This is another story from VisionSpring. I realize I just made a reference to them in my last post but they are simply the most active participant online in this space and they provide a level of transparency that I cannot access from other initiatives. I hope to continue to provide variety in the examples but in the end we're looking for principles--
VisionSpring has been piloting with BRAC in Bangeldesh and are now about to "spring" into a full implementation of their program but they are struggling with meeting the inventory demands of BRAC, particularly in terms of getting product into the country from their factory in China.
This is a very common problem, I was just on a call with an organization that ships high-nourishment food packets across borders and getting through customs is one of their biggest challenges. I see the Grameen-Danone model of mini-plants as an innovation that will help to overcome these challenges in the short term and I think the model should be attempted by more but not all products can be streamlined into mini-manufacturing. The challenge of low prices and high volume for the bottom of the pyramid may ultimately be best served by large plants with great distribution systems.
Are mini-plants the engineering innovation needed for bottom of the pyramid products?