Nando’s adopts Sage ERP X3


Image: Ashley Ellington. By BiztechAfrica
Ashley Ellington

Nando’s, a popular South African restaurant group, was in need of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that could seamlessly integrate into and support the company’s complex business model and financial processes.  The solution came in the form of Sage ERP X3, which Nando’s adopted with the aid of Times 3 Technologies, a premier business partner to the Softline Group. 

Nando's operates in thirty countries on five continents and specialises in chicken dishes with tangy tomato, lemon and herb, medium, hot, extra hot or extra extra hot Peri-Peri marinades. In some countries, Nando's has other flavour options such as mango and lime or Mediterranean. 

Nando’s has its origins in a mining town in South Africa, where many Mozambicans of Portuguese origin relocated to Johannesburg in search of gold, and carried piri piri recipes to South Africa. Industries catering to the mining communities quickly began to grow in Rosettenville in Johannesburg.

The restaurant began in 1987 when Robert Brozin and Fernando Duarte bought a restaurant called Chickenland in Rosettenville, which they renamed as Nando's, after Duarte. The restaurant incorporated influences from former Portuguese colonists from Mozambique, and is known today as a South African casual dining restaurant group.

“At the core, we needed to find an ERP solution that could holistically integrate and report across all the different business divisions within Nando’s from a financial point of view, to provide us with a comprehensive overview of our business operation,” says Denise Fourie, Financial Director of Nando’s.  “We currently have 279 restaurants across South Africa that comprise of both franchised and Nando’s owned outlets, which by definition means they need to be invoiced differently.  Nando’s also runs a complex logistics side of the business in terms of our manufactured sauces and ingredients that are distributed across the globe.  Management of our fixed assets and project building of new retail outlets also feature in the equation.”

The advanced capabilities of Sage ERP X3 provided the perfect solution to seamlessly incorporate all the varying business functions that Nando’s required.  “One of the largest concerns facing Nando’s, was their royalty invoicing,” says Ashley Ellington, a Director at Times 3 Technologies. “The financials needed to be executed very differently depending on the type of restaurant, whether a franchise or Nando’s owned.  The Sage ERP X3 configuration addressed the issue and will further allow Nando’s to track the point of sale and banking activities of each of the stores, providing an accurate overview of each store’s performance,” explains Ellington.

The entire implementation is running on an Oracle database across multiple Linux Servers that are mirrored to optimise disaster recovery.  “The entire implementation is planned in a phased ‘go live’ process, with the Logistics side of the implementation scheduled to go online at the end of July.  The main restaurant side of the implementation is fully tested and ready to go live during Nando’s financial year end.  We have executed a production dry run, where Nando’s information was migrated to run parallel with their existing legacy system, from where the results were balanced back, measured and signed off,” says Ellington.

The user centric testing that Times 3 Technologies incorporated throughout the development of the Nando’s Sage ERP X3 implementation has proved to be very successful.  “The initial training with the core project group provided a platform from which the Times 3 Technologies team worked very closely with us throughout the entire set-up of the system,” says Fourie.  “We are quite proficient with the system at this stage and the exchange of knowledge from both teams has ensured that we are all informed and proficient in its use, leaving us quite comfortable with the system’s reporting capabilities and the overall end result,” explains Fourie.

“The multidimensional features of Sage ERP X3 allow users to easily capture data and create virtually any financial report they want,” says Keith Fenner, Senior Vice-President of Sales for Africa, Softline Accpac and Sage MMD Africa.  “The reporting complexity within Nando’s is greatly attributable to the fact that the profiles of staff members may vary greatly. For example, one person might be responsible at a management level for one store and a different level for another store.  Sage ERP X3 will allow Nando’s to create varying profiles for their users, ensuring that each person has access to the correct information and at the correct level across the enterprise,” concludes Fenner.

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