Attending our customer conferences across the country reminded me of how important technology innovation is to optimize and future proof our customers business. Speaking to delegates over coffee also grounded me regarding how important getting the basics of ERP, the support we offer, and the way we deal with customers, right as well today.
Our inimitable global CEO, Phil Duff, celebrated SYSPRO’s near 40 years from a South African only software provider to a leading global ERP business solution provider with customers in 6 continents, 62 countries and supported by 13 regional offices. He announced SYSPRO is "moving to virtual - we were on-premise but now we are in the cloud - building innovation into our software.”
Mark Wilson, MD SYSPRO Africa, a proud African, noted companies like Brookside Dairies are implementing SYSPRO - growing a small Kenyan dairy processing 5000 litres of milk per day to now processing an impressive 95 percent of Kenya's milk, 750 000 litres - currently the largest in East Africa. Value and volume were realized from their supply chain by linking 95 percent small independent farmers and 5 percent large commercial ones. They joined the dots and reaped the reward.
Handling Disruption from Digital Transformation
Mark also introduced Dion Chang, founder of FLUX Trends - self-confessed futurist and cage rattler.
Dion vividly painted pictures of digital disruption and how to survive. Here are a few make-you-think extracts that set the scene:
- Disruption comes in waves in all industries - companies must be omni-channel and responsive.
- Disruptive Trends and Pivots can and do change companies to capitalize on disruption.
- Digitization – IoT (Internet of Things) collapses supply chains, adds pervasive 24/7 mobility so orders hit from every angle and every minute from customers you didn’t know you had.
- Social Media – news, info and chat by billions with instant needs, likes, rapid brand swapping. Instant research before purchase, and innovative delivery expectations.
- The recent “Great Recession” 2008-9 changed thinking – why work and save for an uncertain future? Rather experience life now blending work, challenge and play.
- The Intangible – teens, millennials and generation z "individualism" – individuals with individual needs that never knew life without smartphones, always-on Internet, and hugely open communication and collaboration - all standard now.
Pivoting - using Digital Disruption to morph the business you’re in
Interrogate what your business really is. Enable innovative new products for these new consumers and channels. Create solutions that solve a problem and provide a service. It’s no longer big vs small - it’s fast vs slow.
- The Sharing Economy brought Uber and AirB&B – now car-pooling for strangers, driverless cars - and soon driverless air travel.
- Toyota’s pivot - an Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA - not the beer). A robot that sits in your cup holder. You talk to it and it books tickets for movies, air-travel whatever, on the move.
- The Gig Economy pivots include Amazon Prime Air using drones for delivery and then Prime Now - people with spare time deliver in their local area. Or Blood and emergency remote medical supply drone deliveries in Rwanda and KZN.
- Finally we have the Great Displacement as technology and its effects displace traditional staff to new tech and Internet-enabled roles.
From remote mine Operation Managers to driverless beer truck Traffic Optimizers the future has arrived and it looks like SYSPRO will continue to keep up with this rapidly evolving marketplace.