The Argility Technology Group (ATG) has announced an exciting business development as it becomes part of a global enterprise – the Smollan Group – an intelligent commerce solutions business, driving sustainable growth and operational excellence. Smollan has acquired ATG from Capital Eye Investments – a private equity and venture capital company that invests in technology-driven businesses with a particular focus on emerging markets.

Smollan has a 90-year history of partnering with brands to create and execute insight-led solutions to deliver growth, wider distribution and operational efficiency.

ATG’s origins trace back to a 35-year plus history as a leading software developer and supplier to the retail and supply chain sectors.

James Collett, Smollan Chief Data Officer, emphasises the importance of the strategic acquisition.

"ATG joining the Smollan Group is a significant step forward in our strategy to expand our technology and data offering within retail and supply chain. We are extremely excited about the synergies which exist between the businesses, and as a leading global commerce solution company, we will be looking to grow the ATG footprint internationally. An aligned and strong culture is always foundational to creating a successful partnership, and in ATG and its people, we believe that we have found just that. We look forward to welcoming ATG into the Smollan family,” says Collett.

Marko Salic, ATG CEO, notes this is one of the most important events in the history of Argility.

“ATG is immensely excited about this new phase in the history of the group. Over the past five years, we have made notable strategic investments in the acquisition of companies that have served to augment our goal of partnering with retail and supply chain organisations to help them digitise and transition into industry 4.0. The purchase of ATG by Smollan represents a substantial investment in our business and an expanded pathway to global markets. The synergies between Argility’s vision and mission with that of Smollan made this a very appealing move for us and a good cultural fit for our group. Combining these strengths will serve to enhance ATG’s portfolio, and expand our solutions and service delivery for current and future customers,” says Salic.

The Smollan acquisition of ATG has been ratified by all regulatory bodies and is effective immediately.


The Argility Technology Group

The Argility Technology Group is a leading innovator and implementer of digital commerce and supply chain software solutions in Africa. Our vast experience combined with a depth of proprietary software and skills enables us to address the multitude of challenges facing businesses in today’s era of digital transformation.

We solve complex business problems by supplying and supporting various customised software solutions such as: Point of Sale; ERP; Warehouse, Fleet, IoT and Proximity Management; Data Science (Artificial Intelligence) solutions and more. We strive to become a technology partner and an extension of our customers’ businesses and not just another solutions provider.

The group’s origins trace back over thirty years as a leading software supplier to the retail sector. Decades of long, prosperous customer relationships bear testament to our customer-centric culture, exceptional service, and innovative thinking. From single systems to the digital transformation of an entire organisation - we have the solutions, skills, and experience.

The Argility Technology Group is comprised of: Argility; Cquential Solutions, Fleet Domain; SkyData Communications, and strategic partners, Ashanti AI. All are foremost technology developers and suppliers of enterprise software solutions for the Retail, Supply Chain, Fleet industries as well as a comprehensive IoT framework that enables local enterprises to integrate, manage and optimise their growing IoT ecosystems.

For further information: www.argility.com

Smollan

Founded in 1931, Smollan is a global commerce business, delivering growth for retailers and brand owners across five continents. We partner with brands to create and execute insight-led solutions to deliver growth, wider distribution, and operational efficiencies.

Internationally recognised for our exceptional human platform of over 80 000 people and our sophisticated systems, we drive sales and create brilliant shopper experiences for some of the world’s most loved brands. We work at the pivot point where retailers, brands and shoppers intersect.

Contact us at www.smollan.com


Source: IT Web

Elite Truck Hire – a leading transportation and vehicle leasing organisation with over 35 years’ experience in the sector – launched a search for a specialist fleet management programme that led the company to FleetDomain, a member of the Argility Technology Group.

Elite group CEO, Byron Corcoran, notes they required a solution that could act as the backbone of the growing company, streamline business processes and ultimately allow managers to access reliable data to support fact-based decision-making. “FleetDomain is a fully integrated system that runs our workshops, parts stores and operations for both our ad-hoc truck hire as well as Full Maintenance Leasing divisions. The system includes a fully integrated accounting system and has very comprehensive report generating capabilities,” says Corcoran.

“It was also important that our investment in new software was backed by a financially stable provider with access to excellent development resources to ensure continuity and improvement. The software also needed to provide a robust business process architecture and workflow that would support best practice and make it hard to commit fraud.

“I also wanted a web-based system so that it could be accessed anywhere, anytime and would not necessitate a significant increase in our in-house IT capability. We are a truck rental and leasing company, not an IT shop,” Corcoran says. “It was critical that the software included fully integrated accounting functionality rather than exporting data to a standalone accounting package.

“Since implementation, we have never experienced any adverse system issues – billing has run smoothly without any incidents from day one. From a management perspective, FleetDomain makes it easy to access the information needed to understand not only how the company is doing, but how to manage it better,” says Corcoran.

Designed specifically for the industry, FleetDomain’s software met Elite Truck Hire’s criteria and its implementation has delivered clear benefits to the group. The application is delivered as a service via a web interface, and FleetDomain is responsible for all support and development.

Key benefits that the FleetDomain solution delivers include:

FleetDomain MD, Jai Kalyan, says the relationship with Elite Truck Hire commenced in 2017 when the group first implemented the FleetDomain system to manage its then fleet of over 1 200 vehicles ranging from 0.5-ton LDVs to 14-ton trucks. “Elite later implemented FleetDomain at its Forklift Rental business during July 2019 and quickly realised the benefits of being able to better manage its business on a state-of-the-art fleet management system,” says Kalyan.

He highlights the enduring and successful business relationship with the Elite group. “We work closely with the Elite Truck Hire team to implement software improvements and provide additional value. On that note, we have just launched a complete upgrade of the software that enhances the user experience and provides even better uptime. It also adds new functionality such as graphs and a mobile app. Because the upgrade moves away from proprietary code, it will be much easier for our developer team to enhance the software going forward, ensuring customers like Elite can continue to rely on it as they grow and the market changes,” concludes Kalyan.

Source: IT Web

FleetDomain, a subsidiary of the Argility Technology Group, has launched a major upgrade of its flagship fleet management software. Letitia Hulbert, Operations Executive at FleetDomain, says the upgrade will dramatically improve the user experience via a new and more intuitive look and feel, along with enhanced performance.

“The upgraded application is much faster and more reliable, and it's going to be easier for our developers to enhance the programme as the market needs change going forward,” she says. “Our customers have come to rely on FleetDomain to manage their businesses effectively and provide a solid foundation for growth – the new version of the software incorporates all the intellectual capital we have accumulated over the years but is now better positioned to build on that capital to help customers adapt to changing market conditions and seize new opportunities.”

The new version of FleetDomain moves away from proprietary code and is written in modern programming languages such as HMTL 5, making it far more flexible in terms of development. Customers are presented with a greatly improved graphical user interface, making for a better user experience.

In addition, developers with the appropriate skills are more readily available.

The use of open programming and an improved backend design has had a major impact on reliability, says Hulbert. In fact, FleetDomain now has an uptime of 99.9%, something that’s very important for a business-critical application.

The new functionality includes access to user-friendly graphs – simplifying decision-makers' ease in monitoring their businesses – plus it supports data-driven decision-making in real-time. Another important enhancement includes a mobile app, which means that managers can stay in touch with the business even when they are on the move.

Jai Kalyan, Managing Director, FleetDomain confirms the upgrade is free for existing customers. “There is no impact for our current customers – we do the upgrade overnight so that when they log on in the morning, all their data is populated so that they can get on with their business – benefiting immediately from the enhanced functionality and better user experience. We also believe that the new, improved version will open up new markets for us,” he concludes.

Source: IT Web

It’s a long road to POPIA compliance and while the finish line is in sight, only one attitude will ensure your business crosses the line with confidence.

By Tanya Long, chief operating officer, Argility Technology Group

With the deadline for the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) coming into effect in a matter of weeks, companies are driving towards compliance and have been hard at work to prepare for this − in most cases for years.

At the Argility Technology Group, we embarked on the compliance programme many years ago, which has left us in a confident position that our company has always taken protection of personal information seriously, and that the process would not turn out to be an onerous one.

The sheer volume of work required is, of course, still daunting in terms of the man hours necessary to get to the finish line.

Having appointed our CEO as the chief information officer who takes full responsibility for our compliance, we set out three years ago to strategically and methodically embed compliance across the organisation.

With the support of a team of 15 people and every department across the organisation committed to the management of their own compliance processes, the challenge of documenting every process and running gap analyses, educating staff and collating reports has usurped hundreds of man hours since we began the process in 2018.

When compounded with the normal commitments of running the business and meeting all strategic targets, this has been challenging, to say the least.

This process, while daunting when trying to articulate the Act and tie together the various components, has been a good one. In many instances, it was a matter of clarifying what is required and seeing it is already in place. The process also helps to identify gaps − going forward it unquestionably adds another level of governance and trust, both internally and for our customers.

Compliance demands a change in behaviour wherever a business works with data.

My advice to all businesses on the POPIA journey − and we are all in it up to our necks − is to exercise an abundance of caution, meticulously follow all the paths I have outlined in the foregoing and then commission consultants to verify you have not only done enough, but have done it correctly. This latter is more likely to produce a peaceful night's sleep without POPIA nightmares breaking through.

Across the South African market, we encounter many large enterprises that − like us − have been on a compliance journey for years, but for many, the work performed to date will not be enough to meet the deadline.

Flurry of comms in run-up to the deadline

We are now seeing signs that the challenge isn't over: many companies are already sending out their letters requiring confirmation of POPIA compliance, and this is set to become a flurry of mails between business networks across the country over the next couple of months.

Responding to these and attending to risk ratings for every department and every process will become increasingly time-consuming and is not to be taken lightly. We are all in the same boat, and of course, we are also sending out our mails to third-party suppliers and recording responses.

As with every business in the country, we must evaluate these responses in terms of risk ratings and compliance − the POPIA buck does not stop with your business but also applies to all your business associations. So, there will be questions that surface around responsibility and accountability for commercial implications, data on shared infrastructures and in transit via third-parties external to the entire environment, to name a few.

Third-party operators and vendors that process personal information must, in terms of POPIA, provide assurances of the necessary security and compliance measures, but we are all possibly set to encounter grey areas, such as when a customer processes data using a system built by a vendor, particularly if the agreement is a subscription model. If the data belongs to the customer, and is processed under the authority of the customer, should the developer of the system have any accountability?

Questions such as these will spark debate. In business today, there are many overlaps and ripple effects, and where one system impacts or integrates with another, the responsibility for managing and securing the data is not always clear.

Any company in the position of providing services to businesses is a data operator, but they are also a data processor within their internal structures and processes, raising a potential need to negotiate the impact of compliance and shared risk models. All organisations in this position will need to address the question of how to ensure third-parties they engage with remain compliant.

This is an ongoing process and will not end with the July deadline. Compliance demands a change in behaviour wherever a business works with data. It requires ongoing control and maintenance, with governance committees meeting regularly to assess and review measures. Compliance must become a part of your processes − across every department, partner, supplier and individual involved.

Indeed, it is already a culture at our organisation, and I feel this is how all companies must approach this daunting task.

Source: IT Web

FleetDomain, proudly part of the Argility Technology Group.

Growing market for Selftrack – FleetDomain partnership’s one-stop-shop for fleet management.

South African fleet owners, many of whom were still using spreadsheets to track assets and manage costs at the beginning of this year, are fast turning to automated tracking and advanced fleet management solutions to optimise fleet operations and cut costs.

This is according to Jai Kalyan, MD of FleetDomain – a member of the Argility Technology Group (ATG), and Pieter Coetzee, MD of asset management and telematics solutions specialist company, Selftrack. FleetDomain has integrated Selftrack’s tracking solution into its fleet management information system (FMIS), enabling Selftrack to resell FleetDomain as part of a bundled solution.

The partnership gives fleet owners a one-stop shop for efficient fleet management. FleetDomain’s Web-based FMIS allows fleet owners to track and manage factors such as driver behaviour, costs, fuel purchases, fines, licences and repairs.

Kalyan says the lockdown has driven a surge of interest in smarter fleet management, partly due to a need to work remotely, and also due to a need to do more with less. “We’ve seen huge growth in interest in the FleetDomain system over the last few months,” he says. “Fleet owners are realising that with smart, digital systems, they are able to track trends in real-time and more accurately determine the total cost of ownership on each vehicle. Thanks to the dashboarding we have added to the system, fleet owners can also load all KPIs to one sheet and see how the business is doing against budget, fuel spend and maintenance trends.”

Coetzee says the lockdown and its economic impact have catalysed a shift in how fleet owners manage their vehicles. “Fleet owners are looking to cut costs and optimise profits, so they are adopting frontline technologies to enhance fleet visibility and control, and drive up savings and productivity,” he says. “At Selftrack, we have seen a significant increase in interest in the bundled Selftrack – FleetDomain offering as fleet owners look for a scientific way to manage their fleet.”

He says the surge in interest is coming primarily due to word of mouth references from customers already achieving savings of up to 40% on fuel consumption, curbing misuse of vehicles, and optimising vehicle management to get the most out of their assets.

“In many cases, we find new clients previously had to manually collect data and had a complete disarray of information, so it was very difficult for them to keep their finger on the pulse,” says Coetzee. “Once they can automatically track fleet usage, calculate costs and monitor fuel systems, they stop misuse and fuel theft immediately, and other improvements follow. The logistics manager starts looking better in front of management, and over the longer term, the total cost of ownership drops. Within six to 12 months, the system pays for itself.

“As a GPS tracking specialist, we have integrated FleetDomain into our systems and added it as a service billed monthly per vehicle. This means it becomes affordable for even smaller, up-and-coming fleet owners,” he says.

Letitia Hulbert, Operations executive at FleetDomain, says FleetDomain has become a market leader thanks to its ability to consolidate data and allow fleet owners to identify trends in real-time: “When the data is on a variety of spreadsheets, it becomes very difficult for organisations to be proactive, see where they are overspending, and identify driver behaviour that could be adding to costs,” she says.

Driver behaviour is just one of the factors that has a significant impact on costs, Hulbert says. “Revving the vehicle, accelerating too quickly, and harsh braking all affect fuel and maintenance costs. Once you can identify driver behavioural issues, you are in a much better position to correct that behaviour.” She notes that by enabling improved operational efficiency, simplified administration and enhanced visibility over the entire fleet, FleetDomain is a significant value add for Selftrack customers.

Source: IT Web

Elite Truck Hire has been using FleetDomain since 2017 to run its growing rental business. FleetDomain provides the Web-based solution as a service.

About Elite Truck Hire

Elite Truck Hire’s business falls into two broad categories: it hires out a range of trucks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and also provides full-maintenance leasing for clients who want dedicated vehicles in their own corporate livery but do not want to own or manage them. It has 10 branches around the country, and operates its own in-house workshops, panel-beater, wash bays and fuelling capability.

Business challenge

Elite Truck Hire’s business is complex, and thus visibility across its various operations around SA is important to ensure managers can optimise the use of expensive capital equipment and service fluctuating client requirements. Key to this is understanding client demand patterns to ensure the fleet is distributed optimally to take into account seasonal changes. Another important requirement is the ability to analyse the performance of the fleet in detail in order to prolong the useful life of each vehicle.

When MD Byron Corcoran joined Elite Truck Hire in 2016, he inherited a set of processes that were largely manual, inefficiently supported by an antiquated software program originally designed for workshop management and “customised” over the years. For example, the month-end process involved an enormous amount of work for staff over a short timeframe, and the information was not always accurate. Expensive sales resources were then used to distribute the paper invoices, further impacting overall productivity.

Corcoran immediately embarked on a search for a specialist fleet management program that could act as the backbone of the growing company, streamline business processes and ultimately allow managers to access reliable data to support fact-based decision-making.

It was also important that the new software was backed by a financially stable provider with access to excellent development resources to ensure continuity and improvement. The software also needed to provide a robust business process architecture and workflow that would support best practice and make it hard to commit fraud.

“I also wanted a Web-based system so that it could be accessed anywhere, at any time, and would not necessitate a significant increase in our in-house IT capability. We are a truck rental and leasing company, not an IT shop,” Corcoran says. “It was critical that the software included fully integrated accounting functionality rather than exporting data to a standalone accounting package.”

The solution

Designed specifically for the industry, FleetDomain’s software met the criteria and its implementation has delivered clear benefits to Elite Truck Hire. The application is delivered as a service to Elite Truck Hire via a Web interface, and FleetDomain is responsible for all support and development.

Key benefits the FleetDomain solution delivers to Elite Truck Hire include:

Early fraud detection or revenue leakage. One huge advantage is that the system makes it easier to detect internal fraud and avoid revenue leakage because it uses data from all parts of the business. Suspicious activity can be detected and alerts triggered.

For example, the system matches tracking data from a vehicle against the billing and booking systems to confirm that a legitimate client is using the vehicle and that the correct invoice has been raised. In the event of suspicious activity, the relevant manager is flagged.

Visibility across the entire operation presented graphically. Because the system is Web-based and creates a single repository of all data, managers can easily gain a bird’s eye view of the entire operation based on accurate data. This means it is possible to track all the variables within the business, from the location of vehicles through to branch performance, to name just two.

For example, the system enables a manager to ascertain rapidly whether a client’s requirement for a certain type of vehicle can be met, something that is key to running a successful rental operation.

Dashboards allow managers to keep tabs on the information that matters to them, and the board receives detailed information in a format that makes it easy to analyse. Customised reporting is continually being updated in line with the evolving needs of Elite Truck Hire.

Streamlined business processes. FleetDomain incorporates more than 30 years of experience in fleet management – this intellectual capital in essence creates a best-practice framework for the company.

Because FleetDomain integrates into the back-end systems, it supports end-to-end business processes. For example, a booking on the FleetDomain system will automatically generate an invoice, with all invoices stored in a central, easily accessible depository.

Valuable business intelligence. FleetDomain’s reporting capabilities mean that managers have access to valuable – and reliable – information that can be used to manage the business more effectively. For example, managers can use demand booking history to ensure that vehicles are optimally distributed around the country based on likely demand, or to identify underperforming entities within the group.

The business intelligence generated by the system can also be used to review the operational and business process architecture in order to identify bottlenecks or opportunities for improvement.

“From a management point of view, FleetDomain makes it easy to access the information needed to understand not only how the company is doing, but how to manage it better,” Corcoran says.

Attractive billing model. FleetDomain is billed per vehicle registered on the system. Because billing is not linked to the number of users, the company can add or remove users without unnecessary administration and without having to adjust billing each time staff changes.

“The billing model is just another way of making life easier for our client,” says Jai Kalyan, Managing Director, FleetDomain. “This is a long-term relationship, and we work closely with Elite Truck Hire’s team to improve the software and provide additional value. We are currently working on ways to enhance the levels of automation to gain further efficiencies.”

For more information contact FleetDomain on 011 712 1300 or info@fleetdomain.co.za or visit our website www.fleetdomain.co.za.

Source: IT Web

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