Cape Union Mart: Nearly a Decade of T3T-Empowered Sage X3
Cape Union Mart, a stalwart of the South African retail economy, and more recently a key player in the e-commerce retail sector, is a beloved and trusted brand by those who value quality, seek adventure, and appreciate expert advice. Rapidly approaching its centenary from humble beginnings in Cape Town, the Cape Union Mart Group is now the custodian of multiple brands and chains, with more than 300 stores across South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
Cape Union Mart partnered with T3T over eight years ago as their Sage implementation partner, and have been supported by T3T at every growth curve and software integration along the way.
- Their finance systems and full POS solution needed replacement. On further inspection they realised they needed a good core system to serve as a solid platform for growth
- Sage was chosen due to cost wins
- T3T brought the ERP solution to a near perfect fit, and has continued to facilitate integrations with other best of breed applications over the years
- The initial project team is the same team today, bringing tremendous business value
- T3T has exceeded expectations around delivery, customisation, commitment, and loyalty
What were the challenges?
Inflexible Business Processes and Outdated Legacy Applications
Cape Union Mart’s business systems were outdated, manual, and in some instances altogether incapable of dealing with the growing demands of the business, and to cater to the business needs based on the Group’s strategic objectives.
Grant de Waal, Group IT and E-Commerce Executive at Cape Union Mart Group, says, “Eight years ago it became apparent that we needed to upgrade our financial system, as well as our point of sale. However, when we started investigating what needed upgrading, it became apparent that we needed a good deal more. Essentially, we needed a core system that would bring the entire business together in one solution.”
Limited IT Budget
The ERP solution that they were looking for needed to provide standard ERP functionality, but at the right price.
“We looked at some of the big name brands that most high-end retailers use,” said Grant, “but the costs were prohibitive at the time. The decision to use Sage X3 was based on the immediate cost-win that the software brought, along with the built-in ERP functionality.”
T3T’s Customisation, Implementation, and Commitment to Ongoing Development
Using our tried-and-trusted implementation methodology, we unpacked their core needs and desired outcomes, and then entrenched ourselves at Cape Union Mart for almost the entire duration of the implementation, customisation, and deployment phases, in order to successfully launch this system.
However, once the system was live, with immediate wins such as greater clarity, control, and automation, it became apparent that the business needed a more retail-focused solution.
Customisation and Development
“We chose to go for best-in-breed systems that would bring us closer to what we needed,” said Grant. “However, this posed a new challenge, as patchwork systems cause business-wide frustration, duplication, and exposure to risk.”
They approached T3T to develop and implement an Integration Layer that would allow these systems to update their Sage system directly, removing the need for recapturing data while automating transactions.
T3T’s Integration Layer add-on has become a key enabler in Cape Union Mart’s IT architecture, allowing for multiple siloed systems to be successfully integrated with Sage, increasing productivity, accuracy, and efficiency, while lowering cost and reducing risk.
How Working with the Same T3T Team has Added Value
“It is with great pride that we can say that the initial T3T team that started out on this implementation and development journey with Cape Union Mart eight years ago is the same team that works with them today,” says Stephen Howe, co-founder of T3T.
Saving Time and Money
“The value of working with the same team over the years is tremendous,” says Grant. “T3T has a fundamental and deep understanding of how things work in our business, unlike many other software organisations we work with. We don’t have to waste time and money constantly reminding them or instructing them on how or why we do things a certain way.
Consistency, Continuity, Commitment
“Additionally, there’s a consistency in their delivery, and an ease of working together that comes from years of experience and multi-project work. After dealing with many international software vendors in the pursuit of best-in-brand, I have come to the conclusion that – in T3T’s case – local really is better. T3T’s deep understanding of our business, and their continuity of resources, is what sets them head and shoulders above the rest.”
Rapid Deployment of Projects
T3T has undertaken many development projects with Cape Union Mart over the years, with the most recent being the smooth implementation of their POS product, as well as an entirely new online warehousing system.
Selfless dedication on the part of many of T3T’s employees to see Cape Union Mart grow and flourish through software solutions has resulted in a long and loyal relationship between the two parties.
“We believe that taking care of our team and treating everyone as a member of the family, means that they will take good care of our clients,” says Stephen. “Some of our staff members have been with us for over 30 years, so I believe we’re getting that part right!”
The T3T Promise – Did they Deliver?
“What I like about Stephen at T3T is that he says no,” says Grant. “If we ask for something that they know they cannot do, or should not do, he tells me so. He won’t commit the team to something they cannot do. However, every promise that he has made and committed to, they live up to.”
In recent times, the rate of change – accelerated by the pandemic – has placed even greater demand on T3T’s development team to meet Cape Union Mart’s growing business needs.
“Nowadays, projects that used to take months to plan, develop and implement, now take a matter of weeks,” says Grant. “The T3T team bends over backwards to meet our needs. In fact, they exceed their promises.”
“We went through one of the hardest times possible as a nation, and as a business,” concludes Grant, “but T3T’s commitment to support us under the most trying circumstances, even with no promise of longevity, has been outstanding, and is testament to how unique T3T is.”
Contact T3T to create your own unique Sage X3 implementation success story.