RentWorks rolls out SAP

RentWorks, South Africa’s leading asset rental company, has recently implemented SAP. The advantages of this are numerous, from being able to maximise efficiency throughout the company’s entire IT system, to providing customers with improved service.

Jane Cartwright, Director at RentWorks, explains that the SAP rollout allows the company to create a seamless customer experience. “Previously, we were operating three systems,” she says. “We needed to integrate them into one end-to-end solution, and SAP provides that. Now, whether a customer is talking to sales staff or to someone at our back office, the information they’re being given will be the same. Our system is optimised to deal with customer requests.”

Werner Britz, CFO at RentWorks, points out that SAP also allows for more efficient and thorough reporting and governance. “The SAP platform accounts for transactions without manual intervention, which means we can automate and batch process transactions. We no longer have to rely on people to remember to do something – the system automatically does it,” he says.

The implementation of SAP has increased the capacity of the RentWorks staff, which Cartwright and Britz believe will enable the company to deal with the rapidly changing market and to become more competitive. “We’re able to innovate more quickly,” says Cartwright. “We can get our new products to market faster, and we can mine our data more deeply. SAP is really a backbone that facilitates greater efficiency on every level.”

Britz agrees, adding that the system allows RentWorks to cope with increasing sales volumes. “It streamlines the back-office, allowing us to bring in more sales without needing to add capacity in terms of human resources,” he says.

Running SAP puts more power in RentWorks customers’ hands by allowing them improved self service options. The RentWorks team is currently working on a secure customer service portal that will allow customers to access information online, which will hopefully be live later in 2014. “This was a fundamental problem with our previous system – it didn’t offer us this functionality,” says Britz.

SAP also enables RentWorks sales staff to process applications more quickly, which is good news for customers and vendors alike. “The principle is: do things once,” says Cartwright. “SAP allows for automated interfacing with internet banking, and stock standard transactions are handled by the computer. We can use hands that previously did those jobs for value-adding activity.”

She adds that the RentWorks worked extensively with IZAZI Solutions as its SAP partner due to the company’s expertise on SAP, specifically in the financial sector, as well as EOH, whose involvement although limited to the OCR component is integral to the overall success of the project. The RentWorks staff received SAP training during 2013, and the system went live in December. After spending the first few months of 2014 adjusting to it, the company is beginning to reap the rewards. “It wasn’t about replicating what we had – it was about enhancing how we do things,” says Cartwright. “It created effort upfront as everyone needed to go through the change process, but it smoothes out the entire process down the line. The aim is to get one view of the truth at every point of the system and to streamline everything we do. SAP is that powerful.

“We really have to thank our people for all the time, effort and IP that they put into getting this to success. It’s been a real team effort and we appreciate and value everyone’s involvement.”