Indigenous Consumer Food Company, Foodco, has advised retail players to harness technological innovations to drive operations and sector growth.
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the firm, Ade Sun-Basorun, gave the advice at the just concluded Google Business Group Training that held in Ibadan recently.
In his speech titled, “Leveraging Technology for Business Management and Growth,” he said that retail activities were key in driving government diversification efforts, as such, much was expected of the sector in terms of performance and delivery.
He noted also that industry had a growth potential of not less than $40 billion before the end of 2020, which was why it needed to be more proactive, innovative and creative to fulfill expectations.
He said: “The proper application of digitisation has significant potential to improve the quality of service delivery for customers across key functions within the retail value chain.
“It has huge upsides for individual companies and the sector and this is in several areas like predictive analytics, forecasting and demand for various products, at different locations and better pricing algorithms that can react to changes in the cost of import.
“Also is the cost for customer needs, pattern analytics of customer feedbacks to identify potential issues and risks before they become sources of customer dissatisfaction amongst others.”
Basorun explained further that the emergence and acceptance of e-commerce in Nigeria automatically places a challenge on operators to work out how they can leverage on it to achieve higher levels of convenience and speed of delivery.
Shedding more light on this, he pointed out thus: “With the ever growing penetration of smart phones and mobile devices, as well as increased need for personalised service, also, the requirement for retailers to embrace big data, sometimes called business intelligence, to enable them understand the specific profile and needs of customers and connect with them at their point of needs, it is becoming as relevant for us as a Nigerian industry as it is for more western audience.”
He also urged retailers to always employ innovative and collaborative mechanism in order for them to meet the talent needs of utilising technology.
“From partnering with small startups to specialist resources, we are going to have to employ those sorts of mechanisms, given the higher level of competition for skill technology resources in the country”, he said.