Chips Computing Services, which represents Sage Enterprise in Zimbabwe, officially launched the latest version of Sage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) X3, at a function at Meikles Hotel on Tuesday (July 13).
Sage ERP X3 Version 6, which has additional modules and functionality, is simple to use, easy to implement and cost effective. It accommodates an increased number of languages and countries within its multilingual and multi-legislation applications.
Chips managing director Rob Watson took advantage of the occasion to at the same time advise clients that Sage 500 and Sage 1000, both of which have been popular products in Zimbabwe, are to be upgraded and rebranded as Sage ERP 1000 Version 3.
Some of the additional features and modules that have been incorporated into Version 6 of ERP X3 are designed to make it easy to manage operational budgets and fixed assets.
Speaking at the launch, the vice-president for sales in Africa of Sage Enterprise’s South African subsidiary, Softline Enterprise, Mr Keith Fenner, described Sage ERP X3 Version 6 as both “user-centric” and “web-centric”.
It enabled the user to choose how he or she wanted to run the system. Navigation was done through visual processes.
The user could have whatever he or she wanted on the dashboard. The system was role-based, he said. There were different opening screens for different users, so that the functions they needed were easy to see and to use.
If a user logged on as a buyer, a buyer’s portal would open. If the user logged on as an accountant, he would see different indicators. The accountant would be able to see at a glance unposted sales invoices, capital and transactions between companies. These transactions, he said, could also be auto-balanced.
An inventory manager who logged on would be able to see movement history between operating units and analyse stock history, packaging and deliveries.
Mr Fenner said that on the distribution and manufacturing side, Version 6 makes it possible to manage subcontracting and distribution costs effectively. Subcontracting and engineering modules are among those incorporated in version 6.
He demonstrated how a manufacturer can use the system to choose the components that need to be manufactured, see the components that are already available in stock, cost them, come up with a price for the manufactured items and issue instructions for the manufacture of components and use of stock items.
“The engineering module enables one to order industrial project management, which comes as a comprehensive process that has price estimation and manufacturing, and after sales service,” Mr Fenner said.
Sage ERP X3 Version 6 also provides for quality control management for those in the food and beverages industry.
Explaining its reporting functionality, Mr Fenner said whatever goes into the system comes out as one would want it to.
“You can put things into Microsoft Excel, export them and they come out as a formatted table,” he said. “You can also build active processes with Sage ERP X3 Version 6,” he added
“We have thought of pretty well everything but we have given you the tools to change what you don’t like,” Mr Fenner told those attending the launch function.
Sage ERP X3 is an integrated management solution that can be used to run all activities within a company on one system. It strengthens the efficiency of business processes, improves customer service and hence customer satisfaction, and makes internal and external collaboration easier, thus increasing the ability to effectively respond to and anticipate events. It also guarantees a quick return on investment and controls operating costs.
Across the globe, Mr Fenner said more than 10 000 users were on Sage ERP X3.
“Sage ERP X3 is an unbelievable product,” he said. “It is the best you can buy. There is less risk and it increases business opportunity.”
For those already on Sage ERP X3 upgrading to Version 6 is free. A number of companies in Zimbabwe are using Sage ERP X3, as well as other Sage products.
Speaking at the same function, Softline managing director Jeremy Waterman told guests that Zimbabwe was the most successful African market for Sage products outside South Africa.
He said Sage software, was for medium to large-sized businesses. He said the latest version of Sage ERP X3, which is a web-based system, was available in 40 countries, including China, and took account of the different languages and legislation in these countries.
He said it covered all aspects of any business, including accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, sales, services, customer relationship management and logistics.
Mr Watson told Sage Line 500 and Line 1000 customers that the upgrade of these programmes to Sage ERP Version 3 should be available in Zimbabwe in about September. Those customers on Line 500 would have to upgrade to version 7.1 before upgrading to the new system.
He said the upgraded system had a better look and feel. It was rich in features and pleasing to the eye. It incorporates a report writer. Fields had been renamed so that they would be easy for a new user to make sense of.
He said any report could be put in pdf format. Reports could be exported to Microsoft Excel for further manipulation. A company could put its logo on documents such as invoices and statements and change fonts and layout.