SOUTH AFRICA – Decision Inc., a data, digital and performance intelligence business, is in the process of implementing a Microsoft data warehouse at the Kaap Agri group, to optimise how it manages its data to more effectively integrate the information and deliver better business insights.

According to ITWeb, the Kaap Agri group specialises in retail and trade in agricultural, fuel, and related retail markets in southern Africa.

With an agricultural foundation, the JSE-listed company has a core retail focus, which accounts for 80% of the revenue, augmented by a dedicated retail fuel strategy that is gaining momentum.

With its strategic footprint, infrastructure, facilities and client network, Kaap Agri follows a differentiated market approach.

Kaap Agri employs over 3000 people and has a footprint of 200 business units across South Africa and Namibia, which includes the retail trading brand Agrimark.

Other trading divisions in the Kaap Agri stable include grain storage, handling and agency services, a packaging material supplier and distributor, as well as a manufacturer of agricultural irrigation products.

The company’s retail fuel operations are grouped within The Fuel Company (TFC), which also operates the forecourt convenience brand, Expressmark.

In support of its growth objectives, Kaap Agri acquired several businesses over recent years. With digital transformation a key strategic focus area, the group also invested in new systems to optimise the business. Therefore, Kaap Agri needed to find an effective way of consolidating its data.

“We needed to optimise our processes and build on the wealth of historical data available to the organisation. With a data warehouse, it would be faster to move to self-service BI because the data is centralised,” says Corrie Stadler, BI Manager at Kaap Agri.

“Following a presentation from Decision Inc., we decided to select them as our service provider, given how they would be able to cost-effectively assist us with a phased implementation of a Microsoft data warehouse solution,” says Stadler.

According to him, this approach would align with the roadmap of the organisation and be the most resource-effective way of managing the migration given the budgetary constraints on the project.

“The service levels Decision Inc. provided us were amazing, and, when combined with their service offering and strong relationship with us, it certainly was the right decision to select them as our partners.”

“By integrating three different business units into one financial system, it has resulted in a 30% improvement in the time it takes us to extract data from our systems. Using the Microsoft solution, we can more effectively pull data into the data warehouse, manipulate it and optimise stock,” says Stadler.

Even though the data warehouse is still being rolled out, it has already been delivering on the expectations of Kaap Agri.