The Freetown Cold Storage, the local marketeers and distributors of the Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite brands, as part of its activities for this year, has held a Customer Appreciation Day at a special occasion held at the Barmoi Hotel in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The occasion which took place on 2nd February 2006 at Aberdeen, attracted scores of distributors, staff and well wishers of the company.
|The Freetown Cold Storage family
In his remarks, the Marketing and Sales Manager of Freetown Cold Storage, Mr. Tolu Ogunpolu explained that the occasion marked the 50th anniversary of Coca Cola, and that the programme was designed to show the company’s appreciation to all its numerous customers who in one way or the other have contributed to the success story of the company, and to chat the way forward for the growth and sustainability of the company.
He informed his audience that the sales for the year 2005 dropped significantly as compared to previous years.
According to him, the sale target for last year was two million two hundred and fifteen thousand crates, out of which only a total of one million nine hundred and three crates were sold.
He thanked the distributors for their tireless strides in marketing the company’s products, and urged them to redouble their steps so as to help the company reach its target for this business year.
He said in 2002, the company recorded great sales as compared to last year.
He heaped praises on a Freetown based distributor Mr. Abu Bakarr Hakim, for recording the highest distribution to the tune of one hundred and fifty thousand crates in 2004.
He stated further that in the provinces, Mr. P. George was ranked as the highest distributor with a total of forty thousand crates in 2005 as compared to 39 crates in 2004. Mr. Tolu highlighted a number of constraints which he said were responsible for the low sales recorded last year, adding that efforts are now underway to take proactive actions to correct the situation and create a level playing ground for the distributors to operate efficiently.
|Freetown Cold Storge Staff and Distributors
Among the constraints he noted, included the regular break down of vehicles and the problem of access to some areas in the provinces where he said the products hardly reach.
He maintained that steps had been taken to bring in fifteen vehicles to help address the issue of transportation.
As of way of boosting the issue of distribution, Mr. Tolu informed his audience that the company has decided to put containers at strategic points that would be manned by the distributors themselves.
Mr. Tolu also referred to the issue of electricity as another constraint which seriously impacted on the company’s sales output in the year under review.
Another constraint Mr. Tolu highlighted was the route configuration in Freetown. This he said affected the distribution very seriously as the distributors were unable to service hotels and other prominent business outlets.
One strategy the company intends to put in place to enhance proper distribution is to organize training sessions for Sales Agents and to build their capacity with a view to enabling them to properly communicate with customers.
He also pointed out that efforts are now underway to bring in an expert from Ghana to help map out further distribution strategies.
In his own statement, the General Manager of Freetown Cold Storage, Mr. Rudi Bruns, he reiterated the company’s inability to reach its sales target in 2005, adding that he is optimistic that with the strategies that are being put in place, this year will be different. The GM explained Freetown Cold Storage will be 50 years this year and that the company is the second coca Cola company that entered into operation in Africa, after Egypt.
He noted with pride that the company has the best products in the whole of the western region, adding that by God’s grace that momentum will be maintained.
He went on to state that the reason why the company recorded low sales last year was due to several constraints, noting that efforts have now been made to put them right.
He said since the inception of the company’s operation in Sierra Leone in1956, it has been able to win land mark achievements both in Freetown and in the provinces.
He also informed his audience that a total of 500,000 empty crates have been imported in anticipation of the 15 trucks from Germany.
Mr. Bruns mentioned that the company is in readiness to import can soft drinks and other new products to meet the needs of the public.
He encouraged the distributors to make more efforts to reach the desired target for this year.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.