“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.”

African Fruit and Vegetable Supplier Harvests the Benefits of Cloud ERP

Alto Vida is a leading African fresh produce trader, 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 minimize 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

Sowing the Seeds of Growth

Expanding services and better organization 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 customize 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.
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.

Ready for the future

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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