Small and medium size enterprises constitute the backbone of the Sierra Leonean economy. SMEs generate jobs, they underpin service delivery whilst greatly impacting GDP growth. They are active in every sector, from retailing to services, healthcare and finance etc. They are in large cities, small towns, and even the most remote villages in the countryside, where they engage in a wide range of agricultural activities. Often stated by the Common Sierra Leone, the most remote communities have a Fula Shop.
Despite their centrality to the lifeblood of the Sierra Leonean economy, a significant number of SMEs continue to use manual methods in managing their sales, inventory, accounts, etc. They have books to record their finances, sales and inventory. A few sought to using basic applications like Excel, though a step in the right direction, they are vulnerable to duplicated data, limited queries capabilities and intelligence mining, weak business control and poor coordination in managing their business processes. This often leads to corresponding scenarios affecting their efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Undertaking the Human Centered Design Approach, we recorded the story of a business man who narrated the difficulty he is facing to understand sales turnover. This business man often imports over 50 Containers of goods that are sold annually for which profits accrued he finds very discouraging. Highlighting the problems often faced, he further mentioned “as we approach the zakat (alms giving to the poor in Islam), I often find it difficult to evaluate to know the amount I should offer”
Several ICT companies in Sierra Leone provide Enterprise Resource Planning Software, Accounting and Human Resource packages with pricing beginning from $10,000 and climbing, effectively keeping them from the reach of all but companies in the big three, Mining, Mobile Network Operators, and Banks. As such SMEs cannot realize the intelligence, accountability and efficiency gained by computerizing their business processes.
To help enable SMEs we have developed the iDT Cloud Software Service a SAAS offering enabling SMEs by providing access to high-powered mission critical software. This service gives SMEs access to accounting, human resource, warehouse management, fleet management and Point of Sale services via the cloud. With our new direction, in seconds, SMEs can have access to these software services, paying small monthly fees whilst also avoiding the significant upfront and