Social Challenge: 

People in rural areas of South Africa have a quality housing need. Locally made bricks are available, but are poor quality and disintegrate after five years. 

Business Challenge: 

A national building material retailer operates in a rural area. Transporting large quantities of bricks across the country (over 500km) is excessively expensive (carbon emissions, logistical costs, long lead times) - there is a huge market demand for their product but the delivery cost of a low value item (a brick) makes it prohibitive - they cannot deliver bricks to the customers in a financially viable way. 

Strategic Solution:

Make quality bricks locally. Up-skill local community members in making bricks to an ISO quality standard. Sell the newly-skilled community members cement from the building material store, so they can mix it with the correct amount of river sand and water, then buy the bricks back from the community brick makers to sell them in the store. 

Sustainable Outcomes:

  • Skills transfer to local community
  • Job creation for community members
  • Sustainable supply and demand
  • Brick batches can be made to order to reduce stock holding
  • Reduced carbon emissions 
  • No transportation costs between brick supplier and store 
  • Community members get access to quality bricks so they can build their houses