Water is life and important to the body and does more than just quench thirst and regulate body’s temperature; it also keeps the tissues in the body moist. By hydrating the body it helps to retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for the joints. It also helps digestion and to flush out waste from the body.
Packaged ( sachet or bottled) water production is a business designed to produce potable water for consumption through the process of water treatment into a packaged portable water. Water from public mains, springs and boreholes, machines for purification and labour are the direct inputs. The output of this production process is the treated potable water known as “Pure water” and packaged bottled water.
The transformation process involves various purification technologies and techniques of production, skill, equipment and facilities which combined to form technological processes. However, a technological process that is driven by standard quality check and credible customer trust will ensure sales targets and company’s objectives are met.
How to start a successful packaged water business
a. Conduct a feasibility study: Research should be done on the location and size intended for the business. This is very important as it will help in decision-making and form part of the business documentation. The criteria to look out for in selecting a location are accessibility and space to accommodate the business. Market research can be done, going by the area, competition, giving out surveys and making inquiries for analysis. Research focus should be to fill the gaps that have been left unmet by competitors. It’s commonly known, that sachet water producers are reducing the size of their sachet water. By increasing the quantity of the packaged water a bit, and not compromising on quality will surely give the consumers a good perception of the business brand. The business brand is what makes it unique and different from competitors, therefore the research should be on quality and ensuring customers’ loyalty.
The feasibility research should put into account all funds needed for the setup, facilities, services and running the business. The current capital and the financial outlay in the short and long terms should be addressed in setting up the business in tandem with the feasibility study. This study helps to decide if it is a beneficial business and how productive the business would be in short and long terms. It also will help to draft a strategic and fitting business plan to guide the investment decisions to be made in the business.
b. Carryout NAFDAC registration and get their approval: In ensuring quality check in packaged water production in Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was established by law. The NAFDAC is mandated by law to control and regulate the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sales and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals/detergents, medical devices and all drinks, including our popular pure water.
The scope of this mandate puts the responsibility of safeguarding public health on the Agency, and this touches on the life of every Nigerian.
However, an effective treatment process must try to eliminate all contaminants identified during chemical and microbiological analyses. An effective purification system must use a combination of purification technologies to achieve the best quality for drinking water and must be used in appropriate sequence that will optimize particles removal capabilities.
Issues bordering quality is a vital one in packaged water production as it affects human health directly and may cause death if compromised. The quality of any packaged water is therefore determined by the degree of compliance with the guideline set by regulatory bodies or agencies.
Before building your packaged water factory you need to carry NAFDAC along and get them to access the locality where you will be serious up the facilities and they should approve your building structure. However, if you know the NAFDAC requirements and work according to the requirements, you might just call them when your building and facilities are ready for production and have them approved the business before your commence commercial production.
c. Secure funding required to set up the business: Decision should be taken on the source of the fund for the business, either for sole proprietorship or partnership as investment is high to start the business. However, one may approach banks or other financial institution for loans with necessary documents to start and manage the business.
The Business must be registered with the corporate affairs commission of Nigeria as it is a requirement for obtaining the certificate of incorporation which will be needed to obtain the license of operating a packaged water production along with the tax clearance.
Licenses, approval and permit to run the business must be obtained from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). NAFDAC registration number will be issued on the packaged water.
d. Carry out acquisition of land, build a factory, get water source and power source and other equipmeneq: Land acquisition is a vital part of the location study. A thorough research on the area to site the business will be helpful in buying rightly as the costs of property fluctuate from place to place. The Building is dependent on the business size and production site for the sachet water production could be a rented or built with warehouse.
Water is very important as it is the raw material. To get adequate water supply, dig a deep well or perhaps, drill a bore hole which is most preferable and reliable or to partner with a water corporation. Under the water supply section, one must also include buying reservoir as backup and to consider the water treatment so as to maintain quality or standard.
- A standby generator is needed to complement the main source of power for a steady power supply to the business.
- Transportation is an important factor that must be considered as supply truck is needed, especially as the packaged water will be marketed to various places for sales and delivery to retailers. The supply truck can be bought or better yet, rented. Consideration may be made to hire drivers for the trucks, if there is need to.
Equipments needed to carry out the production of packaged water
The following machines are needed in the production of packaged water:
1. Purification systems :
- Any following purification systems can be used to purify the water.
Distillation system – Most effective, but may be expensive.
- Reverse osmosis distillation system – Effective water purification system.
- Ultra violet bulb – Mostly used in Nigeria, as it is cheaper. However, it is not as effective as the distillation systems.
2. Automatic sealing machines.
3. Water storage tanks.
e. Recruit competent personnel: Different categories of workforce are needed to run the packaged water business successfully. The staff strength depends on the establishment level.
- Operations Manager: The operations manager ensures the smooth running of all operations of the business and design efficient strategies for the profit and financial growth of the company. The Manager ensures everyone and everything including the facilities are in order. He sees to it that everyone is up to his task
- Cashiers/Accountants: They handle the financial computations of the business. They see to the movement of the cash submitted by the attendants and sales persons, keeps the records of the cash transactions and process cash for the use in the business by approved authority.
- Customer service attendants and sales persons: They interacts directly with customers, providing them with various services. They act as liaisons, providing customers with packaged water as requested and anticipate what customers might need towards making sales.
- Drivers: They are responsible for transporting the packaged water to various locations for sales and delivery to retailers.
- Machine operators: They operate the production machine, and other facilities. They help to ensure standard quality in packaged water production. They are responsible for improving energy and machine efficiencies and reducing operating costs.
- Packing and bagging workers: These are semi-skilled employees whose job function is to pack and bag the packaged products for onward distribution.
How to make your packaged water business to stand out from your competitors
1. The business brand is what makes it unique and different from other competitors, therefore the business must be driven by standard quality check and credible customer trust to ensure sales targets and company’s objectives are met. Quality production must be maintained. Effort must be made not to get the product flawed in any way. There are a lot of producers in the sachet water business, and once the consumers and retailers perceive something negative about the product, they will quickly move to another producer.
2. The retailers are the firewall between the business and the final consumer. Therefore, there should be incentives to have the loyalty of these resellers.
3. Market research should focus on how to fill the gaps that have been left unmet by competitors. It’s commonly known, that sachet water producers are reducing the size of their sachet water. By increasing the quantity of the packaged water a bit, without affecting the quality of production will surely give the consumers a good perception of the business brand.
4. Production must maintain proper aesthetics. This include good water packaging, neat production environment, workers must be presentable including the trucks used to mobilize packaged products for delivery to retailers and sales to consumers.
5. The business must have a contingency plan because of unforeseen circumstances as issues may arise that will require more spending than budgeted for. A proper contingency plan is to keep a reasonable amount of money down for future purposes.
The business of producing potable water for drinking is a lucrative business as sales is guaranteed due to the increasing population size of the country. However, the business brand is what makes it unique and different from competitors, therefore production should be based on quality and ensuring customers’ loyalty. A technological process that is driven by standard quality check and credible customer trust will ensure sales targets and company’s objectives are met.
About The Writer : This was written by Ijalana Funsho, content contributor at MyAfribusiness.com. He is a graduate of Agricultural Economics, an HR practitioner and a project manager.
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