Premier FMCG, one of South Africa’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies with an annual turnover of R12 billion, has implemented Sage 300 People Payroll to streamline operations and enhance management reporting. This follows a series of acquisitions that has seen the group’s payroll expand from 2 000 to over 8 000 employees in less than a decade.
The rapid expansion of the business necessitated that Premier FMCG migrates from Sage VIP software to a more modern and powerful solution, designed for complex groups with large payrolls and multiple business entities. Premier FMCG selected AWCape, a Sage Platinum Business Partner, as the consulting partner for future projects.
Repositioning as a leading FMCG player
Premier FMCG strategically repositioned itself as a leading FMCG player in 2012 after Brait acquired a majority shareholding in the business. The group expanded from its traditional maize, wheat, and bread business into a broad portfolio of product categories, including home and personal care and sugar confectioneries.
As a result of this expansion strategy, Premier FMCG outgrew its previous payroll system, says Susan Lombard, Group Remuneration Manager at Premier FMCG. “We were finding it difficult to manage the different income, deduction and company contribution codes across our different lines of business on the old system,” she says.
“The breakdown of tax benefits across different retirement funds was also a challenge, while consolidated reporting was problematic. Further complicating matters was that the HR and payroll systems did not sync, requiring duplicated capture of information. In an environment with frequent acquisitions, hires, and movement of staff between documents, our HR and payroll databases were often out of alignment.”
Premier FMCG started searching for a new system that would enable it to easily manage weekly, bi-weekly and monthly payments while it transitions employees to a monthly payroll. The group chose Sage 300 People based on its consolidated HR and payroll database, robust reporting capabilities, and easy handling of payroll codes and information across multiple companies.
Rolled out in three months
Working with AWCape, Premier FMCG rolled out the software to employees in South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini within three months. “With Sage 300 People Payroll in place, we have a scalable, flexible solution that caters for multiple industries and conditions of employment,” Lombard says. “Management reports can be easily tweaked to meet the requirements of different companies. The employee self-service function, meanwhile, has streamlined leave management in our business.”
With Sage 300 People Payroll in place, it will be easy for Premier FMCG to seamlessly add new departments or companies to the payroll when it makes acquisitions. The system also simplifies the process of creating consolidated reports. Furthermore, the ease of importing validated payment information into the system has reduced the need for manual data capture and strengthened financial controls.
Says Lombard: “The new software has improved data availability, in turn, leading to increased efficiency, effectiveness and adaptability. Sage 300 People’s ability to manage changes gives Premier FMCG an edge in market competitiveness. With a stable system in place, we are in a good position to implement features that add even more value, such as management dashboards.”
Gerhard Hartman, Vice President, Medium Business for Sage Africa & Middle East, says: “At Sage, we aim to create customers for life. We do this to improve the lives of business owners and their employees, with a product portfolio that supports businesses as they evolve, removing friction and delivering insights. We are delighted that Premier FMCG has adopted our solution to support its business as it has grown from a mid-sized entity into a formidable competitor in the FMCG landscape.”
Jeff Ryan, MD for AWCape, adds: “Sage 300 People is a powerful solution for complex and fast-growing companies that need to manage multiple reporting entities, hierarchical levels, employees, pay period configurations, and pay runs. Successful deployments at leading organisations such as Premier FMCG show just how scalable, robust and efficient this system is. We are all about business efficiency, and we are proud of this implementation and the amount of time they are saving on processing their payroll.”