When viewing the infrastructure development index of countries around the world, of the 30 least developed countries, 22 of them are African and included in these are the economic power houses of Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Africa’s vast infrastructure deficit is a major constraint on its growth and development. This dearth of infrastructure is most visible in the lack of an efficient road network. Many existing roads are in very poor condition with bottlenecks, potholes and lack of signage making efficient navigation more difficult.
According to the SSATP the road safety situation in Africa appalling. Although the continent has the lowest road network density and only owns 2 percent of the world’s vehicles, the rate of road fatalities in Africa is the highest in the world, with 24 per 100 000 inhabitants, against 18.5 in Asia and 10.3 in Europe.
An opportunity for efficient technology development
Many organizations are resorting to technology as a means for overcoming the infrastructural problems.
Andreas Maritz, Strategic Growth Executive at VSC Smart Supply Chains, says, “By necessity Africa has become a breeding ground for complex logistical systems. The operational requirements of supply chains remain the same in Africa as they do in Europe and to ensure a high level of efficiency in Africa we have developed many technological enhancements.”
VSC Solutions is the leading provider of supply chain technology and consulting solutions to emerging markets across the globe. They provide custom solutions for businesses that operate in the supply chain environment.
“Our key focus is on delivering profits and enhancing competitive advantage,” says Andreas.
Technological Mitigation of Africa’s Risks
Apart from the infrastructural problems, Africa also has a critical shortage of skilled and experienced drivers and border crossings are notoriously inefficient too. Add load shedding and hijack and theft hotspots and managing a supply chain effectively becomes rather complex.
Andreas says, “VSC has developed the Virtual Supply Chain to mitigate all the typical and unusual risks found in Africa. Our Route Execution Module ensures inexperienced drivers are given clear and concise instructions and our Route Optimisation Module ensures drivers avoid bottlenecks, civil strife, roadworks or damage amongst other obstacles and this information is provided in real time.”
The VSC systems monitor all stops and the opening and closing of all doors including passenger and driver doors. Thus any activity outside of a scheduled geofenced area can be identified and theft or hijackings managed or prevented.
“We have developed systems to ensure that drivers maintain green band driving and drivers receive a thorough debriefing which increases their driving ability and efficiency,” adds Andreas. Our Knowledge Integration Network is a significant advantage of the Virtual Supply Chain given that it allows us to integrate into a company’s existing systems, such as an ERP, WMS, CRM and HR systems, etc.
“Our systems are continuously evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of the supply chain industry and this has been a significant contributor to our long-standing relationship with our clients,” says Andreas.
If you would like more information or a demonstration of what VSC has to offer please contact Andreas Maritz, Strategic Growth Executive, on 072 049 5824 or firstname.lastname@example.org