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In Summary: Four out of every five organisations reporting to have implemented digital solutions within the last year. Company managers are using AI to cut costs by improving their distribution systems.

More than 80 per cent of Kenyan CEOs are using digital solutions, including artificial intelligence, to streamline their supply systems, latest report shows.

A survey involving more than 50 CEOs done by technology company Xetova indicates a large majority of company managers are using AI to cut costs by improving their distribution systems.

The report also shows there has been mass exodus from legacy systems to modern technologies in the past five years, with four out of every five organisations reporting to have implemented digital solutions within the last year.

“While a few firms started the journey of shifting their operations to digital systems a decade ago, most organisations began adopting frontier technologies in the past five years with the Covid-19 pandemic catalysing the urgency,” the Xetova report read.

The founder of Xetova, Bramuel Mwalo, said Kenya’s tech ecosystem has already started making Artificial Intelligence (AI) not only the corner stone of its digital transformation, but also a critical tool in improving product and service quality.

“Organisations are already using AI to reduce operational costs, improve customer experience and keep their businesses on a profitability trajectory,”  Mwalo said, citing the survey.

The survey found that machine learning, AI and robots are increasingly shaping Kenya’s policy and decision-making providing roadmaps towards cheaper and more sustainable supply chains.

The Covid-19 pandemic that was first reported in Nairobi in March 2020 has further accelerated the digital shift, the Xetova survey found.

“The utilisation of digital tools allowed us to gain deeper understanding of which markets and channels were most affected by the pandemic and how to better support them,” Debra Mallowah, the Coca-Cola Vice President for East and Central Africa said.

UAP-Old Mutual, a general insurance provider with over 1.2 million customers across 17 countries, in early 2021 adopted the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) platform, which eliminated the need of data capture from a printed version.

The platform also provided visibility of the status of submitted invoices for both the insurance provider and the hospital, eliminating the need for manual reconciliation for the majority of its medical business claims.

“Digitisation can entirely remove the need for physical documentation which brings about efficiencies and – importantly – improves service delivery timelines. With the entire world going digital, medical insurance is no exception,” Old Mutual Group acting MD Jeff Ogalloh said.

The full report provides deep insights on experiences by over 30 businesses and government agencies.

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This article originally appeared at https://www.the-star.co.ke/business/2022-07-11-kenyan-firms-save-millions-by-use-of-ai-survey/ on July 11, 2022.

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