Tap into any conversation focusing on reducing costs these days and inevitably you’ll find the knives are out for the middle man. While there was a time when there was a clear role for the middleman, with the advent of technology this is no longer the case. One of the areas ripe to go under technology’s scalpel is the supply chain and route to market. Technology provides huge opportunities for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, particularly in the FMCG and financial service sectors. All manufacturers and distributors should understand both their route to market and the myriad challenges facing them along the way. To do so requires teams on the ground who have hardware, software and cash management experience. Teams and processes take time to build and require commitment from the highest levels of management. And when the distribution map includes townships – home to a significant portion of SA workers and their families as well as huge cash-based spending power – it become...

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