The African continent has finally begun to be recognised for its budding economic potential but progress is largely dependent on improved supply chain infrastructures.
Dovetail Business Solutions is well known for providing integrated logistics software solutions throughout the transport, warehousing and distribution industries across Africa and we have been recognised for our impact on the growth of the continent.
During our 25 years of operation, to bring together all parts of the logistics machine for superior operational efficiency through their customised software solutions, we have expanded into more and more African countries such as Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Mauritius.
Here are some key learnings from our business that can help you strategise on your company’s way forward:
Common Logistics Challenges in Africa
An area of concern is the poor state of infrastructure in many parts of Africa. Numerous African roads remain unpaved, potholed or sorely in need of upgrading and this has a severe impact on supply chain accessibility.
Railroad networks are also generally inadequate as an alternative to road transport. Energy grids are often under strain, causing regular blackouts and hindering efficiency on every level.
High transport costs, slow deliveries and poor turnaround times are often the result, limiting expansion. Fortunately, some countries have seen the importance of reliable infrastructure and a concerted effort is being made to improve transport networks and expand electricity availability, but more attention to this issue is needed.
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The capacity to effectively facilitate local trade has a noticeable impact on a country’s ability to be part of a supply chain and too often extensive delays at border posts prevent consignments from arriving at their destinations within a reasonable time-frame.
This escalates costs and there is a need to co-operate to improve cross-border clearance procedures. For improved consistency and transparency, tracking and tracing technology is much-needed for those in shipping and supply.
Communications and IT
As a general trend, e-commerce is expanding as consumers discover the convenience of online shopping, but Africa’s high cost, slow and unreliable internet is a major barrier to be overcome.
Internet connectivity can be improved through fibre networks and the use of mobile and satellite communication technology. A major key to the advancement of business in Africa is the use of advanced software for logistics, transport and warehouse management to automate, track and manage all supply chain processes.
Dovetail’s role in Africa
The team at Dovetail have been involved in overcoming these challenges and finding innovative logistics solutions through ongoing projects in Africa which have won them numerous awards. Here are two such case studies:
1. Fargo and Dovetail – a Kenyan partnership
Fargo Courier saw rapid growth of their various depots in Kenya but frequent power outages meant that they needed a logistics management solution that could utilise mobile technology and had the efficiency to run off solar power.
Affordability and reliability were also factors to be considered to maintain the standard of 95% delivery turnaround to the entire country. Real-time tracking technology, even outside of the main city centres, and a highly complex billing system had to be integrated into the transport software.
Thanks to Dovetail’s customised Transport Management Software and mobile solutions, Fargo has seen year on year growth and the system continues to be upgraded to handle increasing demands.
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2. Triton Express and Dovetail – Expanding across Africa
Road freight specialists, Triton Express, needed assistance to grow their business beyond South Africa into neighbouring countries. Dovetail’s expertise, adaptability and understanding of the African environment made them an obvious choice to partner with.
Our scalable FreightWare software was successfully implemented and six new Triton Express branches have been established and they have expanded their offerings into the mining sector. Their expansion into Africa has opened the way for increased investment into southern Africa.
Many exciting opportunities exist for business expansion into emerging African markets but efficient logistics is key to the continued growth of Africa. Dovetail Africa pledges to keep breaking new ground as they partner with logistics suppliers to overcome challenges and maximise efficiencies for the economic upliftment of the continent.