Hello, this is Greg, Innovation and Performance Manager for the Global WASH team at iDE. Robert, I'll second your thought on the importance of technology in achieving scale. We sell hygienic latrines through a direct-sales team in several countries. In Cambodia, where we've achieved the greatest scale, we've benefited from a Salesforce-based sales management and tracking system. Our Salesforce guru, Gordon Lau, gave a really nice presentation on the system at the annual DreamForce conference. You can see it here: https://youtu.be/BXOUuGyHjNs?t=1825.
To Caroline, we are experimenting now with mobile money payments in our sanitation marketing project in Ghana, which also relies on a direct sales model with production being handled by local entrepreneurs (typically existing masons and concrete producers). Still early days, but the promise of mobile phone payments in areas where that infrastructure exists is certainly exciting.
Caroline Ashley said:
That's interesting Robert. Is there no opportunity for mobile phone payment? I agree that if is cash based, that is a huge constraint on scale.
Robert Mooney said:
One of our major challenges to scale is technology. In order to be profitable, we need to operate at a very low cost. There is a scale point where we cannot handle the volume of transactions manually, therefore all invoicing/credit management and control/payment receipts, etc. need to be managed digitally in order for us to grow in a controlled manner. However, there aren't many technology solutions out there that are tailored for the environments we're operating in and the type of transactions. In addition, cash collection is extremely expensive - and high risk for our both our entrepreneurs and our staff.
Jessica Davis Pluess said:
Welcome Rob1 It would be interesting to hear more about the Chakipi model in Peru and Haiti and what you've found to be some of the key challenges to scale.
Robert Mooney said:
Hi this is Rob Mooney. I am the Director of Global Operations for the Clinton Foundation's "Chakipi" ID businesses.