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Key Activities

[Key Activities]: Fuel Fiji - Supply Chain - July 2018

The current, immediate future and long term supply chains for the Buka Stoves in Fiji are as follows:

 CURRENT SUPPLY CHAIN

  1. SOURCING MATERIALS: Lincoln Refrigeration Limited (LRL) provides used refrigerant tanks, up to a limit of around 100 per month. The other materials, flat bar for the legs, pop rivets, zincalume steel and grating are bought from Vinod Patel in Sigatoka.
  2. TRANSPORTATION: PEV transports the refrigerant tanks from LRL in Suva and return to Sigatoka and buys the rest of the material from Vinod Patel in Sigatoka.
  3. MANUFACTURING: AK Mechanical Garage, Right Solutions Fiji Pte Ltd manufactures Buka 4.0 stoves in his workshop. PEV pays him in cash.
  4. BRANDING AND USER GUIDE ADDITION: PEV spray paints the stoves black and brands them in white using heat and corrosion resistant paint from Multiline Distributors Ltd. PEV prints off User Manual and attaches it to the stove.
  5. TRANSPORTATION: PEV transports the stoves back to project houses.

IMMEDIATE FUTURE SUPPLY CHAIN

  1. SOURCING MATERIALS: LRL provides used refrigerant tanks, up to a limit of around 100 per month, as well as stainless steel for the interior of the stove, galvanized steel for the exterior of the stove and grating.
  2. TRANSPORTATION: Materials stay at LRL.
  3. MANUFACTURING: LRL manufactures Buka 4.0 and 5.0 in their workshops, providing all consumables like rivets. PEV pay them in cash.
  4. BRANDING AND USER GUIDE ADDITION: LRL spray paints the stoves black and brands them in white using heat and corrosion resistant paint from Multiline Distributors Ltd provided by PEV. PEV prints off the User Manual and provides it to LRL, who attach it to the stoves.
  5. TRANSPORTATION: RB Patel pick the stoves up from LRL and distribute them between their stores.

LONG TERM SUPPLY CHAIN

  1. SOURCING MATERIALS: Materials are imported from a country that manufactures steel
  2. TRANSPORTATION: Stoves are collected and transported to LRL.
  3. MANUFACTURING: LRL manufactures Buka 5.0 in their workshops, providing all consumables like rivets. PEV pay them in cash.
  4. BRANDING AND USER GUIDE ADDITION: LRL spray paints the stoves black and brands them in white using heat and corrosion resistant paint from Multiline Distributors Ltd provided by PEV. PEV prints off the User Manual and provides it to LRL, who attach it to the stoves.
  5. TRANSPORTATION: A network of local carriers transport stoves to various hardware stores or villages.

KEY QUESTIONS

  • How can we remove the middle man and import materials from a country that manufactures steel, whilst adhering to ethical standards?
  • What are the costs associated with importing material?
  • At what scale is it beneficial to buy a minimum order of 500+kg of steel from overseas?
  • What legalities need to be sorted before we can import our own material?
  • How can we transport the materials from the port to our manufacturer?
  • How can we reliably transport manufactured stoves to our distributor?
  • How should we invoice and collect payment from our multiple distributors?
  • How will this vary between a village chief and a store with multiple locations around Fiji?

Would love to hear your thoughts, concerns and suggestions regarding the Buka Stove supply chain here in Fiji!

edited on 6th September 2018, 00:09 by Justin Hakeem

Cris Birzer 10 months ago

One of the original reasons we suggested clay was the local availability and sustainability of it (plus thermal properties). I still think it addresses most/all of your supply chain issues, potentially reduces cost, and opens an avenue of different products to be developed.

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Nic Makram 10 months ago

Hi Cris, appreciate the comment and always love getting your input! I would have to disagree with you on this one though. While clay is readily available locally as well as being sustainable and having adequate thermal properties, I don't believe it is suitable for the target market.

One of the key value propositions of the Rocket Stove in Fiji is it's portability. From my understandings of the clay prototype developed over summer, it was significantly heavier than the metal prototypes, thus limiting it's portability and convenience.

Adding to this, clay is arguably a lot more difficult to manufacture, especially at large scale, into the shapes that are required for a rocket stove. It would possibly require specialists to craft the stoves, a slow and un-scalable process. I believe the prospect of manufacturing the 5.0 from raw materials, while not particularly cheap, is a lot simpler, as well as the fact that the machines used (laser cutters etc.) will maintain consistency across products, as opposed to the inconsistencies that would likely be seen in clay stove production. In any product, consistency is key.

Finally, setting up a clay stove supply chain in Fiji is one thing, but this would not be easily translated to any other countries in the commercialisation process. The intention of the 5.0 design was to allow for flatpacking, thus meaning, in the long term, the raw materials can be sourced from one area and shipped to any country for manufacture. A clay stove would mean raw materials need to be sourced in each country, and so essentially a new supply chain would be needed for each country. Fiji has an incredibly small market size, with a population of less than 1 million, and so spending time setting up a supply chain for clay stoves is, in my eyes, not as valuable as sticking with the current model and improving on this until we reach a long term stage in which importation of raw materials is possible and we can scale up.

Of course, I have next to zero knowledge when it comes to clay stoves, so would be interested to see your response to the above points and get some insights into clay stoves!

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Andrew Vild 10 months ago

Status label added: Key Activities

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