Bidvest SACD

70% of business processes transformed

Bidvest SACD, leaders in supply chain management, have achieved company-wide digital transformation, automating more than 70% of their internal processes with K2.

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In the import and export business, keeping track of inventory is critical. Identifying and resolving logistics issues ensures that shipments arrive on time.  
 
At South African Container Depots (Bidvest SACD), paper-based processes made it difficult to keep track of inventory and to resolve issues when they arose.  
 
With a vision of complete business transformation, K2 helped SACD decrease the use of paper, connect systems, and create more efficient business processes. Now more than 70% of the business is automated using the K2 platform. 

Streamlining inventory

Challenge
Lack of visibility

Much of Bidvest SACD’s capital was tied up in inventory that wasn’t accurately monitored. In addition, managing expenditures was difficult due to processes that weren’t standardized. 

Solution
Automated monitoring and approvals

K2 significantly improved visibility into expenditures, materials, and assets throughout the company, enabling Bidvest SACD to improve its financial management. For example, the company has halved the amount of capital locked up in inventory by using K2 to monitor store inventory more accurately. Unnecessary stock holdings have been reduced and replacement materials are only ordered when actually needed. 

The company has also made substantial cost savings by using K2 to better manage its expenditure. Using K2 processes, the company ensures all expenditures are authorized in terms of the company purchasing authority matrix and everyone follows the same standardized processes. The K2 platform also collates data on expenditure across the whole company, enabling it to negotiate better pricing from its suppliers. 

My motto is, if you can think it, you can build it with K2. I’ve yet to find anything in the business that I can’t improve using the K2 platform.”

- Freddie Mayer, IT Executive, Bidvest SACD

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Reducing Inefficiency and Timing

Challenge
Streamlining financial analysis

Financial analysis was a time-consuming process, with information spread between systems or stored on paper. 

Solution
On-demand access

K2 created considerable time savings by making information more accessible on demand. For example, it used to take a week for a financial team of two people to complete a stock analysis of refrigerated container parts and value that stock, taking into account currency fluctuations. “Now this takes just two minutes using K2,” says Mayer. “At a press of a button, it’s all done.” 
 
Further time savings have been achieved by the financial team in the production of monthly accounts. K2 now provides accurate, up-to-date information and eliminates manual processes, so employees can produce month-end accounts on the first working day of the new month. In total, Mayer estimates that two or three people in the finance team each save 8 - 10 days a month with K2. 

Improving operational efficiencies

Challenge
Inefficient operations

Due to their reliance on paper-based processes, Bidvest SACD was hindered by operational efficiencies in many areas of the business. Information needed for effective decision-making was limited, making timely decisions difficult. 

Solution
Paperless, efficient business

Managers at Bidvest SACD now rely on K2 to help them make better-informed decisions. One of the company’s K2 solutions is an operational cost model that pulls information from stores, purchase orders and workshops. At any point in time, managers can see the actual cost per hour of any machine running in any region. They can then identify the machines with the highest operating costs and decide which machines to replace first. “Because K2 links into everything, all the information we need about any part of our business is available,” Mayer explains. “We can make informed business decisions based on real statistics.” 
  
K2 has played a pivotal role in achieving a paperless, efficient business. Bidvest SACD reduced its use of paper by 60% in just one year, and the company’s most paper-intensive processes are now fully automated. For instance, every single purchase order in the business is now raised and approved using K2—that’s 390,000 purchase orders in four years. 

Enabling agile development

Challenge
Long development cycles

Without K2, development cycles were long, making it difficult to support the needs of the business. 

Solution
Agile, powerful software

The K2 platform gives Bidvest SACD the ability to develop new K2 workflows or systems in an agile way to meet the needs of the business. The company created all its K2 process in-house, following some initial support from K2, to set up development, testing, and production environments. “It shows you the power of K2 when you can develop automated processes with very little software development knowledge,” Mayer says. “It’s almost unbelievable how quickly you can develop new K2 solutions.” 

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