NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya (CCBA) has partnered with Kenya’s integrated communications service provider (CSP) Safaricom PLC to connect its coolers with sensors that collect vital data that will enable the company to enhance its offering to retailers and outlets of its beverage products in the country.
The connected coolers are wired with sensors which leverage on the Internet of things (IoT) – the inter-networking of “smart” devices that collect and exchange data.
The devices enable CCBA to monitor the temperature and how often the fridge doors are opened to give real-time data. The company is also be able to tell how many fridges are operational at any given time; taking note of declining or fluctuating units and schedule them for maintenance.
Speaking during the launch of the partnership, Josphat Mwangi Sales and Marketing Director, CCBA-Kenya explained: “As a business it is imperative that we become more agile and responsive to our retail partners’ needs. These devices ensure that consumers are able to enjoy products at perfect serve while our partners avoid extra running costs as a result of poor or non-performing assets.”
The information gathered gives insights on consumer purchase patterns, which assists in scheduling maintenance more effectively in line with the cooler performance information.
“We have started a proof of value with a pilot of 100 coolers in Nairobi for the next one month with more to be connected as we expand this initiative across the country. The coolers are provided free of charge to retailers and outlets countrywide,” added Xavier.
Commenting on the launch, Rita Okuthe, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom PLC said: “We developed an IoT solution that consists of sensors installed in the coolers that will transmit data and insights that Coca-Cola will use to optimize their operation. For instance, Coca-Cola distributors can now tell where their assets are located, if they are in use or not (on/off), whether they are operating at the optimal temperature and how many times the door of the cooler is opened.”
“Technology infrastructure and tools are essential, but it’s the innovative application of technology that will separate winners from losers in the IoE economy. The Winners will be companies that successfully apply technology to improve the “people” and “process” elements of their business,” said Okuthe.