Jibu Social Enterprise: digitizing the Sales Operations of Water Franchisees in Africa
Industry: Water Access
Region: East Africa
One of the main problems in East Africa is the inability to access water affordably. Since there is an understanding of the need to drink safe water, people mostly take water from the tap and then boil it. Unfortunately, the process is not the most convenient because it does not remove the contaminants from the water and the costs associated with it are high for the poorest population.
Jibu is a social enterprise with a mission to capitalize and equip emerging market entrepreneurs to create affordable access to drinking water (jibuco.com). They combine the franchise model providing asset financing for local entrepreneurs so they can set up local enterprises to purify contaminated water in their neighborhoods and contribute to ending the water crisis.
The distribution model of Jibu’s franchises consist in doing the process of water purification in highly-density urban and peri-urban communities, and focus on neighbourhoods within walking distance of the storefront. The company has a decentralized and hyper-local business model that allows it to keep the expenses low. For example, focusing on the underserved living within close proximity allows to eliminate transportation costs. Additionally, there aren't middle-man or retail markups since they sell directly to consumers. Finally, since the bottles are re-used, the customers pay a one-time bottle deposit and then exchange bottles for full bottles, paying only for the water.
Jibu serves customers either directly or indirectly. There are three main types of sales that they perform: field sales, orders and delivery, and walk-in sales. Each franchise has at least a franchise manager, a production manager, and a rider. The franchise manager also performs the role of the sales manager in most cases.
Efficiency is a key factor in Jibu’s operations. Since the core market is the population who cannot afford safe drinking water daily, the company has to maintain their expenses low to achieve their targets. At the core of Jibu’s operating model is the digitisation of the activities of the franchisees so that there is a decent productivity level and a potential to scale the business model at a greater level.
Jibu was looking for an IT solution both mature enough to sustain its growth, and flexible to be customized to the way it conducts its operations. One key requirement was also to be compatible with low connectivity environments and a mobile-first approach, as all users would primarily interact with the solution through their smartphones.
1. Digitising and automating Sales Processes
The FieldPro App was implemented to automate the sales processes from the franchises. To achieve this, three main workflows were created based on the three types of sales that each franchise performs:
Field Sales: the rider visits regular customers and pushes the product without any pre-order. They are able to capture information in the mobile app such as client, SKUs qtty, amount, payment type, among others. The follow up tasks consist in automated calculation of the amount to be recovered and the expected recovery date (if credit). Another follow up task is the bottle return status.
Orders and Delivery: the franchisee receives an order (from client or Jibu call center) that needs to be dispatched to its rider. The rider receives a task in the mobile app to deliver an order. In the task, all the order details are available, with the FieldPro mobile app, managers are able to capture information to register the order such as client, SKU quantity, planned delivery date, among others. The follow up tasks consist in creating a “Dispatch / Close Sale” task on the rider’s user in the mobile app.
Walk-in Sales: the client enters the store and does an ‘over the counter’ purchase. The client might not be a regular customer and just want to purchase a bottle without giving his/her details. The manager is able to capture information about client details (not paramount) qtty SKUs sold, amount, payment type, or additional comments in the mobile app.
After the implementation of each workflow, the users are able to manage their tasks through the FieldPro mobile app.
First, the franchise manager, every morning, checks the pending orders and dispatches the products to the riders for delivery. He records the number of products given to each rider at the beginning of the trip. During the day, he captures orders and assigns them to riders for delivery, attends the ‘walk-in’ customers, and records the debt and bottles return. At the end of the day, the manager gets the details of the water production and wastage, and is able to reconcile the riders booking and return in a more accurate and easy way.
Second, the riders use the mobile app to select a route and map all the outlets that need to be visited during the day. They are able to check if they have some orders to be delivered, so they can go to pick up the products at the franchisee and hit the road to visit the customers. Each time they are with a client, they can check-in at his place and fill in the information of KPIs that happen at this level such as sales made, collected bottles, payments. At the end of the day the riders are able to reconcile the sales with the manager through the mobile app.
2. Implementing bottles and production tracker
Other workflows were implemented for the Refill activities such as production and waste tracker mainly used by the production manager. There are also workflows related to the bottles, such as reports of broken bottles, bottle inventory purchase, and bottles collection that are used by the franchise managers and the riders for the reconciliation at the end of the day. Last, the profit and loss was also created for the franchise managers to keep track of the financial side of the business.
3. Monitoring operational and financial performance:
Franchisee managers are able to access business insights based on their operations through the web and mobile app. The web app shows customers insights, inventory details, profit and loss, time worked, and shows an overview of the sales, orders and deliveries done. Through the mobile, the users can access debt tracking, revenue and cash report, the volume and bottle report, the production and waste report, and customer creation tracking.
Sales and Orders Dashboards
FieldPro and Jibu started partnering in 2020 for digitizing the franchisees' sales operations with the objective of automating the processes. Over the past 12 months we have been able to deploy our solution across all their African countries: Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Congo. This represents a total of 500 franchisees, 1,500 users and 30,000 customers supplied.
Jibu monitors the adoption by comparing the water produced / expected sales tracked by sensors and the sales captured in the app. There is also constant education of the franchisees about the app features and usage with dedicated training staff in each country.
The users see great advantage in using this tool to improve their efficiency as Vincent, Franchisee Manager from Lavington Branch in Nairobi puts it “The app helps us with the reconciliation of the sales and to manage our business on a daily basis, it is a key component of our activity. I really like it.”
At the management level also, there is clear satisfaction on the relevance of FieldPro as the right technology tool to support the growth of the business.
“FieldPro has given our partners a great tool to manage their business very well”.
Isaac Kiuka, Global Head of IT, Jibu co.
“FieldPro is a highly customisable application built for the last mile distribution chain. Its intuitive and user friendly design make it easy to scale acrooss various user categories like riders, shop owners, sales reps and more. Lastly it is not only the product itself but also the entire Optimetriks team which is making the experience with FieldPro a great one. The team is very dedicated, dynamic, friendly and always fast to responde. The perfect partner for growing organizations.”
Tim Kasperidus, COO, Jibu co.