Company: Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services (Cropnuts)
Location: Kenya
Industry: Agriculture, Farming, Laboratory Services
Using Precoro since: Jun 2019
Users: 14
POs per month (av.): 50
Featuring: Martin Mburu, Head of Technology

"Precoro fully met our expectations and helped us to streamline the process around requisitioning and purchasing. Moreover, it led to a significant decrease in downtime in our labs, so now we get the job done on time."

Cropnuts was founded in Kenya in 1998 as a small analytical laboratory. Over the next 20 years, they have grown into leaders in agricultural testing in Africa. Intending to transform the agricultural production and food safety sectors in Africa, they deliver valuable services for African farmers and improve the markets they operate in.

The company provides high-quality tests for soil, water, crops, hydroponic systems, animal feeds, and fertilizer quality, as well as food safety assessments and industrial effluent waste monitoring using the latest scientific knowledge and technology.

As a company grows, so does the number of purchase orders and invoices to support the business. And if you run one of the most prominent testing laboratories in East Africa, you want to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies on time and in the correct quantity.

Eventually, Cropnuts’s Head of Technology Martin Mburu decided that they need to find an e-procurement solution to prevent flaws in the process. After a while, they ended up implementing Precoro.

A year later, we contacted Martin to talk about the challenges they faced in the purchasing operations and find out how Precoro has changed their life.

What did your purchasing process look like before implementing Precoro?

Our labs need certain supplies like flasks, tubes, or chemicals to operate properly. If someone needed to order a particular item, they would have to fill out an Excel template with all the details and then forward it to the finance. Then the finance team would contact the appropriate supplier, create a purchase order, and then wait to receive the product.

The problem with that approach is that sometimes the spreadsheet contained mistakes or some essential information was missing. It also happened that email with requisition got lost, so goods weren’t ordered at all.

Another challenge was that we couldn’t track receipts of ordered goods properly.

When did you realize that you need to make a change?

It became too frequent that we didn’t have stock items due to mistakes in requisitions. For example, if somebody in the lab ordered the wrong product or the wrong quantity, there was no way to track that until we actually received the order. And sometimes it happened that somebody forgot to send a PO.

It affected our efficiency because we couldn't do the work without some products and couldn’t deliver the expected result on time. Another thing was that we couldn’t analyze the historical record of transactions with our suppliers. So we decided to find a tool to streamline the process, and also track and analyze every purchase.

How has Precoro changed your day-to-day operations?

Precoro helped us solve most of our previous challenges.

It became much easier to reconcile purchase requisitions, and we got significant time savings on that. Now every requisition is properly tracked from the moment when it was created until delivery of goods. There are fewer instances of ordering the wrong supplies or delayed deliveries.

We also have visibility into which vendor is more reliable. It’s much easier to track suppliers’ performance and make better buying decisions.

On the accounting side, it saved us a lot of time because the finance team no longer needs to deal with Excel sheets, emails, and manual data entry. All POs automatically sent to the vendors and pushed into our accounting package.

And how would you describe your overall impressions of Precoro during this period of time that you are using it?

Overall impressions are very positive! Precoro fully met our expectations and helped us to streamline the process around requisitioning and purchasing. Moreover, it led to a significant decrease in downtime in our labs.

With Precoro, Cropnuts has what they need to run the purchasing processes smoothly and to make sure that all the work in the lab is done on time. You can see how they have achieved effectiveness and accuracy by signing up for a 14-day free trial.