In 2013, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation created the “African Facility” technical assistance programme funded by the Agence française de développement (AFD).
Feedback on the programme with the testimony of Eléonore Marie Céline Compaore-Gyebre – GRAINE’s Executive Director.
Created in 2006, GRAINE SARL is a Tier 3 microfinance institution (loan portfolio < 10 million USD). At the end of December 2020, the institution offered credit products to almost 17,926 clients, mostly women (75%) living in rural areas (66%), for a loan portfolio of €4,9mln.
Within the technical assistance programme of the African Facility, GRAINE SARL was assisted in its digitalization process. The consultant in charge of the mission, Thomas Carrié, supported the institution in the implementation of a new integrated software for managing information in the cloud, the secure migration of data and user training.
Why was the implementation of a new Information and Management System (MIS) important for GRAINE SARL?
By 2018, we had reached a level of growth that required a more efficient information management software than the one we were using. The consolidation of data and the production of reporting had become unachievable within the required timeframe. In addition, given the scope of the network (6 branches and 29 service points), we wanted to develop innovative financial products to better meet customer needs and improve our profitability. The acquisition of a new integrated software allowed us to interconnect all counters as well as the head office. Thanks to this tool we have a consolidated view of the information collected in the field in real time, data collection is more reliable and secure and we developed new products.
What did you expect from the consultant? Did the results meet your expectations?
Beyond the acquisition of this new software, we needed someone familiar with the microfinance sector and the issues related to digitalization. Thomas Carrié, in tandem with Yempabou Samuel Nidjergou, based in Ouagadougou, supported us very well, from the definition of the needs to the configuration and deployment of the software. Then they allowed us to manage the data migration and user training, while respecting the deadlines! We are very satisfied of the expertise and the interpersonal skills of the consultants.
What is your review of this mission and how could it have been improved?
Before the mission, each window worked in a non-centralized way, and the MIS was cumbersome. Since everything was manual, verification was difficult and the risk of error high. In addition, the monitoring and maintenance of all the servers came at a significant cost. The centralization of data thanks to the new cloud-based MIS enables to monitor the situation of day-to-day operations and to guarantee the security and reliability of the information collected. MIS has thus saved us time, money and security. This gives us complete satisfaction today, even if the updates are sometimes faulty due to blackouts or poor internet connection in the country.
Thanks to MIS, have you improved customer satisfaction or developed new products or services?
The reliability of the information is now optimal, and we have 90% customer satisfaction. The new MIS has enabled us to offer new local services such as the digitalization of the tontine collection (daily collection of savings), the implementation of SMS Banking and the possibility to make loan disbursements or deposits regardless of the point of service. We want to strengthen the digitalization of information collection. To do this, we will equip our agents with digital tablets so that they can record, in the field, all information concerning potential customers.