South African Post Office

Client Profile

The South African Post Office Group (SAPO) – public company since 1 October 1991, with the State as the sole shareholder, is the prime mover of written and published information in South Africa.

Business Challenge

SAPO is a complex organisation consisting of four industries (Mail, Logistics, Banking and Retail). Keeping in line with its slogan to “We deliver whatever it takes,” SAPO wanted to strengthen its business platform across the organisation, in order to transform into a newer, more tech-savvy modern service delivery organisation.

The focus on 4 industries created a complex business model with fragmented information management environments, high maintenance costs, duplication of effort as well as inconsistent financial risk and management. SAPO decided to re-implement SAP – i.e. current core ERP systems (SAP 4.5 & 4.7) were replaced by mySAP ERP 2005. The solution was the first step towards creating a standardised and consolidated IT platform across the groups heterogeneous and complex IT environments and provides operational improvements across SAPO’s finance, human resources, mail operations, sourcing and real estate asset management functions.

A Re-Implementation rather than an upgrade was chosen as SAPO was experiencing a number of pain points with their previous implementation, therefore key business processes were first re-engineered and improved and then used as input to the system implementation.

The Big Bang approach was used for the implementation with all of the MySAP ERP 2005 functionality successfully being implemented in one release and Business Warehouse being implemented in a second release two months later.

Project Scope and Solution overview

The solution implemented impacted all areas of business directly and indirectly. Specifically the main business units affected by the implementation included Financial Accounting (FI); Management Accounting(CO&PS); Procurement (MM); Supply Chain Management (MM); Properties (RE); Sales and Distribution (SD) and Human Resources (HR).

From an operations perspective the consequences of a delay caused by the implementation would have had major repercussions in terms of vendors not being paid; mail not being delivered, lodgements not taking place and stock outs at post offices due to project delivery delays to name a few.

Benefits Achieved

The team will be monitoring that the planned benefits described below are achieved over the coming months:

  • Automation of statutory reconciliation processes;
  • Reduction in debtor days;
  • Removal of organisational silos;
  • Driving a paperless environment within the organisation;
  • Lower maintenance costs;
  • Enhanced procurement capabilities; and
  • World-class real estate management capabilities.