KENYA’S LOGISTICS INDUSTRY TURNS TO TECHNOLOGY TO BOOST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

IMG_474020141115_085833Mombasa

Adoption of technology has greatly enhanced the competitive advantage of most organizations. The multiple technology options available deliver customer satisfaction through offering the customer convenience, quick responses, customized solutions and efficient reporting of important information without the need for major human intervention.

The move towards adoption of technology move has seen players in the Kenyan logistics industry embrace digital technology to boost their customers’ experience and build customer loyalty. In Mombasa, Chris Kanoti of Siginon CFS, adds that “We have put in place a broad spectrum of technology that will create a positive customer experience while they’re using our services”. To support efficiency in cargo clearance, Siginon CFS provides her customers with free Wi-Fi services. This enables the customer to access free internet connection through various devices and access documentation required in the clearance of their cargo from the port of Mombasa. Kanoti states; “We realized that our customers need to access the internet frequently to access and lodge the various clearance documents for their cargo. To assist in making the process more efficient, we provided our customers free Wi-Fi to eliminate the need for them to step out to access the single window system in cyber cafés away from the CFS and make our premises a convenient cargo clearance CFS.”

Container Freight Stations (CFS) have also adopted the CFS Pro system to assist in handling containers aboard the various vessels while they’re docked at Mombasa port. The system shares vessel schedules and cargo manifests to the customer via the CFS system. The system facilitates efficient cargo clearance by proactively providing the customer with the cargo manifests thus allowing them to prepare all documentation for clearance and avoid storage charges. Chris asserts; “We are focused on providing our customers with a stress free cargo clearance experience, thus we are proactively providing all the vessel and cargo information so that they are spared the various storage and demurrage penalties resulting from delays in clearance which are sometimes caused by getting this critical information on time.”

The Single Window system launched by Kentrade, an arm of the Kenya government that is mandated to facilitate cross border trade and enhance Kenya’s global competitiveness is also web based. Job Kemboi, the Siginon Global Logistics Divisional Manager states; “The single window system has greatly enhanced the efficiency of clearing and transporting of shipments from the port of Mombasa to the local market as well as those destined for transit. Operationally, it has improved the turnaround times for trucks as there are no delays at the Kenya –Uganda Malaba border as duties are paid up front and exit note issued prior to departure. The reduction in delays has enabled us to make more trips as well as reduced congestion at the border posts and the port”. The Single Window System is an outcome of Kenya’s Vision2030 development blue print that seeks to enhance international trade through encouraging efficiency at the port of Mombasa. Job concludes, “Our customers have also enjoyed the benefits of the Single Window as they are guaranteed their cargo will arrive as expected due without the border delays. This has helped them plan their production schedules as well as make ‘just in time’ orders”.

In line with current market trends, mobile payments have been adopted at both Siginon Global Logistics and Siginon CFS to enable cash less payments for the logistics transactions. Job states “We are accepting mobile payments for fees due to be paid to Siginon. We’ve realized that most customers avoid carrying cash preferring the mobile payment options. Mobile phone payments have proven to be safe and secure and convenient for our customers. We are also paying our drivers allowances through mobile money as they make their various trips.”

The Kenya government has taken conscious steps to embrace technology through the E-government initiative that involves employing ICT to transform both back end and front end government processes in service delivery.  This has encouraged players across the various industries to equally incorporate technology in their operations so as to achieve efficiency, offer the market convenience and achieve global competitiveness.