Technology Adoption Will Disrupt FMCG Distribution, Says Expert

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By Emma Okonji

An expert in the distribution of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FCMB), Mr. Joseph Okoghenun, has said with the right technology adoption and deployment, the disruption of FMCG will witness technology disruption that will transform the sector.
Okoghenun, disclosed this in a statement. According to him, disruptions had changed the banking sector, the telecom sector and recently, the e-commerce sector.

A little over 20 years ago, Nigerians spent an average of one hour in a bank branch to withdraw as little as N2,000. Today, you could stay away from the bank and carry out transactions fully with the phone, Okoghenun said.

In 1998, it took 34 days to acquire a NITEL landline phone at the cost of N120,000, an equivalent of $5,481 at the exchange rate of N21.89 per dollar. Now, 21 years down the lane, a smart landline phone costs less than N10,000. Furthermore, this can be set up within 10 minutes, he added in the statement.

“In 2015, an obscure Yudala in the thick of a recession changed the narrative in the Nigerian e-commerce space. Yudala became the first composite e-commerce (offline and online) company shaking the foundations of the big two.

“In the FMCG distribution space, TDiLife, an organisation headquartered in Lagos came with a mission to progressively redefine consumer and lifestyle products distribution in Nigeria and Africa. The company employed technology in creating an efficient supply chain that delivers value to customers and consumers without stories. Within two years of commencement, the company has redefined FMCG distribution,” the statement added.

This, according to him, was the disruption required to transform FMCG distribution and create a distribution company for the future.

“Today, large Original Product Manufacturers (OPMs) can rely on distribution partners with capacity in several ways like Logistics: trucks, vans and partnership with strong delivery companies; Technology that drives contact center, social media; Skilled staff in the areas of audit, accounts, inventory, management and conducive and digitalised warehouse; Affiliation with modern online banking facilities to minimize exposure to fraud and create a secure financial management platform. Others include consultancy in the area of route-to-market; Efficient inventory management strategy like First in First Out (FIFO) and Sale in Sale Out (SISO); Integrated inventory control and management strategies in a largely transactional ecosystem,” Okoghenun said.

The challenge today according to him, still remains the inability of OPMs to appreciate these investments and compensate for these investments in the FMCG distribution landscape, he said, adding that the future is already with us.