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Friday, May 04, 2012

Technology, critical to consumer goods sector - Abdullahi

Technology has been identified as a critical driver for the nation’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector.

Mrs. Odunfa, CEO DigitalJewels
Speaking at a recent monthly breakfast forum organised by Digital Jewels in Lagos, the Head, Information Technology (IT), for Cadbury West Africa, Mr. Saidu Abdullahi, noted that IT has contributed immensely, especially to the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country.

Mr. Abdullahi in his presentation at the April edition of the forum entitled, “Technology as a value Driver in the FMCG Sector: The Cadbury Case Study”, said that manufacturing value drivers include customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, lead time, cost of overtime, expediting costs; and inventory.

As said by him Information Technology has enhanced business Intelligence, through the use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) among others.

This, he said, is available through collaboration technologies, document management, networking, voice and data communications, and technical infrastructure.

He also noted that penetration of technology in the manufacturing sector has brought about innovation, cost reduction and faster data processing, which increases time to market and standardisation of quality.

In her remarks, the Managing Director, Digital Jewels, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa said in a paper entitled, “Technology as a Value Driver: What Has Worked?” underscored the fact that critical success factors for technology as a value driver, includes the need to define value in a SMART way.

Additionally, she said this is achievable by understanding the value chain; identification of key value drivers and enabling factors as well as the role of technology.

Mrs. Odunfa recognized six important means of selling an IT-driven value proposition.

These, she enumerated to include linking the business solution to the customer’s results by showing how technology would help achieve strategic business goals faster, better and cheaper.

In addition, she said, value driven sale by communicating and influencing the customer’s perception determines how much customers are willing to pay, how quickly they would buy and how much risk they would take in the purchasing and implementation process.

She pointed out that contextualization of the business value proposition with the understanding that the perception of value changes by decision-making role, the stage of the sales cycle and the technology adoption profile.

Others, she listed out include the need to quantify the value by expressing its objectives SMART-ly, that is ‘Simple, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound.’

Equally, Mrs. Odunfa noted the need to recognise that the value proposition must be dynamic as is the business and the subjective nature of value means that it is constantly changing with the sale cycle, market adoption and the competitive landscape.

Further, she said that anxiety builds value and pain causes momentum, stressing the importance to build customer’s awareness of the consequences of not accomplishing their strategic business objectives and the linkage to value proposition.

ITRealms Online recalls that Digital Jewels is a specialised Information Technology company that focuses on Information Systems, Assurance, Risk Management and Security, e-Business and Knowledge Capital Development.

While the Information Value Chain (IVC) Forum is a monthly gathering of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals, to provide a platform for knowledge sharing, information exchange and networking for executives as they climb the corporate ladder.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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