Supply chain software supplier Strategix today announces its central involvement in an exciting new project set to revolutionise the communications industry in Nigeria.
Tehila Communications Limited, formed by leading members of the consortium which won a $285 million bid for a second generation GSM licence from the Nigerian government, has chosen Strategix as its IT solution partner to roll out its distribution network. Initially focusing on the major cities, Tehila plans nationwide coverage within its first two years of operation.
In this landmark deal, one that extends the company's reach into Africa, Strategix will supply Tehila Communications Limited with the software to support an ambitious, automated distribution network selling GSM products through flagship stores, kiosks and over the Internet. At present, the Nigerian population of some 120 million is not well connected, with less than 1% having access to a reliable land line. The use of GSM technology and mobile phones is therefore set to expand dramatically.
Strategix has a strong track record in delivering solutions for mobile phone distributors, with customers such as Virgin Mobile in the UK, who has recently announced its one-millionth subscriber. However, according to a senior member of the Tehila project team, Shola Kotun, this is the first time anyone has ever deployed automated distribution software of this size and type in Nigeria.
"When you talk about 'software' here in Nigeria, people think you mean off-the-shelf, packaged software like Microsoft Office. The deployment of automated distribution software is therefore a revolutionary concept for Nigerian businesses, and quite a dramatic leap forward when you consider the constraints that we currently operate under - including power outages and a poor telecommunications infrastructure."
Following the newly-elected Nigerian government's move to tackle the country's communications problems by selling GSM licences to selected operators, Tehila has formed to seize upon a huge market opportunity to distribute GSM products such as mobile phones and pre-paid phone cards.
Peter Lusty, Strategix chief executive explains: "The company will go live with a fully-integrated, e-commerce-enabled, Strategix implementation in August 2001: just three months after Tehila confirmed the order. Tehila plans to have 1000 kiosks using Strategix by the end of 2002, sited in strategic locations such as banks, hotels, petrol stations and college campuses."
Phillips Consulting has advised Tehila during the business planning and IT selection phases and will remain involved during the deployment. Lead consultant, Supo Fawole, says that pivotal to Tehila's decision to go with Strategix was their proven ability to deliver a rapid deployment solution to support the company's sophisticated business model. "The government has set the new GSM operators stiff targets to roll out a certain number of lines by August 9 or have their licences revoked, and correspondingly, to seize our market opportunity, we too have to be up and running by then."
Fawole adds: "Excellent references, a proven track record in distribution, the fact that the software was the best fit for our needs, and the professionalism and integrity demonstrated by the Strategix staff, were all contributors to our overall strong impression of Strategix.
"We anticipate that having complete control over our inventory within all locations will provide us with a real competitive edge. The facilities afforded by Strategix for the management of our complex inventory model are second to none. Not only will it give us full visibility, it will also track the stock position of our agents, allowing us to ensure that we optimize their stockholding position also."
Through the Strategix deployment Tehila will be able to monitor stock levels real-time, and re-order according to remaining stock and customer demand. Crucially Fawole believes that with the Strategix system, each kiosk will only have to hold two days worth of stock, and this will mean considerable cost savings to the business. "Our research tells us that our competitors will have to hold ten days stock, so this is yet another area where Strategix will give us the edge."
This is an exciting project that holds huge promise for Nigeria. And Tehila has taken a long-term view, investing in reputable, highly scaleable software to meet its distribution needs in a cost-effective, customer-focused manner. According to Fawole, ROI will be rapid; in fact the system will have paid for itself within the first two years of operation.
Soon customers will be able to buy mobile phones, phone cards and accessories on demand, from a kiosk just around the corner from their home or place of work or study. Moreover the rollout of the GSM network will enable Tehila to sell products over the Internet, currently a revolutionary concept in Nigeria due to the poor communications infrastructure. With the anticipated rapid increase in Internet access the country will now see over the coming months, customers will be able place orders directly through the Strategix Customer Portal simply by logging on to Tehila's web site. This is seen by Tehila as a crucial factor in achieving a high profile and a swift penetration of the fast developing market.
Tehila expects many more businesses in the region to follow its lead in implementing Strategix software, once they see what can be achieved in this unique rollout.
Peter Lusty concludes: "Tehila's clear goal is to quickly become the dominant supplier of mobile communication needs in Nigeria. To do this, they needed to be one step ahead of the competition at launch and this demanded the rapid deployment of a specialist solution from a reliable partner. We at Strategix are delighted to assist them in achieving this goal."
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Strategix designs, develops and implements enterprise management and e-business software for volume distributors, resellers and electronic retailers.
Specialising in a number of distribution sectors including telecoms, electronics, IT and electrical supplies, Strategix delivers applications that provide an integrated approach to managing customer and supplier relationships, inventory, service delivery and financial accounts.
Current and recent implementations include Virgin Mobile, Bailey Telecom, Azlan, Richco, Avnet CMG, Midwich, Dimension Data, and Telindus K-NET.
About Tehila Communications
Tehila is a young and dynamic Nigerian company founded in 1998 with a unique product: a pre-paid international calling card called Connect Card. Based in Lagos, the company plans to set up an automated distribution network for a variety of goods, with a heavy focus on GSM products.
For further information please contact:
Bill Penn, SPARX Communications,
Sterling House, Station Road, Gerrards Cross, Bucks. SL9 8EL
Tel: 0044 1753 893 000 Fax: 0044 1753 888 345
Alan Goodwin, Strategix,
Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD
Tel: 0044 1628 532565 Fax: 0044 1628 532514
Shola Kotun, Tehila Communications Ltd,
2/4 Abebe Village Road, Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria.
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