our case.
Functional heads now have much more powerful analytics at their fingertips – for analysing work order volumes, purchase order turnaround times, supplier payment trends, etc. In short, better data has led to better, faster, decision making. Ultimately that leads to happier customers, a key strategic objective in our balanced scorecard.
Can you explain the benefits of SAP S/4 HANA in allowing your teams to work remotely?
Cloud access is essential for remote working systems especially at these critical times where our employees cannot really work from the office due to the threats of COVID-19 infection. Having the access to enhanced process automation, increased mobile capability, productivity and flexibility, and real-time analysis of business data enables our employees to be more productive, saves them time and provides better co-ordination.
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How is the solution enabling you to respond to new customer demands faster?
The seamless feature of SAP S/4 HANA is particularly commendable, which is a great time-saver, thereby facilitating our efforts to deliver quick solutions to our clients. The real-time analytics are also value-adding factors when it comes to decision-making.