BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
LAFARGE Zambia has braved the soaring business environment caused by Covid-19 as it is delivering about 1.2 million bags of cement on a monthly basis by leveraging on digital platform from its partners, Afri Delivery, which is a food delivery company.
The company has partnered with Afri Delivery to distribute cement for which 1.2 million bags are being sold on a monthly basis as the company services its retail clientele.
Company Chief Executive Officer, Jimmy Khan, said Lafarge Zambia was delivering cement to customers in 90 minutes through the digital platform.
Mr Khan explained that the company had a target to deliver 500,000 bags a month and that it was delivering 500 bags every three to four days.
He was speaking recently during the Stanbic Bank Zambia’s Anakazi banking online conversations.
“As Lafarge Zambia, we are doing well, there were some digital initiatives that we started last year just to be proactive with our customers and through this whole tragedy, there has been a silver lining that we have kind of accelerated and put a lot more effort into some of technology solutions,” he said.
Mr Khan said retail demand had doubled in this period which he indicated that was a sustainable business opportunity for Lafarge.
He, however, said the company’s supply chain had been affected as spare parts were imported.
“One difficult we have had in operations is that supply chains have been dramatically impacted, all of our spare parts come from abroad,” Mr Khan said.
Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Executive Officer, Leina Gabaraane, said his institution continued to explore effective ways of contacting clients in a contactless environment.
Mr Gabaraane indicated that the Bank had invested in innovation and digitisation while stressing that to push transactions through a digital network required stability of systems.
“One of the biggest challenges we face as a bank is customers struggling to trust technology because even with digitized solutions most will still want physical interface. They still will not trust cash deposit machines, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and as such will prefer queuing up,” he said.