In most parts of Africa, there is a lot to be done to achieve proper cold chain management while distributing and storing food, drinks and drugs. On average, a local dairy-foods manufacturing company in Malawi loses about US $11,500 every month due to lack of proper monitoring of their cold chain. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 50% of vaccines and drugs are wasted globally every year (mostly in African countries); a large part because of lack of temperature control and the logistics to support an unbroken cold-chain. Food, drugs and vaccines that are exposed to too hot or too cold temperatures may not only lose their effectiveness but also prove deadly to the vulnerable populations they are intended to nourish and protect. Currently, cold chain suppliers monitor the temperature of their merchandise using mercury thermometers and temperature displays. This means they are unable to monitor their cold chain remotely without actually having someone to physically check on the aforementioned devices, say when the transportation vans are in transit. On top of that, the data captured on these manual analogue devices is recorded on hardcopy paper sheets that are pasted on the doors of the cold-chain facilities and are lost afterwards which makes it hard to keep records.
The development of TempCras, a real-time, web-based temperature and humidity monitoring system, has opened new opportunities for companies in Africa, especially those in cold chain business. Managers of a company will be able to access their assets' temperature data at anytime, anywhere and will be alerted whenever there is an occurrence of high-temperatures being recorded through mobile phone text messages and emails. The system has a batch tracking mechanism to track of any batch of products in one’s cold-chain. Available locally, TempCras electronic components which include a sensor, micro-controller/ data logger and connectors are easy to install even with people with limited technical background. The monitoring applications are web-based and also on Android.
Assumed untapped percentage market/share in Africa (greenhouses, display freezers, blood boxes, cold-rooms, cold-vans and refrigerators): dairy industries (>15%), agriculture processing industries (>30%), meat industries (>30%), retail and Supermarkets (>15%), government medical stores (>20%), private cold-chain warehouses (>20%) and blood transfusion organizations (>30%). This is a multi-billion dollar market gap.
I have provided TempCras services to 2 dairy companies and 1 retail supermarket chain store. I delayed to launch a big and better campaign because of lack of resources. I plan to launch to a broader and bigger market with Johannesburg as a hub of expansion.
Primary customers: Cold-chain facility owners, government agencies, non-governmental organization, manufacturing companies, small-holder farmer groups and individual homes.