African Fruit and Vegetable Supplier Harvests the Benefits of Cloud ERP

Alto Vida is a leading African food distributor, buying, selling and transporting stone fruit, citrus, grape and various vegetable lines throughout Southern and Western Africa. Around 50 trucks a week transport fruit and vegetables daily to and from warehouses and farms to supermarkets, hotels and restaurants. In a bid to minimise the use of warehouse space and keep produce fresh and on the move once harvested, it is using technology to help overcome what its executives describe as a “logistical nightmare” in an unpredictable environment.


COMPANY

Alto Vida

LOCATION

Somerset West, Cape Town, South Africa

INDUSTRY

Wholesale Distribution

EMPLOYEES

8

REVENUE

$10m

NUMBER OF COUNTRIES

6 (South Africa, Angola, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gambia, Mali)

OTHER SOLUTION CONSIDERED

Sage X3

SYSTEM REPLACED

Sage

NETSUITE PRODUCT IMPLEMENTED

NetSuite OneWorld

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“We’ve now got a much more formal and structured approach to doing business, thanks partly to NetSuite, providing us with quality information to make better decisions.” Robert Meintjes, Financial Manager, Alto Vida

Sowing the Seeds of Growth

Boosting yields and efficiency
Expanding services and better organisation have helped sales double over the last three years. In 2018, sales in South Africa and Angola were up 50% despite a challenging economic environment (inflation in Angola hit 40% during the 2017 oil crisis).
Flexibility and savings
Alto Vida found its previous ERP system too rigid to customise and expensive to maintain. Transitioning to cloud ERP meant a reduced investment in hardware which was another important consideration in its decision to switch to NetSuite in 2014.
Delivery dispatch
NetSuite’s software is used to quickly process around 10,000 invoices a year and coordinate multiple just-in-time deliveries. Significant paperwork and regulatory preparations are required for each dispatch, especially on perishable goods and for export licences for certain countries.
Future fruit
As the business grows, it’s looking to get more out of other NetSuite modules: for instance, inventory and manufacturing tools or possibly more use of the Advanced Customer Support service to help answer queries about how to adapt the software as its needs change. The company has already been testing new tools in Angola to keep track of stock and whether processing and packaging into consumer-ready products adds more value.

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