Exciting times as SAFE staff learn to “drive” Openbravo

Intensive staff training on all aspects of the innovative Openbravo ERP platform is in full swing at SAFE as the exporter wraps up the citrus harvest and approaches year-end.


MANAGE: Kevin van der Merwe, Financial Controller, Export and Logistics has been “onboarding” SAFE staff to the Openbravo ERP platform.


SAFE began onboarding Openbravo in 2017. Since then, department by department has been added to the platform with the last lap of the process now in sight.

Openbravo allows members of staff the opportunity to work online with access to real-time, live data about SAFE exports from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night, says finance department Financial Administrator, Maritza Munnik.

Openbravo is a cloud-based, off-the-shelf application meticulously customised by SAFE for the fresh produce export industry. This is the first time that it has been used in this environment in Southern Africa.

The system incorporates financials, stock, warehousing, exports and sales into a single cloud-based environment. This means that SAFE has a single ERP system to manage and transact on all levels with section managers gaining a single real-time view of the entire business.

“The system has given us the tools to perfectly manage our intercompany transactions through means of cross-referencing documents.  Automatic document creations make processing faster with fewer opportunities to make mistakes.

“From a financial point of view, Openbravo gives us the opportunity to drill down into transactions from the trial balance right into the documented transactions. This saves time. You don’t have to leave the page that you are working on to search for the document you need to reference”, says Maritza.

“Another innovation is that you can immediately attach supporting documents with most of the transactions, which makes auditor requests so much easier. Bank statements also get imported onto the financial accounts where reconciliation happens with very little effort.

“The capturing of intercompany bank transactions happens with the press of the button. This makes processing more accurate and faster.”

“Now we are looking forward to the tools that will be making multi-skilling a reality. This will equip staff with knowledge about how the different departments within SAFE operate together and give them the tools to work in any department as required,” says Maritza.

According to Kevin van der Merwe, SAFE Financial Controller, Exports and Logistics, multitask training on Openbravo at SAFE will begin in November with a view to having the complete finance team fully capable in all areas in the finance department by the end of November.

“In October the team will onboard fruit prices from 2014 to enable a year to year comparison via Openbravo. They will also be able to review daily forex movements to obtain a real-time feel of forex movements and how they impact on the business.”

According to SAFE CFO Quentin Scott, “the more we onboard staff onto the programme, the greater the benefit to the entire business. It’s great that our decision to switch to Openbravo to make SAFE a more efficient business has been a success.”


* Openbravo was developed in Spain and is currently used in businesses in more than 60 counties. Aimed at mid-size to large organisations that want a complete solution to manage their entire business, the module-based software was developed by two employees of the University of Navarra in Spain, Nicolas Serrano and Ismael Ciordia – to streamline the universities’ administration.

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