In today’s digitally adept business world, IT management is no longer about computers and printers. It’s about acting as custodians of data and information for both a company, its employees and its customers.
BMMI Group is all too aware of the importance of enriching its IT and e-commerce services and therefore, system management is an integral part of the company’s business plan. “People, processes and technology all form part of our performance strategy,” explains Aiman Alorayedh, Head of Information Technology.
“My job is to essentially execute this strategy and ensure that IT is aligned with our business needs because technology is such an important, integrated part of our business.”
Based in Bahrain, BMMI is a diversified retail, distribution, contract services, hospitality, logistics and supply group. Specialising in the wholesale, distribution, retail and production of food and beverages, the company represents a leading portfolio of renowned external global bands, in addition to its own brands.
With such a broad range of operations and expertise, BMMI Group is using technology to empower its staff and drive efficiency. “Being in logistics and retail, our employees and customers expect services to be online and reachable at all times,” explains Alorayedh.
Therefore, BMMI invested heavily in their fully-integrated Oracle ERP back in 2007, and again later in 2013. This year the company has been focusing on further enhancing their ERP solution and expanding into the e-commerce market through two of its divisions, Alosra supermarket and BMMI Shops.
“Our senior leadership recognise that technology and digitization are not optional in today’s economy,” Alorayedh notes. “Expectations have changed in the past decade, and BMMI has gained a competitive edge over its competitors by investing in its people and technology early on.”
The group also offers a comprehensive range of contract based services (warehousing, distribution and shipping) as well as sourcing and supply options. Therefore, the company is keen to drive efficiency by using state-of-the-art logistics, supply chain infrastructure, and human resources development.
“With our technology systems, we’re looking to drive efficiency,” Alorayedh adds. “You can have disruptive technologies but, at the end of the day, we’re still a business. What’s most important is efficiency in our time and our employees' time.”
Global reach with a local focus
Spanning across 10 countries in the Middle East and Africa, BMMI also offers fully-fledged end-to-end supply chain solutions. Although it has a global reach, the group is keen to champion a local focus by streamlining its operations in each country it operates in.
“We are an international business with offices in countries across countries in Africa, such as Djibouti, Kenya and Ghana, and in the GCC, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, we’re really trying to streamline and centralise our technologies, our people's skills, and their experiences to drive efficiency in our operations.”
With over 130 years of success, BMMI is reaping the rewards of its innovative strategy. Since its creation, the group has mobilised into new markets, diversified into new sectors, and is boasting strong fiscal results.
Positive work culture
However, the key to the company’s success not only lies it its technological advancements, says Alorayedh, it also lies in its people.
“Being a diverse group, our competitive edge would be our culture and our people,” he notes. “BMMI’s core mission is ‘Winning the hearts and minds of our customers by delivering exceptional service’ and so at BMMI, we adopt a performance-driven, customer-focused business approach.”
Today, more than ever, harnessing the right culture in an organisation is critical to success and this is something which BMMI truly appreciates. With a multicultural workforce representing over 40 different nationalities, the company uses IT to empower its staff and users. It has been a winning tactic, however, Alorayedh doesn’t underestimate the work that lies ahead.
“New technologies come out every other day,” he says. “Our main challenge is to keep up with the innovations that are happening around us because, if you don't have the technological advancements that separate you from your competition, then your competition has the advantage.”
The need to keep up with ever-evolving technologies is a challenging prospect, but it is one which also offers new opportunities in the sector. Therefore, Alorayedh and his team are excited about what new innovations could bring to BMMI.
“In this dynamic environment, I see Business Intelligence (BI) and cloud services gaining more popularity in the region, along with robotic process automation (RPA),” notes Alorayedh.
“These new trends are helping to reshape business models, create new opportunities and reduce risks, as well. While BMMI has already begun with BI, cloud and RPA are another two trends that we are looking into so that we can get a competitive edge over our competitors. The way I see it, the next few years are going to be more challenging and exciting with new technologies and services being introduced into the group.”
With a performance-driven, customer-focused approach, BMMI Group has enjoyed significant growth and promising sales. Together, with a significant investment in its infrastructure and technology systems, the group has cemented itself as a dynamic international company with a promising future in the Middle East and Africa.
“BMMI has continued to pursue its ambitions of growth and expansion by upholding its existing initiatives and investments,” reflects Alorayedh. “We are improving and streamlining our operations year on year, with a focus on our talent and people. This positions BMMI for a promising future filled with success and achievements.”