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David Inyani, PKL supply chain manager

On 2nd March, 2011 David Inyani joined Promasidor Kenya limited as supply chain manager. David has previously worked for both local and multinational companies that include:- Thika Cloth Mills, a textile firm; Unilever, a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company and Nampak, a Packaging company. He brings to PKL a wealth of experience spread across varying industries. Described by colleagues as versatile, driven and diligent, David has been instrumental in formulating and implementing policies on safety and health. One and a half years on David provides an outlook on his career and life choices.

Q: What does supply chain management entail?

Simply put supply chain management is the planning and management of activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion and logistics management of goods and services to satisfy the customer. It thus integrates supply and demand management within and across companies. A supply chain manager need to be able to have an action plan, communicate it, manage vendors and develop his team in order to optimize his or her processes.

Q: What was your first impression of Promasidor Kenya Limited?

For me taking up this job at Promasidor was an easy challenge, or so I thought! Having spent the best of my fourteen years of career in well-established and structured organizations, that tended to be rigid with a lot of red tape, I thought it was time to make my contribution to an organization that would have some room for my contribution and here I have plenty! That said, Promasidor provided the right challenge - a relatively young company with great potential for growth with its 'new Sossi' brand. It was just the right fit.

Q: What are the some of the on job challenges you have experienced?

I knew that PKL would be no "walk in the park" but I had not anticipated the high level of involvement the job required! For starters, from my background, I was involved in decommissioning machinery, whereas in PKL it was the other end of the scale. First is that, due to the growth of the company, there was the plant expansion, inferring sourcing and installation of new machinery. With this there was the need for capability development through recruitment coaching and skilling supply chain staff. We have been able to increase our technical staff three fold and invested in over 8000 man-hours of training in just about a year.

Q: Name some of your department's achievements?

To mention a few: We begun by reorganizing the department to adopt a supply chain strategy. It meant acquisition and training of technical staff to realign to this process approach.

We then had to embark on multiskilling our technical staff in a journey that may take us some three to five years. Our chosen vehicle for technical skill development is Total Production Management [TPM]. This model empowers the teams to drive process improvements and drive autonomous maintenance for the shop floor teams. We have already put in place a reward and recognition system to motivate the teams towards process improvement initiatives.

The TSP team has been able to improve its yield on Sossi chunks by over 40% in about a year. We have set up a continuous quality selfassessment system that is ensuring minimal customer complaints as well as a safety system that is improving employee awareness on safe working practices. Our sourcing, procurement and logistics management is improving by the day as evidenced by less frequent occurrences of stock outs.

Overall, the staff within supply chain are more aware of the need to optimize our costs at each and every stage of our processes and they know that it is within their power.

Q: Where do you see Promasidor Kenya in the next few years?

I am confident Promasidor Kenya can grow five times over in turnover in the next three years.

Q: Give us a snippet of your personal life?

I am a family man and prefer a quiet life. I believe that that the family unit is the single most important element of society. If we are to achieve any meaningful long lasting impact on society, it has to begin at the family level. My Saturday is therefore purely to wind down with loved ones and basically doing what I need to do for my family.

Q: What drives you?

I am very passionate about family life. I am appalled by the rate of family breakdown in the Western world; the divorce rate for example is staggering. Unfortunately Africa is copying the west in more ways than one. You may ask what I am doing to make a difference? As a church leader at Chrisco church, I am very involved with young adults helping to counsel and provide guidance and leadership to the younger generation in terms of personal development, family life and faith issues. We make time to influence young couples to settle down in marriage. I like to think of it as playing a small role in my own capacity to have a positive impact in my community.

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