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South Africa - Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), a division of Transnet SOC Ltd and landlord of all South Africa's ports, is taking another step on its journey to digitalise ports operations into ‘SMART People’s Ports’ through a fully integrated e-commerce platform expected to go live in April 2017.

The new Order to Cash initiative will replace TNPA’s nine year old PortsOnline system which customers previously used for online submission of cargo documentation.

TNPA Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor of the project, Mohammed Abdool, said: “PortsOnline had significantly reduced the manual capturing process and the time taken to conclude the online order processing cycle. The aim now is to cater for the changing needs of TNPA ports and customers by creating a better customer experience through improved visibility across various interactions with the port authority.”

Abdool said a formal project team had commenced with the design of the new system and during the course of the next few months, engagements would take place with customers and other stakeholders through existing structures, business forums and customer sessions.

The new technology will provide an e-commerce platform with advanced customer relationship management and electronically enabled customer order management on a single in-memory computing platform powered by the more modern, much vaunted SAP HANA.

Customers will be able to interact with TNPA across various channels including TNPA’s call centre and online. The platform also offers self-service functionality for customers, where they can log in, maintain their own profiles, place sales orders, view current credit limits and view and download invoices and statements.