Mincom Africa has secured a contract to provide an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to the Tanzanian People's Defence Force (TPDF).
The multimillion rand contract - which includes software, services and training - will see Mincom Africa, in conjunction with its Tanzanian channel partner Radixgear, implement and support its flagship ERP solution - Mincom Ellipse. The first stage of the contract addresses asset, supply and logistics management for the TPDF's mobile force.
This contract represents one of Mincom Africa's largest defence force deals to date, with the TPDF being the second defence force customer in Africa to implement Mincom's ERP solution, following the successful implementation by the Botswana Defence Force of a similar solution in 2004.
"The solution will enable the TPDF's logistics command to have the right hardware and products delivered to the right people in the right place at the right time for any of its deployments," said Mike Evans, managing director of Mincom Africa.
According to Evans, global and regional events in recent years have prompted many African countries to focus on national security and adjust defence spending to enable rapid response in hostile situations.
"African defence budget is typically dedicated to major hardware such as ships, tanks and planes, but changing modes and theatres of operation and the need for rapid deployment has made logistics systems increasingly critical," he continued.
Military forces, particularly when deployed, depend on effective logistics and maintenance support. Traditionally, defence organisations bought generic software off the shelf and customised it according to their needs. Today, logistics software plays a more crucial role as modern defence logistics have increased in technological sophistication, cost, speed and complexity.
"When the base software needed updating, the cost of a new version plus the expense of further customisation was incurred," Evans said. "Due to its successful tri-service (army, navy, and airforce) defence deployments across the world, the Mincom solution needs little customisation, thus reducing through-life support, costs and risks for the TPDF."
Mincom Ellipse is a fully integrated solution for defence organisations, supporting deployment, logistics and financial management functions as well as integration with external parties and suppliers. It is the only commercial logistics software in the world to be deployed in combat during the past decade.
"The Tanzanian People's Defence Force is undergoing one of its most extensive transformations in history and key to this is a comprehensive logistics strategy" said brigadier general, S.C. Rioba, chief of logistics and engineering, TPDF.
The brigadier general explained that an integrated logistics and asset management solution would maximise the efficiency, performance and safety of the TPDF mobile force in 'live' peacekeeping environments. These peacekeeping environments could include the TPDF's involvement in the African Union's new African Standby Force (ASF) that is designed primarily for military peacekeeping missions across the African continent.
"Employing asset management systems, such as Mincom Ellipse, will lead to areas of improvement in our asset utilisation with more effective scheduled maintenance and minimal disruptive breakdowns," continued brigadier general Rioba. "This will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the TPDF defence operations, whether by air, land or sea," he concluded.
Mincom's solutions have provided clear capability advantages for its defence customers around the world which include Australian Defence Force, Canadian Defence Force, Chilean Navy, Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Botswana Defence Force, Britain's Royal Navy, US Coast Guard, CAT Logistics (supplier to the US Marine Corps) and Kwajalein Range Systems (supplier to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command).