Kenyan manufacturers have blamed the high cost of spare parts, the high cost of software and hardware as well as lack of skilled labour as hindrances to automation in a new report today.
The report by manufacturing ERP firm Syspro and Strathmore University indicated that manufacturers asked for tax incentives for technology purchases, better training for local technology partners and improved availability of new technologies locally.
SYSPRO’s Head of Channel, Pravir Rai said, “keeping IT costs low is very important for businesses particularly SMEs. A lot of software solutions in the market are unaffordable because they come with inbuilt capabilities that a business may not necessarily need at a given time.”
To meet the local needs, SYSPRO’s ERP solution offers choice and flexibility allowing firms to buy what they need and not a whole stack of applications. SYSPRO is divided into modules that ensure it is not only affordable but also scales to meet the operational needs of a business as it grows. We have found this to be very popular with SME Manufacturers.
According to the report, over 85% of companies interviewed were either semi-automated or fully-automated with a majority still holding on to outdated production units because of the high cost of spare parts, unavailability of locally manufactured spare parts and inability to differentiate quality from fake until used. Counterfeits were also a large hindrance to local purchasing.
The report was prepared by SYSPRO, a global provider of industry-built Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for manufacturers and distributors, together with Strathmore University. The two studied close to 100 companies drawn from 12 sectors of the production and manufacturing industry in Kenya interviewed.
The study explored productivity and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in Kenya, the role of new technologies in improving the sector and the state of adoption and use of these new technologies.
Apart from technology, the study revealed that more than half of the manufacturers interviewed felt that the government could still do more to make the sector competitive and attractive to potential investors. Development of infrastructure, improving education and training, provision of exemptions, grants and subsidies as well as purchasing guarantee from the government were highly rated.