The opportunity cost of not implementing route to market (RTM) automation for businesses distributing goods and services across Africa can be quite substantial in terms of both financial and operational impact. Some major aspects include:
1. Lost Growth Potential: Manual processes limit the number of routes, retail outlets and territories that can be profitably served. Automation enables scaling distribution far wider without proportional cost increases. The lost revenue and profit from not expanding access is massive.
2. Supply & Demand Mismatches: Inability to accurately predict demand or track inventory in real-time leads to higher incidence of stock-outs, write-downs from spoilage and opportunity costs of excess inventory from supply-demand mismatches. Automation reduces revenue leakage.
3. Higher Transport Expenses: Manual route optimization fails to minimize mileage, fuel usage and fleet wear-and-tear like automated algorithms resulting in exponentially higher transport costs from suboptimal routing.
4. Lower Finance Ability: Weak financial controls and lack of verifiable data trails deter banks and investors from funding expansion plans. However, increased transparency and auditability from automation makes accessing credit easier resulting in lower costs of capital.
5. Poor Decision Making: Operational data lag from long reporting cycles as well as human errors in capture and processing degrade planning and support poor strategies as leaders lack timely, accurate information. Better analytics prevents losses from misguided direction.
Overall, the scale of the opportunity costs from inability to serve wider markets, resolve revenue leakage, scale operations without proportional overheads as well as prevent losses from misdirected strategies is very large, running into thousands if not millions of shillings as well unquantifiable capability gaps for organizations distributing goods & services across Africa.
However, the route-to-market status quo is now changing with emerging digital platforms. Our platform TradeStack by ibuQa, powered by ERP integrations, geospatial engines, analytics dashboards, and machine learning algorithms can transform downstream visibility and efficiency.
The time for Africa to shed its analog route to market skin is here! Let’s connect to discuss how route-to-market automation can help your FMCG business maximize opportunities and minimize lost value.