Ali Bin Ali Hospitality celebrates successful implementation of FORWARD

After going live with the Group’s ERP FORWARD project in February 2019, it was time for Ali Bin Ali Hospitality to celebrate the success implementation of the solution in the division.

On May 23, 2019, the ABA Hospitality team led by General Manager Mr. Philippe Tardieu, FORWARD Project Sponsor Mr. Mohamad Ebrik and members of the FORWARD PMO gathered to applaud the achievement.

Opening the event, Mr. Tardieu welcomed all and said: “We are very happy with the FORWARD solution and would like to thank our entire Finance team and the PMO team for making this possible. More modules will be added to the system soon, making the work process more efficient in the division. We are very positive about this new system.”

Mr Ebrik said, “Hospitality is one of the latest batches of the ERP project and we have reached here today because of everybody’s dedication and hard work. However, this is not the end. It is the start of a new journey to use the system to its full potential. There will be another few months of stabilization period to make sure all tools of the system are put to full use. It is important for the team to know the system really well so that they can extract, analyze and then provide feedback to the business to move forward.”

All members of the small team from ABA Hospitality who were involved in the FORWARD project gave their very best to make the transition a success. The simultaneous process of opening new restaurants, implementing a new solution and integrating it with the existing one was not an easy one. Recognizing this feat and acknowledging their contribution, the heroes from the division were also awarded at the event.

Ahmed Abdelbaki – Finance Manager, Gururajan – Accounts Supervisor, Irshad Hassan – Accounts Supervisor, and Razzak Hossain – Senior Accountant, were handed certificates by Mr.  Tardieu.

A banner designed like a food cart was set up in line with the theme ‘FORWARD – the new secret ingredient of change’. The team members placed jars, indicating the key ingredients of FORWARD, on the cart to complete the visual.

The FORWARD ERP application will mainly support the Finance and Procurement functions of the Hospitality division. The restaurant chains will be using the Micros system to handle Point of Sale (POS) services but it will be integrated with FORWARD.

Monoprix West Bay awarded for ‘Best Hygiene Practices for April 2019’

Adding yet another feather to its cap, Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Monoprix outlet at the Twin Tower in West Bay was recognized for ‘Best Hygiene Practices for April 2019’.

The certificate was awarded by Boecker®, the largest public health company in the Middle East.

In a letter dated May 15, the public health company wrote: “Monoprix West Bay achieved the highest score of 92.31% among all Boecker® Q-Platinum clients in Qatar for the Month of April 2019.”

This recognition by Boecker® confirms Monoprix Qatar’s constant endeavors to implement proper food safety practices on its premises, from receipt of raw materials to serving of the end products. The certificate also re-affirms that all food handlers are following the food safety guidelines as per the food safety training conducted by Boecker®.

The iconic French supermarket was introduced in Qatar in 2013 and since then has served quality products to people in the country.

Speaking about this latest addition to their portfolio, Regional General Manager of Monoprix Mr. Sébastien Farhat said: “Food safety is a culture and it should be always adopted to deliver the best to customers. We at Monoprix Qatar have always lived by this value and are elated to be recognized for that effort.”

Boecker® provides a holistic range of products, including Food Safety and Biosecurity across Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. All Boecker® services are ISO9001:2008-certified. The Boecker® signature Q Platinum Award™ certification has been tailored to meet the needs of small to medium food establishments, a certification assured by the CIEH-UK.

ABA’s International Agencies celebrates implementation of FORWARD in the division

Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s International Agencies (IA) went live with the FORWARD application on December 8, 2018 and the division has been successfully using the system since then. 

To celebrate this journey, a gathering was organized in the division on April 11, 2019.

All IA team members, along with General Manger Mr. Ghassan Aibef and ex-General Manager Mr. Viji Kurien, who was at the helm of the project in the division, were present at the event. Also present were members of the FORWARD team, the driving force behind the project.

The event was opened by Mr. Ghassan who welcomed everyone to the IA Go Live event and reminded everybody that it was the beginning of a big change, which is still a work in progress. He then handed over the stage to Mr. Viji, who had led the IA team through the transition and implemented FORWARD in the division.

Reminiscing about the FORWARD journey, Mr. Viji said: “Implementation of the FORWARD application was kind of inevitable, surely the time had come for change. It was a painful journey but there was some real good effort from the IA team, with support from the PMO and Intrasoft, which made it possible for IA to Go Live without failure. 

“It’s like planting a fruit tree; today we are all cribbing about it and yes, there are teething problems, but surely benefits are going to come. Five years down the line, this is going to be the best operating system for the company. 

“That’s where all of us will leave our footprint behind for posterity to say that somebody did this hard work and will thank us for this. That’s what we all should be proud of. I know of many companies that went live with ERP multiple times but rolled (it) back. It is absolutely fantastic and credit goes to ABA, as we have not gone back despite the problems we may be having with the new system. That by itself is a huge positive and a reflection of the commitment we have had from the ABA team.”

While the entire team along with FORWARD PMO put in their best efforts to make the transition smooth, there were some members who played a pivotal role. The Go Live celebration gathering was also used as a stage to recognize the contribution of these heroes. 

Ruvaani Chetty – Supply Chain Manager, International Agencies; Prasath – Accounts Supervisor, International Agencies; Crouse Grandell Perez – Sales Manager, International Agencies; and Karla Steenkamp – Market Manager, International Agencies, were awarded with certificates of appreciation for their good work.

Considering the nature of IA’s business with countries around the globe and how FORWARD would make the processes easy, the theme of the event also revolved around it.  All involved in the project placed the IA, ABA and FORWARD flags around the Earth printed on a banner. It represented the dream of taking over the world and lead the change to automation.

International Agencies has been using the Inventory, Sales and Finance modules of the FORWARD system and the operations are working smoothly. Being an important part of Ali Bin Ali Holding’s FMCG business, this stability of the system in the division is really inspiring for all other divisions of the Group. 

ABA Holding to open first digitally smart Monoprix at Msheireb Downtown Doha

Once again, Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding will be instrumental in getting the latest technology for the people of Qatar as they get ready to open the first Monoprix in Qatar with the SMART Retail Solution at Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD).

The announcement was made on April 2, 2019 during a MoU-signing ceremony attended by officials from Msheireb Properties, the developer of MDD, and ABA Holding. The MoU was signed by Mr. Nabeel Ali Bin Ali, Vice Chairman & EVP of Ali Bin Ali Holding, and Mr. Ali Al-Kuwari, Acting CEO of Msheireb Properties, in the presence of Mr. Sébastien Farhat, Regional General Manager of Monoprix.

The new Monoprix will launch, for the first time in the region, one of the most advanced retail software solutions for an enhanced customer service. In addition to this, the store will provide its famous Concierge and Shop & Go concepts, making the shopping experience for residents and visitors of MDD more convenient and comfortable.

Monoprix Msheireb will offer an extensive organic range of 12,000 items sourced internationally, as well as a new dine-in Qatari-food concept, sushi bar and pasta & pizza corner. The hypermarket will continue to support local initiatives and stock all local Qatari-made products.

Speaking about the collaboration, Mr. Nabeel Ali Bin Ali said: “As a Group, we seek to enhance our long-standing reputation of enriching the local market. It is with this vision that we are introducing the retail software solution exclusively at Monoprix Msheireb, our new store that will be servicing the new heart of Doha. We are very excited and look forward to the launch.”

FORWARD‘s iExpense module automates expense claim process for ABA staff

Further automating Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s operations, FORWARD is rolling out the iExpense module for different divisions of the company. This module is transforming the reimbursement procedure and can process up to 31 types of expense claims, including those related to office supplies, travel, entertainment etc.

All ABA employees who have access to self-service will be eventually submitting their expense claim forms through this module. For others, they will have their division or HR representatives to apply for them. A part of the ABA self-service and ERP system, iExpense can be accessed remotely.

Ali Bin Ali Technology Solutions (ABATS) was the first division to Go Live with this module in November 2018. After a short stabilizing period, on February 21, 2019 the module went live at ABA Printing Press, ABA Travel, ABA Cargo and ABA Int. for Travel and Tourism. 

After the successful implementation of the module in the mentioned divisions, the set-up has already been completed for eight more divisions and training is underway to Go Live soon.

The iExpense module introduces a major positive change as it makes the entire reimbursement process digitized and automated. Unlike the old system where forms were filled up, followed by a manual approval process, iExpense completes the process online. While the process essentially remains the same, it is more controlled now and saves time. However, the system accepts reimbursement claims for up to a certain amount. Any amount higher than that will go through additional steps and approvals.

Another part of the iExpense module is the IOU or ‘I owe you’. It is a custom complimentary module enforcing the policies of ABA Holding for handling petty cash. Making the process streamlined, ABA employees will be using this module for requesting advance payment from the company for any of the 31 types of expenses. 

The process of implementing the iExpense module was not free of challenges. Initially, the systems were prepared for 17 types of expenses. However, with changes in ABA policies, it had to be customized to handle 31 types. The team also faced some problems with the information required for the set-up sheet and had to find ways to gather complete information. 

The stability period after the iExpense module went live at ABATS allowed the team to find solutions for the challenges that the application faced. The system is now working well in all divisions that have gone live with it, adding much value to the work process.

Speaking about the new module Finance Manager of ABATS Mr. Mohammed Shafquat Zubair said: “Our division has been using the iExpense module for couple of months now and the IOU module has also just been implemented. We are glad that we were the pioneers for this module which is not only saving time but also allowing us to have more control on the entire reimbursement process. In spite of the initial challenges, the team in cooperation with the FORWARD PMO managed to put all information together to get the solution working and delivering as expected”.

Ali Bin Ali Technology Solutions signs MoU with Barikat Cyber Security

 

In line with Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s vision to defeat the cyber adversary and the aim to support Qatar National Vision 2030 to protect national sovereignty and security, Ali Bin Ali Technology Solutions (ABATS) has joined forces with one of the world’s leading cyber security firms, Barikat Cyber Security, to provide the Qatari market with various cyber security products, services, consultation and training.

ABATS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Barikat Cyber Security during the 5th QCB Information Security Conference for the Financial Sector (ISFS 2018), held on November 18 and 19.

This MoU paves the way for creating a new company domiciled in Qatar that will serve the local market in the field of cyber security. The memorandum was signed by Ali Bin Ali Chief Operating Officer for ICT, Mr. Mohamad A. Ebrik, on behalf of ABATS, and by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Murat Huseyin Candan, on behalf of Barikat Cyber Security.

Under the MoU, Barikat and ABATS will be providing both the private and public sectors in Qatar with cyber security-related services, solutions, hardware, software, support and training. 

These services will include providing and selling vendor-based technology solutions (both hardware and software), technical support services, managed security services,

cyber security consulting services, ‘pentesting’ services, training services, compliance and auditing services and security operations center (7/24) services.

With this MoU, Barikat Academy services, including cyber security training and capability development, will be available to customers in the State of Qatar. This will help in alleviating the cyber security resource shortfall in Qatar and around the world.

Mr. Candan commented on the future need for cyber security resources, stating: “Many international surveys report that the cyber security resource shortfall will reach between 2.5m and 3.5m unfilled positions worldwide by the year 2021.”

He also pointed to the special relationship between Qatar and Turkey and said “due to the very good relations between the two countries, such partnerships and knowledge transfer make perfect sense and will be a good platform to ensure that the State of Qatar has the capacity and qualifications needed to support Qatar National Vision 2030”. 

Mr. Ebrik stressed the continuously increasing significance of this sector and said, “Ali Bin Ali Technology Solutions aim to expand cyber security solutions and a Cyber Security Center of Excellence in the State of Qatar. We found in Barikat Cyber Security the ideal partner for this challenge and together, we hope to elevate the level cyber security in the country.”

Another milestone achieved, PCP goes live with FORWARD application

Automating the operations of Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s Prime Consumer Products (PCP) Division, the FORWARD application went live on October 7, 2018. Like the other FMCG divisions of the Group, PCP went live with the following modules – Finance, Supply Chain, Sales and later, Trade-Marketing.

 

After a short period of stabilization, it was time to celebrate the successful implementation. On November 13, the PCP family and members of the FORWARD team gathered on the PCP premises to savor the success and recognize hard work that each member had put in for the smooth transition.

 

Apart from the PCP team led by General Manager Mr. Ghassan Aibef, also present at the event were General Manager Finance – FMCG Mr. Sampath Balaji, Division Manager, Supply Chain – FMCG Mr. Vincent Emmanuel, ABA Group PMO Manager Mr. Youssef Farajallah Mahmoud, Project Manager – IT Mr. Assad Hussein and Group Corporate Communications Manager Mr. Imad Hashim.

 

Inaugurating the event, Mr. Aibef said: “Our life does not get better by chance, it does only by change and there comes a time when change becomes inevitable. The change to the FORWARD system has been a beautiful journey. We had challenges and issues and are still working on some of them, but it was way better than what we expected. This wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of all our teams. With all these collaborative efforts, we ended up today with a Live system that is working perfectly. The highlight is that we did not stop our business for even one day. It was all planned and agreed upon with enough time to kick it off in an effective manner”.

Mr. Youssef thanked all the team members for their efforts and said: “Today, we are celebrating another big milestone for the FORWARD Project. It was not an easy one. It was the second FMCG division to implement the solution and we had a lot of challenges and many lessons to learn. However, with commendable teamwork, we managed to Go Live without any major issues. I would like to thank the PCP team for their involvement and cooperation. The FORWARD team gave their best and worked day and night with total commitment to the implementation. As Mr. Ghassan mentioned, we managed very well in terms of plan and time.”

 

Like in other divisions, a major element at the FORWARD Go Live celebration at PCP was the recognition of the heroes in the division who went the extra mile to make the transition successful. 

 

Mr. Ghassan handed over certificates to Chief Accountant Mr. Ashraf O.V, Asst. Manager – Inventory & Stock Control (Logistics) Mr. Ivan Jose, Trade Marketing Manager Ms. Janet Alviz, Demand & Supply Manager Mr. Reiner Crisologo, MS&P Manager Mr. Shadman Khan and last but not the least, Senior Sales Manager Ms. Yvanne Saliba.

The award ceremony was followed by a fun activity that engaged each and every one present at the event. Colors were given out to the team members and they had to color an outlined image of a growing plant that symbolized the PCP Go Live slogan – ‘Nurture the change that grows’.

 

 

ABA Beverages holds special FORWARD workshop to initiate UAT 

Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s FORWARD application has already gone live in 12 different divisions and is stabilizing at an impressive pace. Now, Beverages – one of the most important business divisions of the Group – is gearing up for the rollout early next year, and the team is taking all possible steps to make it foolproof.

 

As the first step towards the implementation of the solution in ABA Beverages, the FORWARD team and consultation partner Intrasoft organized a one-day workshop on November 11, 2018. This will be followed by around three weeks of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) on the ABA Beverages premises. 

 

The workshop was led by the senior management of ABA Beverages along with support from the ABA PMO team and Intrasoft. The main purpose of this workshop was to explain the methodology and the approach to UAT itself. 

 

The occasion was also used for communicating some directives to the Beverages staff, from Executive Project Sponsor Mr. Mohamad A. Ebrik, General Manager Mr. Marc Karam and the PMO in general. The UAT will be an overall orientation explaining the whole ERP process before they Go Live in February 2019. 

 

Welcoming everyone to the FORWARD journey, Mr. Ebrik said: “You should be proud of being part of the team/ project that will, for the very first time in Ali Bin Ali Holding, transform the manufacturing process.”

 

Mr. Marc, who has been very enthusiastic about the project, said: “Embracing change is one of the critical components of success and the foundation of progress. The change and progress project FORWARD is bringing will fuel the success of ABA Beverages for years to come. It will also transform you as professionals. FORWARD will provide you with critical experience and contribute to your personal development. Don’t miss that opportunity to reinvent yourselves.”

 

During this testing phase, the ABA Beverages employees will be assigned different functions of the solution process. They will be covering the functions that are more vital to their business and also have not been implemented earlier in the previous ABA divisions that have gone live.

 

The ERP solution at ABA Beverages is a little different from the one used in other divisions of ABA. In Beverages, FORWARD will be focused on four processes – Supply Chain Planning, Manufacturing & Maintenance, Distribution and Finance.

 

In the first process of Supply Chain Planning for the division, proper planning will be carried out for providing the resources that are needed to produce the beverages products. For example, determining the number of bottles needed according to the demand in the market during a specific time-frame. 

The second process of Manufacturing and Maintenance involves the bottling of the beverages products as well as the maintenance of the overall fleet machinery. 

The Distribution process will help in planning and handling the delivery cycle of manufactured products. During the whole production phase, Finance comes into the picture with transactions to and fro during most of the other processes. 

 

Implementation of these four processes will make their lives easier as it is automating all major daily operations. Around 150 test cases will be tested by 35 users who are expected to generate 500-1,000 transactions across these four processes. An equivalent of 2,600+ man hours are expected to put in during this three weeks of UAT. 

 

Ali Bin Ali Holding’s Monoprix awarded at Doha Festival City Retailer Excellence Awards 2018

Adding yet another award to the Ali Bin Ali (ABA) portfolio, Monoprix won the coveted Retailer of the Year Award at the Doha Festival City (DFC) Retailer Excellence Awards 2018. The supermarket was also bestowed with the Best Consumer Service Initiative Award. Doha Festival City is home to the largest Monoprix in the world. 

 

On November 8, 2018 Doha Festival City celebrated its grand opening with a VIP Gala Dinner at Mondrian Doha for the region’s first Retailer Excellence Awards. The awards were designed to recognize the Mall’s valued partners, retailers, shoppers and visitors for their continuous loyalty and commitment.

 

The awards night was made even more special with a one-of-a-kind appearance by global superstar Jennifer Lopez.

 

Present at the event were Regional General Manager for Monoprix Mr. Sébastien Farhat, Commercial Manager for Monoprix Qatar Mr. Zardine Benzaid, Monoprix DFC Store Manager Mr. Bruno Pedretti and Ali Bin Ali Group General Manager – Marketing Ms. Suha Shatila. The event was also attended by VIP guests and members of the local and international media. 

 

It was indeed a moment of pride for the entire Ali Bin Ali family when Mr. Farhat received the awards on behalf of the Monoprix DFC team. 

 

Speaking about the accolades, Mr. Farhat said: “We at Monoprix believe in excellence. From getting the best products from around the world to Qatar to the services we offer for our clients, we want to ace it all. Our determination is backed by complete support from the Ali Bin Ali management and complemented by our passionate staff. I want to thank DFC for recognizing our efforts and also our customers who make us what we are.” 

 

Ali Bin Ali & Partners wins popular basketball league

Standing true to Ali Bin Ali (ABA) Holding’s reputation as an all-rounder, Ali Bin Ali & Partners (ABAP) – CAG and Baladna division emerged victorious in the popular Japa Sports League Inter-Company Basketball Tournament 2018.

Held at Aspire Dome, the tournament took place from August to November 2018. There was participation from 32 companies from all over Qatar, including Al Asmakh, Aerotech, Nestle, Arab Center for Engineering Studies (ACES), Carrefour Qatar, Daewoo, Hamad Medical Corporation, Al Mannai Group and Nakheel Landscapes.

The 16-member team of Ali Bin Ali Holding, led by Coach Ronnie Padios, trained and practiced hard to elevate the level of their game. They challenged all odds to balance work pressure with the tournament.

This dedication and hard work guided them to the final of the tournament against Nakheel Landscapes on November 2, 2018. After a spectacular performance, the ABA Holding team emerged victorious by 15 points.

Freddie Gilboy from ABAP was named the man of the match.

Delighted with the victory, Market Manager – Baladna Division Mr. Joseph Samaha said: “I had full confidence in the boys and knew they would bring the trophy home. The team put in a lot of hard work and sacrificed a lot, they totally deserve this win. The entire ABAP division are super proud of our boys and we are glad that we could contribute to Ali Bin Ali Holding’s sporting tradition.”