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LOGISTICS: Forward Thinking Software Partnerships Announced


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Imperial Logistics has announced that it has formalised partnerships with various leading software providers. These partnerships support the Information Technology Roadmap of Imperial Logistics which will further enable the company to provide customised value-added logistics services and supply chain solutions.

RedPrairie has been appointed as the preferred provider of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). RedPrairie’s WMS has successfully supported TFD Network Africa, a member of the Imperial Logistics Group for over eight years, and the success of this relationship was a key factor in Imperial Logistics’ decision to deploy RedPrairie’s WMS in multiple operations. TFD distributes products to approximately 4000 retail outlets for Tiger Consumer Brands, Mars Africa, KWV Southern Africa, Energizer Schick and Heinz Foods, all leading FMCG suppliers, and uses RedPrairie’s WMS to keep accurate stock records and ensure efficient handling of the product.

Efficient warehouse management systems are core to our competitive advantage as the leader in distribution of FMCG products for our 41 clients,” said Nico Koekemoer, Managing Director of TFD. “Imperial Logistics and RedPrairie has structured a partnership that allows us to apply world leading technology to operations with varying complexities in a cost-effective way,” said Cobus Rossouw, CEO of the Integration Services Division of Imperial Logistics.

The solution that RedPrairie is delivering to Imperial Logistics is highly scalable, which means that more complex warehouses will use the full version of the WMS, and warehouses that require less functionality will be able to use a scaled down version. “We are very excited about the prospect of expanding the application of our products across the multitude of Imperial Logistics’ operations.” said Peter van Merode, Executive Director, Business Development, RedPrairie. “To be working with the leading logistics and supply chain management company in southern Africa is a great way to announce our presence here.”

OPSI Systems has been appointed as the preferred provider of Transportation Optimisation Systems. The South African developed advanced planning system will be used for Delivery Route Planning and Control in businesses like Imperial Distribution who is responsible for products from brandhouse, Nampak, etc. Fast ‘n Fresh, the Imperial Logistics subsidiary responsible for all deliveries every night to each Woolworths store will be using OPSI systems for operations improvement modelling, to support cost to serve calculations and for route optimisation. In Cargo Africa, one of the Imperial Logistics’ subsidiaries that perform 4PL or transport integration services for businesses like PG Group and Sasol, OPSI will be used for carrier planning and control. “We selected OPSI for its knowledge of South African logistics environment and its flexibility to support our diverse businesses”, says Cobus Rossouw. OPSI is used by various logistics service providers and large fleet operators like SAB and Clover.

Imperial Logistics has also been expanding its relationship with SAP, the leading business software provider globally. This includes focus on mutual customers of Imperial Logistics and SAP South Africa which are enabled by the SAP ERP solution (as is the case with Sappi for example). In such customers Imperial Logistics is growing its skills in using SAP’s latest Warehouse Management technology which is already fully integrated to the SAP ERP solution. Through its subsidiary Volition, Imperial Logistics is also expanding its capabilities to integrate SAP with specialist systems (as with Toyota’s supplier portal) and to assist clients to leverage their investment in enterprise systems to support improved operations management and supply chain visibility.

The Information Technology Roadmap of Imperial Logistics also includes service and cost reporting, event tracking and inventory optimisation capabilities – all of which aim to improve and expand service offerings to customers. The Roadmap also includes the systems used to support internal operations such as accounting, payroll, maintenance management, etc. Partnerships for these requirements are currently being explored.

“The traditional success of Imperial Logistics is founded in its ability to deliver warehousing and transport services to its clients. As our clients mature, we need to evolve our capabilities. These forward thinking partnerships will allow Imperial Logistics to combine the best of traditional logistics and advanced information technology”, says Marius Swanepoel, CEO of Imperial Logistics.

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