Establish a Supply Chain
The greatest invention cannot change the world if it does not get manufactured and distributed. KickStart builds a supply chain from the existing private sector.
High Volume, Centralized Manufacturing
In the 1970’s the Appropriate Technology Movement tried to end poverty through low-tech inventions. It failed. The biggest reason for this failure was that they relied on a supply chain that ignored some of the basic rules of economics. Their model was that a new tool or technology could be made by local artisans spread across the countryside. The idea was that this would create jobs and provide valuable technology. The idea is appealing, but is fundamentally flawed.
Cell phones, computers, cars, are all less expensive and more reliable because they are made in large quantities in centralized factories. So are KickStart’s tools. We contract with the most advanced factories we can find and even develop the jigs and fixtures needed for mass manufacturing.
We then establish a profitable supply chain where everyone, including KickStart, makes money on each pump sold.
From Factory to Retailer Shop
KickStart buys the finished tools back from the factory and recruits existing local wholesalers, distributors and retail shops.
These are local business people, motivated by profit. They are already part of the community and know the local customers.
Most of our retailers are small agricultural-veterinary shops that sell seeds, fertilizer and other farm inputs. We have shops in every major city, town and village.
Private Sector vs. Giveaway
Why not just give them away? In a word--sustainability.
Giveaways are not free. Nor are they fair--who decides which person gets a pump and which person doesn’t? By selling our tools they are available to everyone, without favoritism.
More importantly, a profitable supply chain is self sustaining. As long as there is demand, the factory, the wholesalers and retailers will have an interest in ensuring our tools stay available.
It also means that we have a permanent network for replacement parts. Our tools are machines with moving parts and all moving parts wear out eventually. These parts can be changed easily by hand and without any tools. With our supply chain, a farmer can go back to her local retailer and for a few dollars buy a new set of piston cups to keep her pump working for another few years.
Once the supply chain is in place, the real work begins--building awareness and demand.
150,000 new businesses started to date.