Egypt-Based Food Manufacturer Cuts Costs by 50 Per Cent with Business Management Tool

Food manufacturer and distributor Halwani Brothers (Egypt) wanted to improve the company’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability by replacing its existing business management system. Working with Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner RIGHT, the company deployed Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2009 at its head office and six branches. The software has cut operating costs by 50 per cent and given managers a single view of financial data across the group.


Business Needs

Halwani Brothers (Egypt) is a rapidly expanding subsidiary of its parent company Halwani Brothers of Saudi Arabia, specialising in manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of Middle East food products. Each of its six branches in Egypt handles both manufacturing and distribution and is committed to producing quality products and high standards of food safety, building on a 50-year history of success. When Dallah Industrial Investment of Jeddah took a majority holding in Halwani Brothers, the company developed a new business model with marketing and distribution operations instead of just sales.

As a result, in 2008, Halwani Brothers decided to implement a new accounting and business management system to reduce manual processes, improve reporting, and automate all business processes with one system for the whole company.

Sherif Abdel Rahman, IT Manager at Halwani Brothers (Egypt), says: “We needed to reduce the company’s expenses by automating all business processes and consolidating the data from our six sites with real-time online reporting for the first time. By reducing the potential for human error and increasing productivity with single entry of data, we aimed to increase profitability. We needed a new system to support new ways of working throughout the organisation with standardised business processes and full integration between company units.”

Automation of the largely manual processes was a key component of the preferred solution. Abdel Rahman says: “We needed to generate better controls over our production processes, including overheads and output. However, we wanted a system that combined this with features to generate more sophisticated data on finances, inventory, purchasing, and sales and marketing operations.”

Solution

Halwani Brothers reviewed a range of business management solutions—including local software, Scala, IFS, and Oracle Financials—before deciding to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 with help from Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and independent software vendor RIGHT. The company chose to implement modules for finance, inventory management, sales, supply chain, and production processes. The solution includes the Windows Server® 2003 operating system, Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 data management software, and Microsoft SQL Reporting Services.

RIGHT completed the first phase of the implementation in less than eight months, meeting the deadline to shutdown the existing system in the third quarter of 2009. In the second phase of the roll out, RIGHT will deploy Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 collaboration technology to support online reporting.

Wael Hassan, Operations Manager for RIGHT in Egypt, says: “Microsoft Dynamics AX builds on standard functionality to meet specific industry challenges. The overall flexibility of the solution made it a good fit for Halwani Brothers at a critical time for the company.”

RIGHT followed the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology to add new functions to the solution, such as automatic forms for requisitions and quality control and enhanced systems for purchasing. Hassan says: “Employees use a comprehensive toolset to manage all aspects of the supply chain, generate detailed financial reports, and track and monitor stock inventory and sales. With the workflow in Microsoft Dynamics AX, the 60 users can create, approve, and submit an order quickly and easily, while higher-level managers receive detailed financial analysis reports.”

Benefits

The implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 has achieved the business transformation Halwani Brothers needs to expand into new activities, such as distribution and marketing. Managers have access to sophisticated data, giving them greater control over outputs. Abdel Rahman says: “The production tasks previously handled manually are now automated with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, supporting higher productivity and lowering operating costs by 50 per cent.”

• Single entry of data cuts risk of human error. Because there is no longer any need to key data into several systems across departments, employees only need to enter information once.
• Users locate detailed information instantly. Track and trace features in the new system mean employees can track items throughout the production process, from the purchase of ingredients to product sales.
• Administrators spend less time managing processes. The flexibility of the software means it is simpler to manage—administrators easily set up specific restrictions to protect the business and users.
• Employees cost products correctly. The process industries feature for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 helps employees to cost products correctly because of its ability to support formulas. It treats the price of co-products as allocated costs from the original raw material.
• New feature speeds up food preparation process. The inverse bill of materials feature in the software helps with food production planning. For example, it takes one product—a chicken—and then breaks down the cost of the many parts of the bird that can be sold.
• Software sets up different payment methods and currency options. The system is flexible so it automatically handles different methods of payments by customers—for example, Egyptian pounds or U.S. dollars—without the need for manual intervention.
• Staff adapt quickly to new user interface. The user interface in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is familiar to users because of its similar look and feel to Microsoft Office Outlook® software.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published November 2009
Customer Size: Medium Organization
Industry: Wholesale Distribution; Food Service
Country or Region: Egypt
Solutions:
Organization Profile:

Halwani Brothers (Egypt), which is Saudi Arabian owned, operates six food processing factories and distribution centres in Egypt and specialises in high-quality products.

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