“Being introduced to SMI-L in 2011…has made all the difference in my life as an individual and the life of my business,” said Bedell W. Sandi, CEO and President of Efficient Logistic Services, pictured left. Efficient Logistics provides logistical services and fleet rentals.
The company has won five tenders through the use of SMI-L’s tender distribution service, or TDS, which sends information about tenders via email and SMS to businesses. Tenders are also posted on the Business Portal, and business owners can come into the SMI-L office to pick up tenders. To date, TDS has helped businesses win $3,986,673. Bedell receives tender alerts by email and SMS. The five contracts Bedell won with the help of SMI-L are worth $1,427,4000 and include the supply of vehicles to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, PMU InterLife Liberia, the supply of motorbikes to UNDP, and the provision of trucking services to the World Food Program. The WFP contract is worth over $1 million and is to transport food to school feeding programs in rural Maryland, Nimba, River-Gee and Sinoe counties.
The WFP contract enabled Sandi to create 15 full-time, permanent jobs. “The contract with WFP…has made significant impact on my business,” Sandi said. “I was able to employ a marketing manager, more drivers, increase the number of staff on our sales team. We were also able to increase our fleet of trucks to a total of 35.”
One of the biggest challenges to Sandi’s business is getting access to finance. He received a loan from Ecobank Liberia, but the payment terms and interest rates were so high that they put a strain on his business. “Every business wants to grow bigger and expand, and we are no exception,” Sandi said. Next, he wants to expand into construction machinery, like bulldozers. “I have come to understand that some businesses have links and one service can lead to demand for others,” Sandi said. “Even now, we receive requests for machines for roads and other huge construction equipment, but we don’t have the capacity to provide such services. This is something we are considering.”
Efficient Logistics began in a similar manner. His friend encouraged him to go into business. He began a car rental company. He kept receiving requests for trucking services so he expanded his business to include trucking services. Later when demand for logistical supplies started coming, he provided that, too.
“My dream is if, we can get a credit or loan of about $2.5 million from any bank or creditor, we will greatly expand,” Sandi said.
The SMI-L is made possible by USAID: through the American people.
Tags : access to finance Ecobank Efficient Logistics PMU Interlife tender distribution World Food Program
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