ERP top investment priority for Kenyan manufacturers, report

44% of manufacturers in Kenya have expressed a desire to invest and migrate to Enterprise resource planning (ERP) over the next five years. This is according to the inaugural Manufacturing CFO 4.0 2021 Survey released last week by SYSPRO, a global enterprise resource planning software provider and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK). 

Warehouse Automation trailed just behind at 39%, followed by Business Intelligence at 38% as the technology and digital transformation initiatives that these manufactures plan to invest in. 

ERP refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. It facilitates organizations operations across every department improving how they handle business resources whether in raw materials for manufacturing or staffing hours for human resources.

‘’As an effective digital managerial tool, ERP affords its users the ability to not only confidently pivot in times of crisis and streamline the efficiency of their operations’’ the report says. 

This is particularly invaluable to Kenya given the importance of raw goods and materials to a primarily Food & Beverage producing region struggling with global supply chain issues. According to the report, while ERP is not able to magically resolve tumultuous trading, it does consolidate important data in real-time, expediting faster decision-making. Furthermore, it is an ideal pre-emptive counter to growing People bottlenecks, as it is able to optimize the roles and responsibilities in business, resulting in more efficient use of human resources and removal of lingering redundancies.

The survey was conducted across a range of Manufacturing and Distribution companies in Kenya. It drew over 100 responses from financial leaders predominantly from larger enterprises operating in Kenya. 

Speaking during the launch of the survey findings, Doug Hunter, Head of Customer and Ecosystem Enablement at SYSPRO Africa noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the need for diversification and innovation in changing global market policies to help businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’ of the digitized world.

Also speaking at the launch event, the CEO of ICPAK, CPA Edwin Makori said, “We saw businesses eager to diversify largely favor uptake of enterprise technologies and expectedly, the re-engineering of supply chains to improve business-to-business (B2B) trading come in a close second. 

The survey which assessed sentiments on how manufacturing businesses are faring after an unprecedented also revealed that that 41% of Kenya’s Manufacturing and Distribution financial leaders have yet to record their digital ROI.  7% are not sure if any were received while 31% still planning on investigating. 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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