KENYA – The Kenya Breweries Limited, subsidiary of the East African Breweries Limited has partnered with Safaricom a Kenyan mobile network operator to connect and enhance its coolers with sensors which leverage on the Internet of things (IoT).

Commenting on the launch, Rita Okuthe, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom PLC said, “We developed an IoT solution that consists of devices installed in the coolers that will have sensors which will transmit various data to a platform which generates business insights that will assist KBL to optimise the coolers.”

IoT, the inter-networking of “smart” devices that collect and exchange data will enable the brewer to remotely monitor and get critical information pertaining to its product, distribution and market.

The technology will enable KBL distributors to monitor and track their assets including the location and their conditions such as, whether they are at the optimal temperature and how many times the door of the cooler is opened (market traffic).

Over 2,000 coolers have already been automated, wired with sensors and will be provided free of charge to retailers and outlets countrywide.

Kenya Breweries Ltd Managing Director Jane Karuku, said the company has over the years been looking to bring more efficiencies in its route-to-consumer channels and found technology to be a critical enabler.

“As we move towards improving our cutting-edge our technology in manufacturing and logistics, we are redoubling our efforts in our marketplace as well, to ensure that consumers enjoy our products the way they should,” she said.

This project will also enable KBL to track and invest in coolers to ensure their products and innovations reach consumers at minimal cost, delays and wastage.

Besides the connected coolers project, EABL is already partnering Safaricom in driving a cashless payment model among its distributors, who now transact on M-PESA when dealing with retailers.

Safaricom is also planning to bring valuable solutions by leveraging on IoT to deliver smart water metering and animal tracking system.

The new Internet of Things (IoT) network will tap into the Safaricom existing 4G network.

In the first half of the financial year 2019/2020, Safaricom invested KES 17 billion in infrastructure by increased network rollout and acceleration of broadband and fibre deployment.

Looking ahead to 2020, Safaricom aims to be a digital partner of choice for businesses by providing solutions that improve the efficiency with which they do business, saving them money and therefore creating additional value for their end-users.