Manufacturing company failure and underperformance in the manufacturing sector a major concern threatening survival of industry.
Dinha, Sarah Tsitsi.
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Operations management is a broad subject that offers industry various planning and control philosophies and techniques on how best to manage all processes within an organisation. However, the macro environment in which companies are operating also affects the application of these techniques and philosophies. It is therefore important to understand the extent to which these tools can be applied by industry that is operating in an environment characterised by unpredictability. The manufacturing sector decision makers in Zimbabwe have been blaming the under performance and failures in the sector to the macro economic conditions which they claim is not conducive to business operations. Research has been conducted to investigate the challenges that this sector is facing and whether the application of operations management strategies and techniques could counter these challenges. This research is guided by the hypothesis that "The manufacturing sector's failure to strategically reposition itself in the current socioeconomic environment is the major contributor to its present distress. The methodology used is one consistent with the exploratory nature of the research and both quantitative and qualitative techniques were applied where data was obtained from personal interviews, questionnaires and articles on related topics. The findings of the research reveal that external factors (macro-economic conditions) are the reason for the under performance or failure of the manufacturing sector. These findings therefore rebut the initial hypothesis as false given the empirical evidence on the ground. It is recommended that companies in the manufacturing sector pursue investment strategies or form alliances with export earning companies internally and externally. Companies could also pool together financial resources to purchase equipment that produces a common output.