CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

8 August 2014

Kenya: FMCG's to Enhance Service Efficiency Through M-Distributr

Safaricom Business has partnered with Virtual City, to launch an application that will enhance service efficiency for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector.

The product dubbed as M-Distributr is a mobile app that is available on android devices, enabling sales teams and businesses keep real-time track of sales transactions and deliveries, place orders, and collect returns while in the field. It also enables mobile money payments through M-PESA while in the field.

"M-Distributor effectively cuts down the time spent processing transactions by FMCG sales teams by 50%, and this will have an overall impact on the operations and costs incurred, while making it possible for the organisations meet client expectations faster and effectively", said Sylvia Mulinge, General Manager- Safaricom Business.

Speaking during the launch she added, "With solutions like these, we further entrench our positions as the Partner of Choice for Business, a brand promise which we have been faithful to by understanding our clients' needs and providing suitable propositions to address them."

Several companies among them PZ Cussons and Safaricom Airtime Dealers, are already using M-Distributor which has been integrated into their respective supply chain systems and processes, with successful results reported.

Virtual City's Chief Executive Officer John Waibochi noted, "Technology's role in this day and age is to make our lives easier. A lot of opportunities however remain unexploited. Our role is to create a bridge between these two divides".

He added, "Kenya accounts for some of the highest rates in smart phone penetration. It is time that started looking at these phones not just as basic communication and entertainment devices, but also as business productivity tools."

However, Waibochi, also noted that surrently the system was intergrated with LIPA na MPesa but will look into the way forward to use other mobile payment platforms soon. The new app is also set to be intergrates with maps showing location of where the sales team is at a certain time.

The system will be hosted on a cloud server thusensuring clients of highest levels of redundancy. The stored data will also be secured by encryption as well as data transferred from the server to the different devices and where applicable the communications can be limited to known devices within Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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