Supply chain distribution system towards African marketplace : a case of Mr Price.
Mthimkhulu, Luvuyo Zolile.
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The expansion into new markets gives companies new challenges and unprecedented dynamics, which contribute significantly to the growth of the company. Companies seek to ensure that there are sufficient products available for distribution and that these are positioned correctly at the right time and right place. Companies must have the necessary supply chain technology for order fulfilment. The growth in the number of distribution centres towards creating a sustainable distribution system for the African marketplace is a means towards realising this fulfilment. The level of service and customer satisfaction cannot be completed at the store level without considering the full supply chain process, the product and its raw material, product manufacturing, logistical process, storage and product availability in the store. The non-availability of a product in a store when it is demanded by customers creates problems that dissatisfy the customers since their needs are not met. The main aim of this study, therefore, was to examine the influence of centralised, decentralised or hybrid processes in relation to service delivery, human capacity as well as supply chain technology. The objective of this study was firstly to establish whether a centralised or decentralised supply chain distribution system supports the expansion to the African marketplace. Secondly, to examine the extent of sustainable retail distribution systems towards improving product availability across the African region. Thirdly, to assess the challenges of inventory positioning on the existing outbound and inbound product flow systems across the African continent. Finally, to examine the influence of the supply chain distribution technology on the availability of real time information and visibility of inventory. A descriptive research design was used in this study. Statistical techniques such as descriptive statistics, multiple regression, factor analysis and one-way ANOVA technique were used to analyze the data collected from 100 staff of Mr Price Group. The main findings disclose that the most critical attributes of a good distribution centre are advanced supply chain systems, strong management team and strong workforce. Customer satisfaction as a driving force considers investment in human capital and technology as a vital component to the sustainability of Mr Price Group. There is a need to focus on training and development of employees which can improve productivity and efficiency of any organisation. The managerial implication comprises of some recommendations that will support management in decision making.