UAE Food Firm Boosts Productivity by 40 Percent with Business Management System

Foodco Holding, a prominent food distributor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), wanted new business management software to support its standalone business units more effectively. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner eSolutions Dynamics recommended Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0. Productivity increased by 40 percent in the accounts, payroll, and HR teams, while senior managers receive daily performance reports and comply more easily with stock exchange rules.

Business Needs

Abu Dhabi-based Foodco Holding is among the leading wholesale distributors of food in the UAE, with interests in catering services, restaurants, retail, and real estate. The company was established in 2006, when the business units that formerly came under the Abu Dhabi National Foodstuff Company became standalone companies with their own management teams. Foodco Holding is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and operates to the highest standards of accounting compliance.

With a reputation for best practice governance, Foodco Holding wanted to offer its five standalone business units a standardized business management system, especially as the parent company retains responsibility for treasury, HR, payroll, and audit functions. Huiam Abdalla, IT Manager, Foodco Holding, says: “Our previous business management software was based on UNIX applications, but we started to move to Microsoft Dynamics GP products in 2002. With the privatization of the business in 2006, we saw an opportunity to upgrade and standardize on one business management system. Our auditor suggested a solution to manage all financial and HR functions, ensuring compliance with government labor law regulations in the Gulf.”

With the previous toolset there was no connection between modules, and producing reports was dependent on manual processes. Abdalla says: “We needed to smooth our work flows, automate as much as possible, and increase our accuracy through single keying of data. Previously, senior management often had to wait for the accounts unit to post sales numbers manually in spreadsheets to submit sales reports.”

She adds: “Users could spend a whole day generating just one report with the former systems. They had no easy way of gaining an overview of all relevant information relating to customer transactions with our different business divisions. It was difficult to monitor bad debt and consistently deliver excellent customer service.”

Solution

Microsoft Gold Certified Partner eSolutions Dynamics—a member of the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle since 2007— recommended that Foodco Holding upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 for its underlying business management system. The company is using modules for inventory, payroll, payables, receivables, and financials. eSolutions Dynamics added its own customized product M.E. HR and Payroll—compliant with UAE labor law— to improve the efficiency of HR and payroll processes, and achieve full integration with all business units.

Hussam Bagh, General Manager, eSolutions Dynamics, based in Dubai Internet City with its operations office in Abu Dhabi, says: “A winning factor was the rich features in Microsoft Dynamics GP, especially in the supply chain feature, and the ability for customization to fit the specific requirements of a dispersed organization. We knew we could make good use of its vast array of pre-set automated processes and workflows.”

Additionally, Foodco Holding deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 data management software, which ensures that the organization can generate detailed reports and analysis without having to use manual processes. Bagh says: “Our priority as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner is to deliver remarkable service and help customers such as Foodco Holding meet their full potential.” eSolutions Dynamics provided training and personal development support for the 24 users of the solution. They rapidly adopted the system because of the training and the software’s interoperability with Microsoft Office spreadsheet software and word processing tools.

Bagh says: “The time we spent understanding Foodco Holding’s special needs as a company with multiple operating units paid dividends in rapid automation of business and financial management systems.” Foodco Holding is now considering upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0. Abdalla adds: “Our auditor originally suggested that we work with eSolutions Dynamics and the company has proved a highly reliable and responsive business partner.”

Benefits

Foodco Holding now has a business management system fit for purpose in supporting the transparency and good government required of a publicly listed company and world-class investor. Management reporting and inventory control have significantly improved. Abdalla says: “Senior managers now get analysis reports from the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution on a daily basis—they didn’t have this service before.”

  • Productivity increases by 40 percent. The productivity of Foodco Holding’s dedicated financial management, HR, and payroll teams has improved by 40 percent. Bagh says: “Previously, it was a challenge to extract consolidated information from the system, but now managers are fully in control of the business.”

  • Inventory control improves. The software is enhancing inventory control, monitoring of receivables, and supply chain management. In addition, it’s helping the group to control its receivables, maximize collections, and minimize bad debt.

  • Automation helps regulatory compliance. As a publicly-listed company, Foodco Holding is now spending less time on generating reports to comply with the regulations for transparency of accounting laid down by the Abdu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

  • Customer satisfaction rises. In a highly competitive market, Foodco Holding now takes a single view of relevant business intelligence about its customers, including the balances on their accounts. As a result, customer satisfaction has improved and it is easier to recruit and retain new business prospects.

  • Partner offers ongoing support. eSolutions Dynamics is providing a consistent level of service and support to Foodco Holding and is recommending a further upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 10.0. Abdalla says: “We chose Microsoft Dynamics GP because Microsoft is 100 percent committed to this technology. In eSolutions Dynamics we have an excellent business partner based in the UAE, which is available to us when required.”

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This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Customer Size: Medium Organization
Industry: Food Service; Retail and Consumer Goods
Country or Region: United Arab Emirates
Solutions:
Organization Profile:

Foodco Holding is among the leading distributors of foodstuffs in the United Arab Emirates and is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

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