Agra last week unveiled Agrismart, a new state of the art computer system, electronically efficient and tailor-made for the agricultural trade retail industry, to speed up transactions at the same time ensuring that the cooperative remains up to date with international technology trends.

For clients, the migration to the new computer system means improved transaction time with members and account holders receiving a significantly improved monthly statement detailing their transactions. Agrismart managers have also been positioned at branch level to manage stock and prices - scrapping the old method in which pricing issues were programmed centrally. It is envisaged that the new system will lead to better control efficiencies coupled to improved financial reporting and transparency.

"Agrismart, however, is not only an accounting system," said Peter Kazmaier, Agra's CEO. "It is a business solution. By using it, we have access to best management practises, which have already been used with great success by Cape Agri.

"Cape Agri is among the main players in the South African agricultural business. We consider ourselves privileged that we have secured the rights to obtain invaluable relevant business information and best practice case studies as well as practical assistance by a leader in our industry." According to Kazmaier, Agrismart will help Agra improve its client service. "We have invested a significant amount into training of our staff to use the new system and becoming more computer literate, [where applicable], he added. "In addition to extensive theoretical and on-the job training received by staff, an Agrismart expert from Cape Agri will be at every single one of our branches to assist management and staff with the take-on."

Reassuring clients and members, Kazmaier said that existing client data will not be affected, and neither would any client information nor account numbers. The monthly statement, however, will be a major improvement over the old one.

Namibia Economist