case study of laboratory services company cropnuts

4 min read

How Cropnuts Eliminated Errors and Streamlined Requisitioning

Cropnuts, an analytical laboratory from Kenya, optimized its procurement process and significantly decreased downtime in its labs by switching to e-procurement.

Daryna Rodriguez
Daryna Rodriguez

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

Speaker Martin Mburu, Head of Technology

About Cropnuts

Cropnuts was founded in Kenya in 1998 as a small analytical laboratory and have since grown into a leader in African agricultural testing. Intent on transforming Africa's agricultural production and food safety sectors, they deliver valuable services to African farmers and improve markets wherever they operate.

The company provides high-quality testing of soil, water, crops, hydroponic systems, animal feed, and fertilizers. Additionally, they undertake food safety assessments and monitor industrial effluent waste using the latest scientific knowledge and technology.

Naturally, with the company's growth, the number of purchase orders and invoices also increased. And when you operate one of East Africa's most prominent testing laboratories, you need to ensure that all the necessary supplies arrive on time and in the correct quantity.


Eventually, Cropnuts' head of technology, Martin Mburu, decided they needed an e-procurement solution to prevent flaws in the process, and he discovered Precoro.

One year after beginning with Precoro, we contacted Martin to discuss the challenges they faced in their purchasing operations and how Precoro has changed its business processes.

The Problem

As Cropnuts laboratory needs certain supplies like flasks, tubes, or chemicals to operate properly, employees had to create many purchase orders per month. Before Precoro, all purchasing operations in Cropnuts were made using Excel spreadsheets.

If someone needed to order a particular item, they would have had to fill out an Excel template with all the details and then forward it to finance. The finance 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. Besides, there were several cases when the email with requisition got lost, so goods weren't ordered at all.

Martin Mburu, Head of Technology

Another challenge in Cropnuts was that they couldn't track receipts of ordered goods properly. Frequently, the laboratory didn't have stock items due to mistakes in requisitions.

For example, if somebody in the lab ordered the wrong product or the incorrect quantity, there was no way to track that until we actually received the order. And sometimes there were cases when 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 in 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.

Martin Mburu, Head of Technology

The Solution

By implementing Precoro, Cropnuts simplified its purchasing operations and improved the overall laboratory workflows.

Precoro helped us solve most of our previous challenges. It became much easier to reconcile purchase requisitions, and we saved significant time on that.

Now, every requisition is properly tracked from the moment it was created until delivery. There are fewer instances of ordering the wrong supplies or delayed deliveries.

Martin Mburu, Head of Technology
water to be analyzed

Another huge improvement related to Cropnuts collaboration with suppliers. With Precoro, Cropnuts laboratory gained insights on more reliable vendors.

Now we can easily track suppliers' performance and reach better buying decisions.

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

Martin Mburu, Head of Technology

Key Takeaways

Before Precoro:

  • Manual data entry
  • Lost requisitions
  • Inefficient ordering process
  • No centralized purchases record
  • No efficient way to track financial documents

After Precoro:

  • Reduced manual work
  • Improved purchasing process efficiency
  • Ability to track suppliers' performance
  • Automated procurement process
  • Transparent reporting
The overall impression is very positive! Precoro fully met our expectations and helped us streamline the process around requisitioning and purchasing. Moreover, it led to a significant decrease in downtime in our labs.

Martin Mburu, Head of Technology

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

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Daryna Rodriguez

Editor, content and marketing professional with a decade of experience bringing value for the B2B segment. Get in touch!