Capespan sweet on Sagent

Susan Andre 1999

Capespan, South Africa's largest fruit and wine exporter, has installed Sagent's Data Server in an initiative to optimise its information delivery systems.

Capespan was founded from the merger of exporting giants Unifruco and Outspan and is the fifth largest fruit exporter in the world. Its market is split between Europe (60%), North America, the Middle and Far East. The company is also responsible for 70% of all fruit exports in South Africa.

"Our primary business challenge as an exporter of fresh produce is to ensure that every parcel of fruit is delivered on time to the market region that best suits our suppliers and clients," says group IS manager Stef Rigotti. "When you're dealing with three world-renown brands (Outspan, Cape and Bellanova), 85 million cartons of fruit and 10 million litres of wine annually, that's no mean feat."

"As a multinational organisation coming out of the regulated South African environment we've had to quickly adapt to the competitive rules of the global economy," he continues. "That means looking after our shareholders as well as our growers."

Sagent Data Server, distributed locally by Sagent SA, is used to monitor Capespan and its grower's planned-versus-actual performance for production and price respectively. It also provides a mechanism to report on the quality of fruit discharged at overseas ports. "It passes on relevant information in a clearly understandable format to decision-makers in the company," says decision support manager Marina Smit. "We plan to roll this functionality out via the Web direct to our growers, while users connected to our internal network can already access their data through our intranet."

Capespan's organisational systems have by necessity been built around the transactional structure of the export business.

"With Sagent we can flexibly interrogate our data on an easily accessible level, with manageable drill-down facilities for more complex analyses," says Smit. "That's a massive improvement on information becoming accessible, the flexibility of retrieval and analysis and hence a boost to our efficiency and productivity."