Language version

Business

Digitisation Can Help Africa’s Supply Chain Meet Demand

Advertisement

Published

on

While it is likely few people outside the supply chain industry would have given much thought to the sector before 2020, it didn’t take long for Covid-19 to change that.

Across Africa, informal merchants and logistic firms alike battled to navigate the unpredictable supply and demand brought about by the pandemic.

We all felt the impact of the supply chain under strain. Even the most basic and essential goods were difficult to come by. And the challenge is not over yet.

With recent announcements around Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and other pharmaceuticals, conversations around finding solutions to this global manufacturing and distribution issue have come to the fore.

It is only by protecting and reinforcing the supply chain network that the world is able to carry out this monumental task.

There is much to learn from major players in the logistics industry, who continue to handle complex challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Global firms such as DHL can process large volumes of orders, anticipate spikes in demand for goods and optimise routing across their warehouses to collect and pack goods more effectively across sizeable footprints.

On the outside looking in, digital transformation stories such as DHL may appear beyond reach for companies that do not have the same access to resources.

However, logistics and supply chain experts opine that employing tech solutions in an organisation’s day-to-day operations need not be a complex undertaking.

One example is automating routine tasks such as data capturing with the help of a software. I will use the example of my son to illustrate this. During his summer job, he would spend the morning plugging in data from one system into another.

After a couple of days on the job, he told his line manager that he could write a macro in Microsoft Excel to automate the process.

Within a few days, he had fully automated this routine morning task. He applied the same process in other departments.

Human talent

Using simple automation for routine tasks gives staff the freedom to attend to other responsibilities that require human talent that can’t be replicated by machines, such as creativity.

Digital transformation in sectors such as supply chain does not have to begin with the complete overhaul of an organisation’s operations. Look at what is readily available and how the technology solutions can be used effectively.

For example, Farmer’s Choice used to write down the weight scores of its animals but with the help of Microsoft technology, it captures electronically directly from the scale.

As a result, the firm has experienced fewer errors and gets real-time weight recordings. It gets accurate tracking and record-keeping to its suppliers.

This means staff can monitor fluctuating inventory levels. Ideally, data should lead to information.

Firms need to create and nurture an environment where people aren’t handling data and information but focused on knowledge and wisdom.

Firms looking to optimise their operations through digitisation should take stock of all the technology solutions that are readily available and whether they are being used to their full potential.

Leadership is key. You need people who are able and willing to push for digitisation.

The right attitude at a C-suite and executive-level means greater support and investment in the people, leading to impactful digital transformation.

 

Kendi Ntwiga is Microsoft Kenya Country Manager

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Airtel Rwanda Partners With Canal+ To Ease Payment Of Subscription Fees Via Airtel Money

Published

on

Airtel Rwanda and Canal+ Rwanda have launched a partnership, enabling customers to easily make subscription payments.

The partnership announced at a joint press conference today provides clients of both CANAL+ and Airtel a simpler, instant and secure payments method using Airtel Money.

CANAL+ Rwanda is the subsidiary of CANAL+INTERNATIONAL, TV operator by satellite in Africa and present in over  25 African countries.

CANAL+ Rwanda have a trilingual package with 200 channels in French, Kinyarwanda and English and it offers accessible bouquet starting from 5,000 Francs with a distribution network throughout the country.

Speaking at the launch event, Airtel Rwanda Managing Director, Mr. Emmanuel Hamez said “We are delighted to launch this new service on our Airtel Money platform we welcome all Canal+ customers to enjoy the convenience and simplicity offered by Airtel Money both on the USSD as well as in the My Airtel App”.

The new service that was launched today comes on the heels of an ongoing Airtel Money campaign called Free P2P which enables all Airtel Money customers to send and receive any amount of money for FREE.

“Free P2P or Ohereza Amafaranga Ku Buntu was launched in June 2021 saw Airtel scrap all charges to send and receive money between customers, a major differentiator that positions Airtel Money to become the provider of choice when it comes to payment of good and services such Canal+ that we have launched today” added Hamez.

Canal+ Rwanda’s Managing Director, Madam Sophie TCHATCHOUA said “It gives me great pleasure to allow Canal+ client to renew their subscription with Airtel Money. The successful integration of our mutual services makes life easier for our beloved customers who can now recharge and seamlessly have their images back and all this can be done from the comfort of their home”.

To renew your subscription via Airtel Money, customers can simply dial the direct short code string *500*4*3*2*4*1# on either their smartphone on feature phone, input their 14 Digit of their decoder  number, select their preferred bouquet and make the payment which is recognized by the Canal+ billing system instantly.

Continue Reading

Business

Hundreds Of Passengers Miss Flight In Uganda Due To Delayed COVID-19 Tests

Published

on

Hundreds of Ugandans have been left stranded at Entebbe International Airport by the Emirates Airways after the laboratory where they had taken their Covid-19 results delayed to return them on time.

In a Snapchat post by Ugandan socialite Sheila Gashumba, she ranted, ‘’When I tell Ugandans that Covid in Uganda is a business they say I have ‘kajanja’.

Now all Emirates passengers have missed their flights because Safari Lab sent Covid results at 2:45pm and Emirates closed its gate at 3pm.

The hospital said it couldn’t work on everyone in the short time.

Around 300 passengers missed their flight yet Safari Lab had made a total of UgSh75m since everyone had paid UGX 250,000 for the test.

In the video where all passengers were visibly angry and frustrated, they can be heard asking for what the solution is and who is going to pay for the tickets again now that those that they had paid for can no longer be used anymore.

Passengers expressed their frustration at the rot in the service.

“I experienced such thing in March as the officers in charge claimed that the gates were close at 1pm as the flight was at 3pm,” one twitter user said.

Some made jokes out of it and asked, if this was because of the US$10 tax that is in the process of being introduced and will be paid by anyone that leaves the country using the Entebbe International Airport.

Another twitter user @kasoxialex2000 asked, ‘’@UgandaCAA (Uganda Civil Aviation Authority), but seriously you guys when you move to some airports don’t you copy something? Why are we ever backwards??? Stop embarrassing us. Who will save Uganda’’
By press time there was no official communication from the Civil Aviation Authority, Safari Lab nor Emirates Airways.

Continue Reading

Business

Kagame Tells Bankers, Banking Can’t Just Be “Service For Elites”

Published

on

Banking can’t just be a service for elites, President Paul Kagame has said.  He made the remarks while speaking at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Nigeria that he attended virtually.

Running under the theme, ‘’Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’, the two-day conference will aim at the need to reposition the Finance and Banking sector as a catalyst for Economic recovery, transformation and inclusive growth.

In his remarks, he noted how the Covid pandemic has affected every aspect of Africa’s economies but at the same time also presents an opportunity for African banks to play a leading role in making societies more resilient and more responsive to the needs of Africans.

‘’Whatever affects business, affects banking. Financial services are the engine of private sector development. Banks are crucial for allocating capital wisely and productively,’’ he further added.

President Kagame noted that, in order to stay competitive, there is need to keep integrating new technology into banking to increase financial inclusion and access as banking can’t just be a service of elites.

He also went ahead to reemphasize what he has always said when it comes to African states always depending on the West and other countries for support. ‘’Indeed, Africa has the resources to fund its own economic growth and reduce dependence on external resources,’’ he said.

Kagame also noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area is creating new opportunities for Pan African Trade and investment. ‘’Banks with continental reach, like several of the institutions represented here can lead the way in cementing economic integration.’’

As he concluded, he stated how the banking sector, more than any other, understands the importance of integrity and good customer service. ‘’Banking is ultimately about trust. We look to you to set the pace in this regard. Our role as governments is to maintain good enabling environments, protecting both shareholders and customers while allowing for innovation. We expect you to keep challenging us on this,’’ he said.

In attendance at the same conference was the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Edwin Emefiele who made a huge announcement.  He said, ‘’Central Bank, will, in the next twelve months be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC). The NIFC will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.’’

In Rwanda, current statistics show that even though there are still various challenges that continue to put women behind men when it comes to financial inclusion, the number of women who are currently banked have risen from 24% in 2016 to 34% in 2021.

This is according to a FinScope 2020 Gender thematic report on the state of women financial inclusion in Rwanda that was supported by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).

In one of the Focus Notes from Access to Finance Rwanda, farmers reported that women and men enjoy equal rights and treatment at specified two Financial institutions in the Focus note and therefore no special gender based treatment yet the outcomes of each groups are not equal.

At both Financial Institutions, women and youths are more likely to use loans to hire land farm as they lack access to land and they have been assisted by addressing some of the barriers that women and youth face in accessing loans.

The conference will therefore focus on how banking can be a service enjoyed by all Africans regardless of their financial strengths through making access to finance for development is an easy and smooth process.

Continue Reading

Trending

Share
Share via