Proper management of inventories is among the many challenges Somali SME’s are facing and there are even companies that go out of business due to cash-flow shortage. Efficient inventory management can boost the cash flow, while poor management can cause cash flow problems. To overcome this challenge SMEF is currently delivering 2 days training on inventory management to 19 companies in Puntland followed by individual 1-on-1 support to implement software that will support the companies to manage their stocks.

The training is designed and provided by consulting firm Invista, a business development service provider based in Garowe Puntland. The training is expected to strengthen the 19 businesses and make them more sustainable. The companies represent many key sectors of the Somali economy such as agriculture, livestock, fisheries and manufacturing. Some of them are successful SBCF applicants receiving funding from DAI to further grow their business.

The participating SMEs received professional training in inventory management and per company at least two individuals have been trained to work with the new software on daily basis. The topics covered include inventory management in relation to customers (how inventory stock outs can result in disappointed customers and diminishes customer loyalty) and issues of overstocking (increased inventory-carrying costs). Furthermore, a business software with a module for inventory management is being implemented for the participating SMEs.

With the 1-on-1 support that follows the group training the consultant supports the companies in installing the software, tailoring it to individual businesses, entering data and mentoring in its usage such as on how to create management reports or how to interpret inventory figures. The consultant is also available for support after the individual software implementation to maintain the system and troubleshoot.

SMEF provides a wide range of “integrated services” to SMEs, BDS providers, individuals seeking new skills or skills upgrading and young women in Somaliland, Puntland and South central Somalia. For more additional information on these, please visit, smefbds.com