Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s International Agencies (IA) went live with the FORWARD application on December 8, 2018 and the division has been successfully using the system since then.
To celebrate this journey, a gathering was organized in the division on April 11, 2019.
All IA team members, along with General Manger Mr. Ghassan Aibef and ex-General Manager Mr. Viji Kurien, who was at the helm of the project in the division, were present at the event. Also present were members of the FORWARD team, the driving force behind the project.
The event was opened by Mr. Ghassan who welcomed everyone to the IA Go Live event and reminded everybody that it was the beginning of a big change, which is still a work in progress. He then handed over the stage to Mr. Viji, who had led the IA team through the transition and implemented FORWARD in the division.
Reminiscing about the FORWARD journey, Mr. Viji said: “Implementation of the FORWARD application was kind of inevitable, surely the time had come for change. It was a painful journey but there was some real good effort from the IA team, with support from the PMO and Intrasoft, which made it possible for IA to Go Live without failure.
“It’s like planting a fruit tree; today we are all cribbing about it and yes, there are teething problems, but surely benefits are going to come. Five years down the line, this is going to be the best operating system for the company.
“That’s where all of us will leave our footprint behind for posterity to say that somebody did this hard work and will thank us for this. That’s what we all should be proud of. I know of many companies that went live with ERP multiple times but rolled (it) back. It is absolutely fantastic and credit goes to ABA, as we have not gone back despite the problems we may be having with the new system. That by itself is a huge positive and a reflection of the commitment we have had from the ABA team.”
While the entire team along with FORWARD PMO put in their best efforts to make the transition smooth, there were some members who played a pivotal role. The Go Live celebration gathering was also used as a stage to recognize the contribution of these heroes.
Ruvaani Chetty – Supply Chain Manager, International Agencies; Prasath – Accounts Supervisor, International Agencies; Crouse Grandell Perez – Sales Manager, International Agencies; and Karla Steenkamp – Market Manager, International Agencies, were awarded with certificates of appreciation for their good work.
Considering the nature of IA’s business with countries around the globe and how FORWARD would make the processes easy, the theme of the event also revolved around it. All involved in the project placed the IA, ABA and FORWARD flags around the Earth printed on a banner. It represented the dream of taking over the world and lead the change to automation.
International Agencies has been using the Inventory, Sales and Finance modules of the FORWARD system and the operations are working smoothly. Being an important part of Ali Bin Ali Holding’s FMCG business, this stability of the system in the division is really inspiring for all other divisions of the Group.