It would appear that about 90 percent of Ghana’s digital transformation agenda is around financial technologies (Fintech) – how to use technology to collect money efficiently and for revenue assurance.
As a result, almost every element of the national drive seems to focus on sealing loopholes in the revenue mobilisation. Even the part that seem to be people-centred – financial inclusion – is still intended to bring more people into the financial sector so they can be targeted for revenue mobilisation.
Very little is said about real workflow solutions that ensure efficiency in how organisations work, how to cut cost for both state and private organisations, how to prevent wastage of resources and ensure that every resource, material, non-material and human are at their optimum, and how to properly secure systems and improve productivity.
One name stood out among the lot at last year’s Ghana Information Technology and Telecom Awards (GITTA 2022) when it comes to digitalisation that ensure organisational efficiency to the core. That name is DUKA. The brand was adjudged the Best Innovative Solution at GITTA 2022, mainly on the back of its flagship asset management solution – DukaAssets – which is transforming businesses and has the potential to improve the productivity across all industries and for the country as a whole.
DukaAssets is a product of Maatec Systems, a wholly Ghanaian-owned non-Fintech technology company churning out very affordable high-impact cloud-powered and web-based solutions that help organisations manage their assets and their entire workflow very efficiently to ensure high productivity in a very cost-effective manner.
DukaAssets is a cutting-edge, web-based asset management tool designed to streamline and optimise asset/product management for all industries – healthcare, financial institutions, production warehouses, individual investors, smes, state-owned organisation, multinationals, etc. It offers a user-friendly platform that empowers users to efficiently manage, analyse and track their products or assets in real-time – from when the asset was acquired, when it arrived, where and to whom it was allocated, when it is due for maintenance till when it exhausts its life span and has to be discarded or decommissioned. Simply put, DukaAssets provides end-to-end visibility of assets.
In layman’s language, let’s say a company acquires some cars (tangible assets) or even a software (intangible assets) for the use of some staff or departments. DukaAssets is the tool that enables the organisation to, first of all, check the authenticity of the product (car or software) and track its movement from manufacturer or dealer – its arrival at the organisation’s premises, which department it was allocated to and which particular individual it was assigned to. It does not stop them; it also tracks the lifespan of the car or software to know when it is due for maintenance and when it is time to either reassign or discard it for good in a manner that saves the organisation money.
The tool focuses on systems that are critical for successful operations across all industries. It is a robust system, managing asset transactions in a format that is user friendly, customisable and readily promotes information exchange between internal and external stakeholders. Duka prides itself in giving clients the ability and flexibility to effectively manage their assets in a manner that creates value for the business and stakeholders.
So what is it about DukaAssets that makes it an award-winning innovative asset management tool?
DukaAssets has, at least, 36 features representing the various functions that underpin its claim to being an all-in-one asset management tool and one of a kind within the space.
The features of DukaAssets include Inventory Management, Inventory Module, Barcode/Label Generation, Location Reporting, Asset Movement Report, Location Management, Package and Bundles, Supplier Management, Staff Management, User Management, Access Control, User Creation and Management, Login Enabled, User Invitation, LDAP Server Integration and Transaction Purchases.
The others are Purchase Orders, Invoice Requests, Requisition, Direct Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Transfers, Allocations, Decommission, Summary Reports, Detailed Reports, Charts, Scheduled Reports, Report Exports, Email Notifications, In-App notifications, Data Backups, Integrations, Audit Log, Excel Import and Product verification.
Touching on a few of the key features, the Product Verification feature, for instance, comes in the form of an app called DukaVerify, available on the Google Play Store. It is rolled out in partnership with GS1, and will allow organisations/individuals to verify the authenticity, quality and compliance of a product being purchased or imported so long as the manufacturer or dealer signs up and uploads their products on the DukaAssets website. Producers or customers can easily scan the product barcode to validate key information, such as serial numbers or labels. This process enhances traceability, prevents counterfeiting, ensures regulatory compliance, and fosters trust with customers.
Barcodes and Labelling Generation is another very unique feature of DukaAssets. Barcodes can be generated for assets in a variety of formats, including Code128, QR codes, EAN, and ISBN. Users can also create customised labels for their valuable assets. Duka has taken labelling to another level by partnering with world-acclaimed laser technology experts Macsa ID of Spain to deploy their solutions to create two-dimensional direct product marking (DPM), which could be a unique QR Code on valuable assets or labelling products running through production lines at very high speed in a manufacturing setting. The solution was implemented for SSNIT (Social Security and National Insurance Trust) in 2010 and updated in 2019/20; and it is currently being piloted at Unilever Ghana.
DukaAssets even has a Preventive Maintenance feature that sets up maintenance profiles, which alert staff when assets need to be serviced. The organisation can set up flexible periods in days, weeks, months or years for maintenance; also worth mentioning is the Depreciation Calculation feature, which is able to tell the level to which an asset has devalued and its current value at any point in time.
DukaAssets also has a Staff Management feature, which is an easy-to-use online filing cabinet that allows organisations to securely store, search and update all of their employee records.
While the various functions of DukaAssets are simplified enough to make it user-friendly and even customisable to suit the client’s taste, it also comes with elaborate training and a regular customer support service by the dedicated team from DUKA. Speaking of training, Maatec Systems in May, hosted a training session for asset managers from parts of Africa, Europe and the Middle East on the industrial uses of laser technology. It was powered by its Spanish partners, Macsa ID.
Benefits of DukaAssets
- Fast asset audits with total accuracy: Duka Asset helps clients to conduct asset audits quickly and with complete precision, ensuring accurate and efficient tracking of assets.
- Know the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your asset base: It enables users to gain a comprehensive understanding of the total cost associated with owning and maintaining their assets, helping in effective financial planning and decision-making.
- Reduce unnecessary purchases: Helps to minimise unnecessary expenditures by having a clear overview of existing assets, avoiding duplicate purchases or acquiring assets that are already available within the organisation.
- Increased security and reduced theft: It enhances security measures and minimises the risk of theft or loss by effectively monitoring and managing assets through the asset management system.
- Reduce maintenance costs: Optimise maintenance activities and reduce expenses by implementing proactive asset management strategies, enabling timely maintenance and reducing unexpected breakdowns.
- Resource optimisation: Maximise resource utilisation by efficiently allocating resources assets, identifying underutilised or idle resources and redistributing them as needed.
- Up-to-date, accurate records for insurance claims: Maintain up-to-date and accurate asset records, ensuring smooth insurance claims processing and faster reimbursement in case of damage or loss.
- Reduced labour resources and costs: Streamline asset management processes, automating tasks and reducing the need for manual labour, leading to cost savings in human resources.
- Better stock control: Enhance control over stock levels and inventory
management, reducing stock-outs, excess inventory and associated costs.
- Reduce the cost of raising purchase orders as well as enforcing compliance: Streamline procurement processes, reducing the cost and effort involved in raising purchase orders, while ensuring compliance with organisational policies and procedures.
- Increased transparency and visibility: Improve transparency and visibility into asset information, allowing stakeholders to access real-time data, make informed decisions, and track asset lifecycle from acquisition to disposal.
Think of Ghana’s Parliament and its oversight role on state institutions through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). DukaAssets will be a great solution for PAC to easily have access to the information it needs to play that role in real-time, even long before public officials appear before the committee for accountability.
The Auditor-General’s Department would also find DukaAssets very useful in confirming for itself the claims made by public officials in terms of pricing, allocation, location, present condition, and disposal of assets acquired with state funds. The key value here is extreme transparency, which is critical for auditing. Indeed, the very presence of DukaAssets in the asset management chain of public institutions like the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the MMDAs (Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies), will effortlessly trigger transparency and shoot up accountability to the max at a very affordable rate. I daresay that choosing DukaAssets over Fintech solutions is by far the smartest thing to do for any institution.
Currently, DukaAssets is piloting its DPM solution on Unilever Ghana’s production line while some very big organisations in the health and media sectors have also showed keen interest in the solution. The company is also offering a free sign up and 30 days trial for new clients.
Clearly, solutions like DukaAssets and its sister products from Maatec Systems, such as Duka Warehouse Management Systems (DukaWMS), Software as a Service (SaaS), the Laser Technology for direct product marking from Macsa ID and others, have the potential of improving the efficiencies and productivity of all sectors of the economy – both in the public and private sectors – in a way that will make the Fintech aspects of our digital transformation yield even better dividends.