March 2017 – Issue 40
Arch Retail-SAP Integration at Cambridge Food
Spinnaker Software is proud to celebrate its long standing relationship with Cambridge Foods, a subsidiary of Masscash South Africa, and to announce the completion of a comprehensive integration to its SAP ERP system.
The solution comprises of Spinnaker’s tried and tested “Arch Retail” system, which offers comprehensive functionalities for managing the various departments found in typical full service supermarkets, such as: bakery, deli, fresh produce, take away, butchery, groceries etc.
Spinnaker has implemented its AE (Arch Enterprise) system as an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) for the integration with SAP, and its DX (Data Exchange) for managing the flow of data between its Arch Retail and Enterprise systems. All master data such as articles, vendors, campaigns etc. is managed centrally in SAP, and relayed to the various Arch Retail systems via the AE ESB and DX.
The solution is unique in the sense that the stores use Arch Retail for all in-store related transactions such as:
- Purchase orders,
- Goods receipts,
- Purchase Claims,
- Production for
- Take Away
- Point of Sale
- Stock control
- Stock accounting and valuation
The solution together with the architecture allows a store to function uninterrupted in the event of a breakdown in data communications, allowing store level processes to continue as per normal, and producing real time key management reports. The solution has proven itself over the last 13 months with huge transaction volumes in stores with 30 to 50 checkout lanes.
Spinnaker as an accredited and experienced Sage Business Partner offers ERP, and centralised accounting solutions through its own in-house developed and supported integration with Arch, and currently have over 1,200 implementations in Southern Africa.
The following services are offered:
- Business analysis
- Accounting implementations
- Rebate system
- Customised reporting
- Accounting services
- Management accounts
The integrated Arch solution is ideal for high volume, low margin retail trade, where merchants often struggle to implement such solutions with poor and unreliable data communication.
Bonnie McAdam, Manager Business Systems & Process at Cambridge, commented as follows: “Spinnaker assisted Cambridge Food in building a solid SAP integration platform by utilising their existing Arch Enterprise, Data Exchange and BI Importer technology. This meant that a significant portion of the integration was not custom built from scratch but was solid, well tested technologies that Cambridge Food and other Spinnaker clients have been using over the years. The only custom development required was the SAPiX component where most of the integration logic is housed and XML files created to suit SAP PI requirements.
This environment took approximately 6 months to stabilise as more stores were converted over to SAP. Currently, Cambridge Food is integrating every single transaction for 19 stores, daily, across the entire KZN region and sending down master data updates twice a day to all stores. These transactions are successfully balanced daily and the environment has been stable over the last 13 months with minimal issues experienced. The support and expert advice provided by Spinnaker through this process has been invaluable and has contributed to a successful integration project to date for Cambridge Food”.
OK Foods Establish a Footprint in Swaziland
In an exciting new development, four stores in Swaziland were converted to OK Foods. These included 2 Savemor stores, Logoba and Manzini, as well as 2 Indenedents, Kwaluseni and Mhlaleni. The joint project between OKFD and Spinnaker posed a number of challenges from database conversions to unexpected surprises when implementing stores in a foreign country. The multidisciplinary team comprising of Spinnaker HO, Spinnaker KZN, OK KZN and OK HO, passed the challenge with flying colours. Arch is operational in all four stores and OKFD is in process of rebranding the stores at present. We are proud of partnering with OK Foods in Swaziland. OKFD has big plans with growing the business in Swaziland, with the next site (supermarket & liquor store), a brand new development in Ngwane Park is in final building stage.
We welcome Mr Lincoln Motsa, MD of Linac Investments, the holding company of the stores, and his management team to the Arch family. In the words of Mr Motsa, “Thank you very much for the professional way in which these conversions were done. I was concerned with the project, since the previous time I had to convert to new software, it was a disaster”
Supersave Foodtown Arch’ed
Supersave Foodtown, a landmark store in Pietermaritzburg was
recently converted to Arch Retail as the preferred retail management solution. It is part of the Foodtown brand in Unitrade Management Services (UMS). This big store has 45 POS lanes, equipped with All-in-One Arch TowerPOS Touchscreen machines (slip printer and scanner integrated). Supersave is a hybrid store offering both retail and wholesale products to its loyal client base. Bonsella Loyalty, EFT and Pre-paid Airtime are integrated at till-point for the benefit of customers. The store offers groceries, and the following service departments: bakery, butchery and fruit/veg. A special work of thanks to the owners Abu Khatib and Suhail Bhayat for accepting us as business partners in your store!
Automated Competitions Capability in Arch-Infinity
It is the strategy of Arch Retail Systems to continuously improve the in-store system with value added services at Point-of-Sale (POS). These include EFT, Virtual Airtime, Automated Cash Handling and a more recent addition. i.e. a Loyalty/Rewards product. “A conscious decision was made some time ago not to develop these value-added services in-house, but to rather select the best of breed and partner with these, offering an integrated solution”, says David Geldenhuys, Marketing Executive Officer at Arch Retail. A number of Loyalty/Rewards solutions were evaluated over a period of time and the decision taken to partner with Infinity Rewards.
The Arch-Infinity solution has been successfully implemented in a number of stores to date, most notably OK Foods Group, franchise division of Shoprite Checkers, and Sefalana Group, major retail operation in Botswana. The solution offers the normal loyalty/rewards functionality associated with a product of this nature, but also has an automated competitions capability. This capability is unique and offers OK Foods much more flexibility and control in their annual Win-a-Bakkie competition, which traditionally in the past was a manual process. Managing the competitions in the past has been cumbersome, with many challenges to ensure due process is followed, when entering the competition, collating entry forms and then during drawing the winners.
Competition entry at POS is either trough scanning the customer’s OK Count On card (Branded Infinity card). If it is not a card-carrying customer, Arch also prints an automated pin-number at the bottom of the till-slip which he/she must sms to a designated number for entry into the competition. This mode of operation ensures maximum entry capacity. In a recent interview with Tom Voges, Marketing Manager at OK Foods, he indicated the following benefits from this automated solution:
- “From a logistics point of view, it is phenomenal how quick and easy it is to get entries back, in the past it was a manual transport of entry slips, now it is only a push of the bottom”;
- “Setting up competitions, where say 20 products are included, is now much easier, since it is centrally controlled”
- “Verification of entries and drawing a winner posed challenges in the past from a legal point of view, where due process had to be audited, whereas now the winner is the winner at the push of a button”
- “There is an ease of participation by member stores due to the automated nature of the competition – the only thing they have to do is to put up the posters announcing the competition”
- “Capturing all entry slips at Head Office used to be done manually, which was extremely time consuming, now all entries are captured automatically during the transaction at POS”
- “The competition gives us valuable marketing information both for internal use, but also provides suppliers with accurate, structured feedback on their products in the competition. The automated competition though Arch-Infinity has also proved to be more successful in the number of customers captured”
In summary, Tom Voges said the automation of their competitions through Arch-Infinity has markedly reduced management time and substantially increased returns from it. When we approached Francois Loots, CEO of Infinity Rewards, for his comments on the success of these integrated competitions, he said: “The strategic departure point with our loyalty solution is, it must be simple, easy to understand, for both the store owner and the customer. Feedback from the market on the automated competitions, supports that”
Check Mart Holdings
Spinnaker is proud to announce a new partnership formed with KZN-based Check Mart Holdings, where we supply an integrated retail management solution. Arch was recently implemented in the first two stores, i.e. Smart Cosmetics, a retail cosmetics outlet in Durban CBD, where Arch is operational on 6 All-in-One Touchscreen machines with integrated scanners and slip printers. The second store is Check Mart Supermarket, a retail grocery outlet in Overport (Durban), with 9 POS. Installation of Arch in the group’s DC is in process, with the next store in Stanger planned for conversion. We welcome owners, Sameer, Ismail and Zaahir Abdoola to the Arch fold and wish to extend our gratitude to Raj Govender for his assistance during implementation. We are proud to be associated with Check Mart!
Puma OK Express Landmark Site
In a growing association Puma Oil and OK Foods Group have opened another superb service site on the N3 between Vrede and Warden in the Free State. A dual customer offering, i.e. a Truck Stop on the Johannesburg-bound side of the highway and a passenger vehicle site on the Durban-bound side of the highway. Thanda Tau is much more than a service station, it is in its own right a tourist attraction, offering apart from fuel also an OK Express store, a Spur, a bakery, a craft brewery, a restaurant, a wine tasting facility, children play park, overnight facilities and a game reserve.
As is the case in all OK Express stores, the operation is run on Arch Retail. Travelling customers in this modern store are serviced at 5 POS points, where integrated EFT and pre-paid airtime are offered. The POS machine of choice is the All-in-One TowerPOS Touch screen, with integrated scanner and slip printer. For the convenience of customers an OK branded signing plate forms part of the device. Spinnaker is proud to be associated with the OK Foods/Puma partnership and foresee many more of these landmark service sites. We thank Hannes de Jager and his team for the business!
Lifestyle Praises Arch
The versatility of Arch Retail as an integrated retail management solution is again highlighted by the successful deployment in Lifestyle Home Garden Centre, a landmark nursery and outdoor centre on Beyers Naude Road, Randburg. The cluster of stores have been running on ARCH for some period of time now. The range of stores include nursery, home ware, hardware (Mica), garden ware, gift shop, household appliances and natural products, to name a few. Arch is operational on 50+ POS and back office workstations.
In a recent publication of Trade – The Green Business Magazine, the owners of Lifestyle had the following to say about Arch in their business: “Point of Sales systems is a fundamental pillar of any retail business. In our dynamic industry they need to be both robust and adaptive that is why we at Lifestyle Home Garden chose to implement Arch. We have found that the implementation of an effective POS system that allows for the input of valuable variables has allowed us to drastically improve the control of our inventory, i.e. orders and sales which are our daily operational needs. The old creed stands firm in this case that what gets measured gets managed and a stock system should allow you strong reporting functionality in order to facilitate the information you need to make good decisions based on your inputs. It is important to remember however that any system is only as good as the information put in by a person, therefore the more effort placed in the detail upfront, the greater the insight you can draw later on. No one system suits all businesses – find the one that suits your business best. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the effect technology can have on your business.”