Infor®, the industry cloud company, co-hosted an Infor Industry Day at The Pivot Hotel, Montecasino, Fourways Johannesburg on the 7th of March 2023. This Cloud Event – hosted by Infor in partnership with the IDC and AWS – sought to garner further investment and drive insights into business cloud transformation across the region, particularly in industrial manufacturing, distribution, and food and beverage sectors.

The first session at the event featured three expert speakers, including Khaled Alshami (VP Consulting, Infor), Marker Walker (AVP, Sub-Saharan African, Data & Analytics, IDC), and Phil Lewis (SVP Solution Consulting, International, Infor). The speakers delved into the benefits of being a cloud based firm; how a digital first approach will empower South Africa to overcome the challenge of digital evolution in the region while modernising applications; and how Infor’s Industry focus and deep vertical expertise drives innovation, creating new standard-setting products and servicesthat offer agility with customer centricity.

Infor’s main mission is to move companies from point A to point B successfully and smoothly. As we drive their cloud journey, we focus on industry specific digital transformation,” said Alshami.

Walker added that a digital-first approach not only ensures employee excellence, but bolsters data quality, customer centricity, operational performance, and sustainability in a synergistic ecosystem. The speed of change has accelerated exponentially. To keep pace, enterprises must acknowledge the evolving role of distribution in the Tech-as-a-Service Industry, while wholly embracing the digital era and investing in modern, intelligent, cloud-native ERP.”

According to Lewis, a dedication to true cloud is what sets Infor apart in this transformation journey. Infor has partnered with AWS since 2014, delivering cloud solutions that are purpose built, while ensuring enterprises can be made cloud ready with 113 web services for maximum impact. With digital built-in, time to value is drastically decreased, offering advanced business process composition that drives navigation to optimise.” Lewis later added that South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa hold immense untapped potential. “Theregion is ripe for digitisation and transformation.

The second session homed in on digitisation in distribution, featuring Benroy Fernandes (Principal Solution Consultant, Infor) and Connie Dangale, Enterprise Resource Planning and Development Manager, Clover Dairy. In this session, Fernandes explored the distribution’s unique challenges, Infor’s industry observations and perspectives, sharing how innovative platforms offer improved digital control of the distribution supply chain. Dangale provided an intriguing, real-world account of how a cloud approach and process automation is improving quality, consistency, and efficiencies in dairy. 

Distribution faces unique challenges. From the need to raise customer expectations, to driving operational excellence, gaining insight through data, managing inventory control, controlling differential through VAS, and hiring and retaining talent, there are many facets to optimise to create a successful distribution business,” said Fernandes. “In the local sector, supplier and retailer consolidation, lacking digital information, and the supply chain are areas of major concern.”

He added that enterprises must ensure traceability is completely digitised while leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (loT) and other industry 4.0 technologies to compete in this digital world. His advice was to embrace Infor’s cloud technology platform to foster innovation, generating agility and true digital transformation, and empowering the organisation to leverage data and technology for improvements across industries.

Rounding out the event, Dangale shared a food and beverages industry perspective, detailing how a cloud approach and process automation has helped Clover Dairy to overcome challenges.

The dairy making process is highly unpredictable, and optimal or target yield were often based on past acknowledgement. With debilitating delays in the manufacturing process, a significant change had to be made to improve yield, maintain quality, and reduce waste. With Infor, we now enjoy integrated planning to balance push supply for milk and other materials combined with short shelf lives to meet demand, leading to better quality produce and happier customers. We are now working towards optimising the solution to align production, supply and demand while driving seamless coordination between stakeholders across various business units. The goal is to reduce stock outs, wastages, and lost sales – all while easing data complexities and saving man-hours in data collection and analysis. Once this is achieved, the return on investment will certainly be impressive.

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