October 17, 2017, 5:57 am
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P&G launches MSME program

PROCTER & GAMBLE (P&G) Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, launched the pilot micro-entrepreneurship development program “Angat Kita” in Mandaluyong City, where around 50 sari-sari (variety) store owners learned about consumer insights, merchandising, pricing, basic bookkeeping, finance and inventory management, among others.

The program aims to help sari-sari store owners realize their full potential to generate income and livelihood by equipping them with knowledge, skill and – if needed – starting capital for their business.

Shankar Viswanathan, P&G Philippines general manager, said the company believes that fostering micro, small and medium enterprises development is prerequisite in achieving and sustaining broad-based socio-economic growth.

“We give them intellectual capital not just financial capital so you can think about how business can be built,” added Viswanathan.

During the training, Daryl del Rosario, P&G Philippines customer insights manager, identified the five top-selling product categories in all sari-sari stores: instant coffee, laundry powder and bar, shampoo and conditioner, snacks and candy, and cold drinks.

These are followed by instant noodles, powdered chocolate drink, powdered milk, powdered juice, fabric conditioner, bath soap, water or ice, seasoning or mix, canned goods, and dishwashing liquid.

Talking about the must-have and optional products a sari-sari store should carry, del Rosario said the store should have a wide assortment of products. The owner can sell the productsin piecemeal ifhe is uncertain whether these are marketable.

According to del Rosario, the storekeeper should scan the products sold by a competitor. This would help him gain more turnover once the identified products in that store are sold out.

“It doesn’t mean that you want to acquire their earnings. As much as possible, you just want to provide other options for your customers, too,” she said.

She noted the owner has to make sure he is selling, at the minimum, the number one brand, and then add the economical and premium brands.

Optional or advanced products are cheese, chocolate, evaporated milk, pasta, sandwich spread, tomato sauce, meal mixes, ready-to-drink milk, rice, and vegetables. While these items are not often sought in the store, the owner can try selling these to test the market.

There are also non-food items such as deodorant, napkin, hair gel, baby powder, shaver, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissue, cologne, etc.

In selecting additional (optional/advanced) items for the store, del Rosario said the owner must consider if the customers need the products, while being mindful of the capital for the additional products.

In managing inventory, Sean Quinto, P&G Philippines customer logistics manager, underscored the importance of knowing which products are easy to sell. To identify the fast- and slow-selling/moving items, he recommended recording the sales of each product regularly.  

“Inventory is the product we keep so we would not run out of products to sell,” he said, noting lost sales if selling is temporarily discontinued, so products must be replenished.

He also said the capital for the sari-sari store is small and limited so it is important to protect the stocks which customers buy regularly. At the same time, he stressed that cash flow is necessary for the retail business.

Quinto pointed out that inventory is “sleeping money,” which means it is not income unless it is purchased. 

To keep track of inventory, one of the methods used is cycle inventory, while safety stock involves having extra inventory to protect from any stock-out. 

Quinto said store owners should likewise be aware of the products’ expiration dates to provide top quality goods, andprotect these from insects, pests and contamination.

“Products should be first-in first-out to sustain the freshness,” he advised, and categorically arranged based on type.

He cited Japan’s workplace organization method which helps a storelook more organized such that theselling is also efficient.This means less effort and more income. 

Store owners also learned aboutsales and profits, credit and money, and all about finance from Kimberly Hung, P&G Philippines finance manager.

According to Hung, cash flow needs to be monitored every dayand an emergency fund must be set aside. “As the sari-sari store owner, you should monitor at what period the money comes in,” she said.

Participants who completed the training were given a starting capital of P2,500 worth of the best and fastest moving items, said Viswanathan, who hopes “Angat Kita” will be rolled out in four other cities in the next months.
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