byJemyma Randy-Cofie via web
Jibu is the first franchisor in Rwanda, commencing it’s operations in 2013 when a Father and son team setup a water distribution organisation to empower entrepreneurs in emerging markets in providing clean and affordable drinking water to underserved communities. Since then it has grown to cover 5 African countries, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, with plans this year to expand to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jibu’s Rwandan operations currently has 39 franchisees each equipped with water production equipments on site. These purification systems source their water from the mountains and use Ultra Flitration (UF) with Chlorine dosing to produce drinking water. The Rwandan mountain springs give a unique taste to the water making it a popular choice for customers. Owners of these franchisees run these businesses either in a full-time or part-time capacity.
Jean d’Arc, seen in the picture above, is a full-time employee of USAID with two franchisee sites. She has successfully run her business becoming the fourth highest franchisee earner in Rwanda. Everyday after work she visits her sites spending three days at one and two at the other. She like most other franchisee owners has created alternate means of gathering key data points for effective management of her sites. She uses very impressive and intuitive excel reports to transform data into useful information giving her a full picture of activities at her sites. It is the job of her site administrator to collect and aggregate data on a daily basis while managing water production, sales and delivery service activities.
A typical day for this site administrator starts with carrying forward stock from the previous day, and taking stock of new inventory of the day. When a customer walks-up and places an order or a delivery is requested the site administrator first enters the sale into the Electronic Billing Machine, a mandatory activity required by the Rwandan Government to manage tax payments. A receipt is issued and given to the customer along with the purchased item. The sale is then logged into the SalesVu application and finally entered into an excel sheet report. At the end of the day, the remaining stock of the day is countered and logged into the excel sheet report and sales reconciliation is done for the day.
With limited time to spend at these sites, site owners rely heavily on these reports. Figures such as daily water production, stock, total daily sales, and credit payments are necessary metrics needed to successfully run their businesses. These franchisees currently use three systems to capture data, SalesVu, the Government mandatory EBM and either excel reports or notebooks. This laborious workflow is very cumbersome having high risks of human error.
To scale up the franchisee business in Rwanda we will be rolling out our open source IT Tool in the coming months to consolidate all three systems into one. The new consolidated system will provide metrics on sales activities, inventory management, customer patronisation, and credit payment management to name a few. We are creating a first Phase version giving the basic functionalities to meet these requirements and will rollout other phases the future. The choice to build this system with open source technology ensures a large community of contributors to its continuous improvement. We aim to create a system that will be rolled out to other African countries and support emerging market entrepreneurs in providing this much needed service to underserved communities.