Imperial has expanded its participation in the distribution of pharmaceuticals in Africa by acquiring a 70% interest in Imres BV for €46-million cash (R639,6-million).
Imres, a wholesaler of pharmaceutical and medical supplies to NGO’s, hospitals and retailers, operates in the international medical relief industry, targeting mainly African emerging countries with developing healthcare markets and needs.
Imres plays a key role in the supply chain to end users, offering sourcing, inbound logistics, supplier audits, quality control, warehousing, distribution and transport coordination. Its product portfolio includes pharmaceuticals, medical kits, disposables, hospital equipment and related medical products.
“The transaction is consistent with Imperial’s strategy to expand its participation in the distribution of fast moving consumer goods and pharmaceuticals in Africa, complementing the capabilities and market presence of Imperial Health Sciences, MDS Logistics, Eco Health, Pharmed, acquired over the past two years,” says Mark Lamberti, CEO of Imperial Holdings.
Imres adds sourcing and procurement capabilities to Imperial’s service offering and it can leverage off Imperial’s existing network and capabilities on the African continent.
“We have secured Imres’ experienced and expert management team which strengthens and complements the group’s existing skills in pharmaceutical distribution in Africa. Imres adds sourcing and procurement capabilities to Imperial’s service offering and it can leverage off Imperial’s existing network and capabilities on the African continent,” says Marius Swanepoel, CEO of Imperial Logistics Africa.
Imres is headquartered in Lelystad in the Netherlands and has an annual turnover of approximately €60 million (R834,2-million).
Meanwhile, on the local front, a five-year contract for national transport services has been awarded to Imperial Managed Logistics by Simba which will see the company moving 14 700 loads of chips and peanuts annually.
This contract represents the growth of Imperial’s established partnership with the snacks producer, comments Johan Truter, joint managing director of Imperial Managed Logistics.
“Over the years, the group has provided a number of services to Simba, including primary transportation and dispatch management, transport management optimisation for secondary transport and distribution services in other African countries. These form a strong base from which to extend our partnership and the strategic ventures geared to driving the Simba brand’s competitiveness in the FMCG Market,” says Truter.
This expanded contract to become Simba’s preferred transport management partner was secured by Imperial Managed Logistics on a tender basis.
Imperial’s appointment as the organisation’s single transport management partner will provide significant value to Simba he adds. “The benefits include access to centralised planning, operational visibility, consolidated key performance indicator reporting (with a single version of the truth), specialised transporter management and the continuous drive to implement best practises.”
An operations command centre forms part of the scope of Imperial Managed Logistics’ contract. “Based in Stellenbosch with site representation at Isando and Parow, Imperial will operate this command centre in order to offer Simba a total solution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. This centre will be the single point of contact for Simba management, Simba operations and centralised purchase orders from all Simba business units,” Truter states.
“Its planning capabilities will ensure that all possible permutations for load and fleet optimisation are considered and it will allow for full 360 degree visibility of national operations at a glance. It will also ensure operational continuity and daily skills transfer between Imperial and personnel on site at Simba facilities,” says Truter, adding that a further advantage of the command centre is that it will enable the client to reap the benefits of economies of scale as a result of resource sharing.
The fleet scalability afforded by Imperial Managed Logistics’ business model was among the factors that contributed to this contract win, Truter says. The company manages logistics in an asset-light environment. “So Imperial Managed Logistics is not constrained by its assets. We seek to understand clients’ requirements and then make transport capacity available to serve that need.”
This is done through a dedicated fleet of 535 vehicles – comprising both Imperial Logistics vehicles and suppliers’ vehicles – and formal partnerships with some 900 sub-contractor transporters.
“It is an efficient way to handle the challenge of fluctuating demand and peak periods, as additional capacity can be brought in as and when required.”