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Zim startup brings efficiency to FMCG sector

Zim startup brings efficiency to FMCG sector.

A Harare-based startup claims to have solved the problem of keeping products on shelves in stores across Africa. FigJam says its mobile software app comes to the aid of consumers, retailers and suppliers alike in order to avoid "out of stock events" which often results in hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue per month - as well as many frustrated customers.

The app is based on supplier input and is designed to improve productivity, efficiency and accountability in the highly dynamic and competitive business of distributing fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), according to the startup.

David Boaler, co-founder of FigJam, says the app operates on Android-based devices and syncs to the cloud to provide management teams with real-time information on a host of aspects in the supply chain, from stocking densities to streamlined order processing.

It also offers managers automated reporting on field agent productivity. "This is a win win for management and field teams alike - it gives both the opportunity to do away with old 'analogue' processes involving pen and paper, and creates a fresh environment where they can use technology to improve the quality and quantity of their output",

Winston Taylor, co founder of FigJam emphasises that they spent a lot of time in the field gathering requirements and understanding their customers' needs with the end goal of ensuring tangible results.

"My favourite example of what FigJam can do for your business comes from a large distributor in Zimbabwe. We worked with them for 18 months before finally onboarding them. They have since seen their average timeframe from order to delivery reduce by 50% (from 6 days to 3 days) and are seeing revenues increase to the tune of thousands of dollars per month."

The FigJam team cite findings by The Economist's Intelligence Unit that the FMCG sector for Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa has the 3rd largest global growth forecasts after Latin America and eastern Europe.

Mobile technology app & web ecosystems will play a pivotal role in helping the sector attain the expected growth figures in addition to ensuring that supermarkets have all the items on customers' shopping lists.

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