Four ways in which technology has Impacted the Supply Chain in Africa.

In Africa, we hear the word impact on a daily basis. So commonplace is the word, that one of my neighbours has named his son ‘Impact’.

Baba Impact would probably tell you that the reason ‘impact’ is such a common term here (to the point of kids being named Impact) is  because Africa is one of the last frontiers where technology still disrupts; creating change at unprecedented pace.

I thought it would be great to take a look at how simple technologies have changed the face of the supply chain in Africa, more specifically in Kenya.

A great example is Jim, who owns a small dairy processing unit in Limuru. Jim recently quit his job at a large processor in order to set up his own operation. He considered this his chance to leave a mark in the world, but how is he using technology to not only leave a footprint but also curve out a niche for himself?

1.   Visibility

As his business picked up, Jim quickly realized that to be successful he needed  to appeal to not just his suppliers but also to his customers.  By employing simple mobile tech he managed to ensure that he registered all suppliers within the area. This enabled Jim to keep track of the quality of milk per supplier, make accurate and timely payments and reward faithful suppliers.

In the long run, Jim became the best purchaser of milk in the area, ensuring he got all the premium product.

To get his product to the market effectively; Jim got his sales team tablets that allowed them to track all their sales calls and monitor competitor activity.

2.   Availability

One of the largest challenges manufactures struggle with are cases of stock outs. Either caused by lack of raw material or inefficient supply to market.

Jim manages this by ensuring he tracks the quantity and quality of milk his suppliers deliver while at the same time using data collected by his sales team to predict stock needs. Hence avoiding stock outs.

3.   Reach

By leveraging on GPS, Jim managed to extend his market reach. By clearly knowing the locations of his stockists and retailers Jim can effectively allocate resources to visit outlets.

Frequent visits mean better relationships hence better sales. He also made the decision to move his primary milk collection centre to the most central area of access for all his farmers.

4.   Big Data for Insights

After a year in the market Jim decided to analyse his data. He looked at metrics, paying particular attention to   best selling products; both competitors and his own. Following his findings, Jim has decided to start production of strawberry flavoured milk as there is a gap in the market.

Jim’s narrative is becoming with the norm rather than the exception. Visit to see how we can make technology work for you.

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