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Masters Degrees (Supply chain management)

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    Perceived factors affecting the adoption of electronic procurement in the Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury.
    (2023) Nchabeleng, Lewane Success.; Ncube, Eric Dumisani.
    The digital revolution in the 21st century is regarded as the channel of corporate development that resulted in substantial changes in the way procurement is handled and managed within organisations. Public organisations have since become increasingly reliant on information and communication technologies. Given these developments, new forms of electronic commerce have also emerged; the most prominent form of electronic commerce is electronic procurement. By early 2000 developed economies began the implementation of e-procurement. In contrast, in emerging countries specifically in Africa, electronic procurement has not been widely adopted in government departments, including in South Africa. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceived factors that influence the adoption of electronic procurement and further establish employees’ perceptions of electronic procurement in the Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury. An overview of procurement in the South African public sector was presented in a literature review, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities within this particular environment. The study relied on a framework for successful implementation of electronic procurement espoused by Gunasekaran and Ngai. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 33 personnel in Supply chain, finance, and ICT using a quantitative descriptive approach. Descriptive statistics, including principal component analysis and Cronbach’s alpha, were performed using the Social Sciences Statistical Package (SPSS) and an Excel spreadsheet. The results indicate that there would be a significant reduction in paper consumption if electronic procurement was adopted in the department. Furthermore, the results indicate that there is a strong influence on the promotion of visibility in supply chain operations, although electronic procurement is prone to challenges. The results show that the availability of supporting infrastructures, the fear of cyber security, and the lack of management support were found to be the predictor of the lack of adoption of electronic procurement. Furthermore, due to the potential benefits of the adoption of electronic procurement, the results indicate that other procurement expenses, cost reduction, and increased supplier participation and competitiveness were found to be positive benefits of the adoption of electronic procurement. These findings have significant implications for the Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury's adoption of electronic procurement. Suggestions for further studies on the adoption of electronic procurement were suggested.
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    Transportation constraints for third-party logistics capacity in the grain industry: a case of Twilight Zone.
    (2023) Maclou, Simone Raquel.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    Road and rail freight truck capacity constraints have adversely impacted Twilight Zone’s economic competitiveness and have contributed to a loss of production and revenue throughout the supply chain network. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to evaluate and understand the logistical capabilities and capacity constraints of road and rail transport. The research objectives of the study are, firstly, to ascertain the strategic influence of third-party logistics partners in managing sustainable transport systems; secondly, to examine the extent of organisational collaboration to assess transport capacity risks in the grain industry; and lastly, to determine the influence of technological innovations on sustainable transport systems in the grain industry. A qualitative research method, using seven semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions to collect data, was used. A non-probability, purposive sampling method was used to select participants from the target population, from top-tier management to lower management. Sound recordings of the interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic data analysis. This qualitative study will provide insights into the third-party logistical transport capacity shortages that Twilight Zone employs to support its upstream supply chain network operations. The main findings regarding overall transportation constraints in the grain bulk industry reveal the complexity in the supply chain logistics; the magnitude of organisational collaboration; extended lead times because of truck capacity shortfalls; and the propensity to invest in technological innovation for supply chain visibility. The study will provide a basis for senior managers to review current third-party logistical transport integration for information sharing, as well as key performance indicators of third-party logistics transport. The addition of value to current business processes to improve customer delivery throughout the supply chain network should ultimately increase the overall efficiency and profitability of Twilight Zone’s supply chain.
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    Fleet decarbonisation for sustainable transport initiative: a case of V-Polizza.
    (2022) Ndawonde, Thandiswa Nkosingithandile.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Laytime and demurrage implications in voyage charter parties for chemical tankers: a case study of SASOL, South Africa.
    (2017) Padayachee, Christine.; Naude, Micheline Juliana Alberta.
    Background: Presently there are a limited number of standard Charterparties for the shipment of chemicals in bulk in a voyage charter. Most of the existing Charterparties that are presently being utilised were created for the oil tanker industry. Considerable similarities exist in these Tanker Charterparty forms which can also be applied in the Chemical Tanker environment. Purpose: Existing standard Charterparties were analysed together with additional clauses to determine whether there is an optimal Charterparty form that could cater for the requirements in the Chemical tanker environment. Clauses of existing voyage Charterparty forms were investigated and analysed as well as possible additional clauses. Particular attention was paid to laytime and demurrage implications in order to propose an optimal Charterparty arrangement which would be suitable for the bulk liquid chemical tanker environment with minimum risk to the Charterer and Shipments (ex South Africa) from Sasol South Africa. Methodology: A comparative and exploratory approach and a case study approach is adopted and carried out on selected, standard existing voyage Charterparties to provide an in-depth understanding and interpretation of the laytime and demurrage implications in these voyage Charterparties. A comparison of the differences in interpretation and meaning between each standard voyage Charterparty was also computed. Thematic analysis was used as a data analysis technique. The main theme impacting laytime and demurrage were compared in each voyage Charterparty for similarities and differences. These common themes in each Charterparty have been discussed and substantiated with case law. Through exploratory and comparative studies an in-depth understanding, interpretation, differences and similarities of the laytime and demurrage implications and clauses in each of these existing voyage Charterparties was attained. Findings: It was found that the Shellvoy6 and BPVOY5 Charterparties offer the least exposure to demurrage, since for these Charterparties the demurrage cost calculated was the lowest. This was constant for all routes. The Asbatankvoy and Asbachemvoy Charterparties are the only Charterparties whereby the principle of “once on demurrage, always on demurrage” can be enforced since their exceptions are not extended to demurrage but only laytime and therefore if the vessel is already on demurrage time would still count as used laytime for such exceptions. The areas that do not protect a charterer’s interest include multiple berth discharge, awaiting daylight, awaiting pilots, weather delays and pro rata of awaiting time for berth amongst all charterers calling the same berth. Including additional clauses to address these areas have resulted in additional savings for demurrage and therefore, if included would benefit all the Charterparties that were included in this study. Contribution: The contribution of this study is to highlight the need for a Charterparty form specifically designed for the chemical bulk liquid environment with special focus on risk minimisation for the Charterer in terms of laytime and demurrage.
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    Going green: green warehousing in selected food retail enterprises in Durban, South Africa.
    (2022) Govender, Kylie Laurelle.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    The processes utilised in food retail warehouses have various negative impacts on the environment such as air and land pollution arising from distribution and in-house activities. The search for new technologies that can mitigate these impacts is gaining traction in the business world. However, the implementation of green warehousing strategies has several implications. Research on the effects of such strategies will promote informed decision-making on sustainable practices and enable the identification of green technology’s contribution to sustainable development. This study examined the technology, distribution and operations gaps in selected food retail industries. Its objectives were to identify the challenges confronting green retail warehousing operations in this industry and assess retail warehousing distribution practices and how retailers enhance eco-friendly environmental logistics as well as measure how innovative technology influences the adoption of green warehouse operations. This involved identification of the types of vehicles and modes of transport utilised. The warehouse management systems employed in the selected companies were also assessed in order to determine their contribution to the organisations’ willingness to innovate. Energy-efficient measures were examined to highlight new processes to reduce emissions in the warehouse. An exploratory, descriptive research design was employed and a qualitative approach was adopted. Data was gathered by means of interviews with nine participants and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The results show that many food retail companies have not fully integrated green practices and that the manual processes in place pose a threat to the environment. Based on the findings, green implementation is recommended to sustain the environment as well as simplify in-house practices.
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    An assessment of the management of information sharing in the order processing system at Diplomat South Africa.
    (2023) Dlamini, Nokukhanya Khayelihle.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.; Ncube, Eric Dumisani.
    Supply chain management is essential in steering an enterprise to success through coordinated activities of the value chain partners. The achievement of fast-moving consumer goods business organisations (FMCGs) has a direct relationship with the overall performance of supply chains, which are their principal distribution channel. Although it is known that sharing information improves the overall performance of a supply chain, information such as pricing or promotional strategy is often kept proprietary for competitive reasons. The supply chain of Diplomat South Africa (DSA), a Sales and Distribution company, and the corresponding supply chains were studied to establish whether the internal relationships enhanced the response to the customers’ requirements. The study was grounded in collaboration and integration theory, and a qualitative research methodology was used. Non-probability sampling was used, and five senior managers from the Sales Department, Demand Planning, Operations, Masta Data, and Credit control/Finance Department were selected from the firm and were interviewed. The data collected were transcribed, coded, and thematically interpreted using content analysis. The aim of the study was to assess the management of information sharing in the order processing systems at DSA. Further, to determine whether they can appropriately use the information sharing tool and the level of transparency of information sharing amongst the departments involved in the order processing. The outcome of the study indicated that supply chain problems were department-specific, and it is recommended that information sharing and supply chain management be cohesive throughout each department at Diplomat South Africa. Employees’ collaboration in the information sharing of the FMCGs at Diplomat South Africa would enhance the response to the client’s requirements.
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    Developing a Black Soldier Fly supply chain that beneficiates organic wastes: a Durban case study.
    (2022) Smith, Brandon.; Salisbury, Roger Hans Theodore.
    As a result of the global population continuing to expand, the generation of waste is rapidly increasing. The global urban population generated 300,000 tonnes of waste a day in 1990. By 2000, this had increased to three million tonnes of waste a day, and is expected to double by 2025. The increasing volume of waste creates a number of problems including, but not limited to, the exploitation of natural resources and the expenses incurred handling the waste. The majority of waste generated is disposed of in landfills. Landfills are a major contributor to current environmental problems. Organic waste within landfills contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and toxic leachate in the soil and groundwater. There is commonly a build-up of flammable gases within landfills that pose health, safety and environmental risks. The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) is a wasp-like insect that has been identified as a potential consumer of organic waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are avid consumers of bio-degradable organic waste. Fully grown BSFL are rich in protein and fatty acids that provide opportunities for the production of various by- products. The purpose of this study is to assess the one commercial BSFL rearing site with operational documentation publicly available. The aim is to assess the on-site operations and develop a functional supply chain. The objectives of the study are to identify the stakeholders involved, understand the operations and logistical activity on-site and to identify key factors and variables within the operation. The study used a single case study approach to analyse documented data in a qualitative context. During the data analysis, each part of the operation was investigated and in summarising the findings, a diagram was presented to fulfil each objective. Each diagram was combined to create a functional supply chain for the BSFL operation. The supply chain outlines the key stakeholders, on-site processes and variables.
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    Exploring the biochar supply chain to determine the potential for biochar production in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Timol, Abdullah.; Salisbury, Roger Hans Theodore.
    Biochar is a product that has many beneficial properties but there are several socio economic and financial challenges associated with its production. By studying a potential biochar supply chain, many of these challenges can be identified and solutions sought. The available literature was studied in order to analyse the biochar supply chain from biomass collection to end product usage. This included all the steps involved in the collection of biomass and the logistical implications before and after production. Furthermore, it looks at how the feedstock and production method impact end product quality and how this would impact the commercialisation of biochar. For the purpose of this study, empirical research was utilised with participants chosen via a judgment sampling method. All participants were selected on the basis of their expertise on the subject of biochar. All research done was qualitative in nature in order to gain a deeper insight into the subject and to open up avenues for future research. The possibility of using biochar as a potential means of waste management does exist, but there are many challenges that make the undertaking of such a task difficult. The consensus amongst the majority of participants is that while a project is possible, many considerations need to be taken into account beforehand in order to assess the viability of such a project. Unless a very specific feedstock and production method is used, the end product may be limited in its usage. Making a higher-grade biochar will have a lot more end uses and a lot more commercial application, but this may require substantial capital and a quality feedstock source would have to be secured. While the benefits of biochar may be many, implementation will be a challenging task and necessary capital and knowledge will be required to make such a project a success.
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    Challenges in green supply chain management in the pulp and paper industry: a KwaZulu-Natal case study.
    (2017) Munemo, Nyasha Eugenia.; Salisbury, Roger Hans Theodore.
    Although, the pulp and paper industry makes a substantial contribution to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it is also considered to be a major contributor to industrial pollution. As a result, various stakeholders have voiced their concerns forcing companies within the industry to seek alternative practices that support more environmentally friendly operations. This study sought to establish the impact of the industry on the environment as well as the green practices being implemented in the KwaZulu-Natal operations of a pulp and paper company to reduce this impact. The literature consulted for this study suggested that stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, activists and government, may influence a supply chain to become more environmentally friendly or may hinder its efforts to do so. These stakeholders were subsequently identified and their influence assessed. In many other industries, the integration of lean and green supply chain practices results in less operational waste and environmental harm because both paradigms support waste minimisation and both engage employees in continuous improvement. This research suggested ways in which these paradigms might be considered in a more holistic way to exploit possible synergies for the pulp and paper industry. The research was exploratory in nature and a case study approach was used. The transcripts of semi-structured interviews with senior managers in the chosen pulp and paper company were analysed in combination with secondary data. This direct content analysis provided insights into the current green practices of the company and the influence of stakeholders. Evidence was presented on the company’s considerable progress towards a greener supply chain through the introduction of appropriate technology and practices which mitigate its effect on the environment. Stakeholders played a significant role in enabling the company to achieve this. Customers demand certification by standards bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council and the International Organisation for Standards regulates the industry and ensures that it protects the environment while local communities use waste produced by the company to produce value-added products. However, some suppliers hinder these efforts. It was concluded that the further integration of lean and green practices will allow the company to continue to reduce its impact on the environment.
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    An exploratory study of total quality management challenges during coronavirus disease: a case of Durban textile companies.
    (2022) Mbele, Khulani.; Ncube, Eric Dumisani.
    This research focused on Total Quality Management (TQM) as an operations challenge in the textile manufacturing sector during the era of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID- 19), with the focus on textile manufacturing sector companies. South African textile companies based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, include Best Branding South Africa (BBSA) and Textiles Express (TE) were selected for the study. TQM is a philosophy that seeks to integrate all organisational functions such as marketing, finance, supply chain, and engineering, as well as production, and customer service, to focus on meeting customer needs and company objectives. Customer satisfaction is the main driving force in TQM and involves top management. One of the biggest challenges in the textile manufacturing sector is that COVID-19 has severely affected TQM operations. Some of the operational challenges include, but are not limited to such as, machine failures, materials, and rejects. The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate effect on textile sales, trade, and production. TQM operational challenges include shutting down business operations, the decline in revenues, and a reduction in production. The main study aim was to determine the COVID-19 pandemic impact on TQM within the textile manufacturing sector. The objectives of the study include: determining operations challenges faced in TQM attributable to COVID-19, regarding planning at the two textile companies, BBSA and TE. Second, to examine strategies employed in the textile manufacturing sector by BBSA and TE to solve these TQM operations challenges. Third, to explore which strategies were used by BBSA and TE to assess the COVID-19 impact on TQM. Last, to determine mitigation measures BBSA and TE employed to alleviate TQM operations challenges during the era of COVID-19. Exploratory research design was employed to obtain more information on the current textile manufacturing industry status and evaluate the COVID-19 impact on TQM. A qualitative approach was used to collect primary data through interviews. Seven employees were selected from BBSA to participate, with eight employees selected from TE. Collected data were captured and analysed through thematic analysis, using NVivo version 12. The research findings from in-depth interviews revealed serious challenges in the textile industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the identified challenges at BBSA include disruption of operations, reduction in sales, and delays in orders. At TE the challenges during COVID-19 include inadequate training of employees, lack of resources, and ineffective communication. The study recommends textile companies stay informed regarding the COVID-19 situation; this will assist in making informed decisions about business operations, while also securing cash flow, such as having a contingency budget in place.
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    Modelling supply chain basic health sanitation challenges in district high schools: North West Province.
    (2021) Tlhabudugwane, Remofilwe Virginia.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    Basic health sanitation is an essential human need. However, many South African schools confront challenges in providing a sufficient level of basic health sanitation. These have been exacerbated by the global Covid-19 pandemic. This study employed the Supply Chain Operations Reference model to examine the challenges affecting efficient and effective supply chain sanitation operations in high schools. Its objectives were to establish how high schools develop an operations plan for integrated supply chain sanitation and hygiene; evaluate how these schools’ sourcing strategies facilitate improved service delivery; establish how high schools’ operations processes influence sanitation, hygiene and service delivery; and to determine how schools’ waste management systems in relation to sanitation and hygiene influence the type of material, products and packaging systems. An exploratory design was adopted to examine the challenges affecting high schools’ supply chain sanitation operations. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data collected from 21 participants in high schools in Ngaka Modiri Molema District, and two from the Department of Basic Education in North West Province. The results showed that the majority of schools, especially those in rural areas, confront supply chain basic health sanitation challenges such as a shortage of water and sanitary pads as well as vandalism, with the lack of financial resources identified as a significant challenge. Based on the findings, supply chain integration is recommended as a possible solution to these challenges.
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    Lean manufacturing strategies in small and medium enterprises: a case of a Durban shoe manufacturer.
    (2021) Reddy, Nikita.; Ncube, Eric Dumisani.
    The study explores lean manufacturing strategies concerning supply chain processes in the shoe industry. These processes have been mainly difficult as the practices involved cannot always be automated which leads to large amounts of wastage. There has also been an increase in consumer demand for quality products to be delivered in a short space of time at the lowest price. This type of manufacturing process results in a high volume of waste that contributes to increased costs. This study addressed all the research questions incisively from which rich and detailed data emanated which identified and assessed lean manufacturing challenges faced by small and medium enterprises in eliminating manufacturing waste that emanated from overproduction, transportation and motion mismanagement, and inappropriate processing skills, among others. The study employed a qualitative methodology and utilised data collection techniques such as interviews and observations involving all employees categorised as product coordinators, pre-production staff, and factory supervisors who are critical in planning, designing, material handling, and administrative responsibilities at production sites. The value stream mapping and eight common reasons for waste in manufacturing processes were considered in the case study by engaging a Durban shoe manufacturing company. There was a distinct identification of waste being a non-value-adding component which involved internal delays, over-processing, and non-delivery or late arrival of raw materials. These findings revealed that nonvalue- adding activities, increase costs and compromises quality in the production of ladies’ sandals and closed-fitting shoes. The recommendation is that shoe manufacturers adopt lean methods to minimise wastage generated during unsound manufacturing processes. These lean methods consist of standardisation of work, 5S, and Kaizen which all minimise waste in manufacturing processes if applied strictly and consistently.
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    Youth entrepreneurship challenges and opportunities: a case of Klaarwater Township.
    (2021) Qhwagi, Lunga Innocent.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    The informal sector plays a significant role in South Africa’s economy accounting for an estimated 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The informal sector not only contributes on a bigger scale with the mainstream economy but also serves as a means for survival for unemployed persons. The study aimed to identify the challenges and opportunities experienced by entrepreneurs in their youth in a township setting. The research objectives of this study were, firstly, to identify the economic and social challenges experienced by young entrepreneurs in townships; secondly, to ascertain the supply chain operational challenges that young entrepreneurs face in townships; thirdly, to examine the extent to which sociodemographic factors influence propensity towards entrepreneurial practices amongst the youth in South African townships; and finally, to establish the role of existing government interventions in increasing trade and propensity towards entrepreneurial activities amongst the youth in South Africa’s townships. The study was carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts were made to ensure that social distancing laws were upheld. The study sampled seven (7) shops owned by young entrepreneurs and included a total of forty-two (42) customers who frequent the respective shops. A total of seven (7) semi-structured interviews and seven (7) focus group discussions were conducted. Thematic analysis was employed to categorise the data collected using the abovementioned research instruments. The study revealed the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in their youth, there are opportunities and/ or gaps in trade in townships and, consumer perceptions of the ability of shops to service the community needs were disclosed. The concluding chapter discusses the key contributions that this research adds to the existing body of knowledge. The study noted that the government should increase efforts to communicate and educate young and aspiring entrepreneurs on existing opportunities to enhance trade in South Africa’s townships.
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    Factors inhibiting safety practises in warehouse operations: a case of Sonwabo Logistics.
    (2021) Mdlalose, Sinethemba Sibahle.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    The most prevalent challenge in warehouse operations is the high number of safety incidents and injuries. Among other factors, warehouse employees are constantly subjected to risk factors pertaining to safety practises whilst performing their daily functions. The goal, therefore, should be to identify the gap between current safety systems and the acceptable safety standards to identify ways to keep warehouse incidents to a bare minimum. In this way, organisations can carefully direct their resources and focus on the employee engagement with the current systems and operational procedures. The main purpose of this study is to determine the factors that inhabit safety practice in warehouse operations at Sonwabo logistics. The objectives of the study were to identify safety practises in retail warehousing operations; to identify factors inhibiting the effective workplace safety practises in warehouse operations; to examine whether the safety legislative section, standard operating procedures, and housekeeping strategy influence warehouse safety levels and to determine the extent to which warehouse mechanisation and automation influence employee safety for materials handling and ergonomics. The study used an exploratory case study research design using non-probability sampling that utilises both convenience and purposive sampling. Using the purposive sampling method, fourteen employees with expert knowledge of the subject matter were selected as sample size. Primary data was collected using semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions which were distributed electronically. By employing interview questions, interviewees could establish critical factors that affect effective workplace safety operational standards. A total of 14 responses were received and deemed usable for the analysis. Personnel from the inbound, outbound logistics, risk management, operations control, and human resources departments were chosen for the sample. Using the Nvivo themes and patterns. The study found that safety practises are usually not followed by employees, and they only exist on paper. Additionally, there was evidence of a misalignment between health and safety requirements and daily operational activities. Based on the research findings, negligence, insufficient training, inadequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment and signage are the prevailing factors that hinder the effectiveness of workplace safety practises in retail warehouse operations. On average, the respondents agreed with the OHSA that it is the responsibility of the employer to enforce the legislative requirements while it is the employee’s responsibility to comply with the health and safety standards that are put in place. Furthermore, the results revealed that even though Distribution Centres understand the importance of safety practises, finances are being channelled to warehouse mechanisation and automation while safety practises are being overlooked. The study concluded that the factors affecting workplace safety are still prevalent and need to be reinforced further to maintain zero tolerance for workplace injuries.
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    Information sharing to manage bullwhip effect on the stream sites: a case of Khathino Supermarket.
    (2021) Makhathini, Smangele Samantha.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    Information sharing between supply chain partners can result in improved business processes. Information sharing in the Khathino supply chain lacks consistency. This lack of consistency may be due to misalignment in supply chain operations and internal communication systems. Despite the systems used by the organisation and the regional distribution center in place managing the bullwhip effect remains a significant challenge. The study aims to entrench the magnitude of communication between Khathino warehouse and supermarket through supply chain technological systems and collaboration between supply chain partners. Research objective aim: firstly, to examine the extent of information sharing to optimize management of bullwhip effect; secondly, to examine how information is shared from retail warehouse to the supermarket to ensure stock management and order fulfilment; thirdly, to assess the impacts of supply chain technology as an enabling tool of information sharing; and finally, to establish the extent of collaborative planning to entrench the magnitude of communication amongst warehouse and supermarket to ensure better information sharing. This study used both questionnaires and interviews to collect data from the sample size of 150 respondents and 2 participants. The quantitative approach used descriptive statistics and frequency distribution to analyse individual variables. Pearson correlation, crosstabulation, and chi-square were chosen for bivariate analysis. The qualitative approach utilised thematic analysis to analyse data collected from 2 participants. The majority of respondents (98%) agree that information is shared from the warehouse to the supermarket and from the supermarket to the warehouse to make strategic decisions. This study found empirical evidence that supply chain technology plays an important role to the organisations performance. The study further discovered that ninety-six percent of the respondents from this study agreed that electronically enabled information sharing technologies improve integration, coordination, and cooperation in supply chain networks. This indicates that’s supply chain technology remains the central hypothesis on the company’s performance. The findings of this study show that good supply chain technology is necessary for a significant magnitude of information sharing between warehouses and individual stores. As a result of this finding, the information technologies implemented should include the collaboration of supply chain partners. These management implications show that collaboration is the responsibility of all supply chain partners.
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    Emerging technology influences on the merchandise practises of a retailer: a study of Massbuild South Africa.
    (2021) Rajkumar, Amelia.; Ramasamy-Gurayah, Jayrusha.
    Background: Retailers across the globe are embracing technological advancements in their merchandise and distribution processes. Technology is changing the way every retailer conducts business by helping to create efficiencies, save money, and provide better products and services. Retail companies are also adopting technology to their advantage. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand the impact newer technology implementation has on a retailer’s processes, specifically regarding merchandise and distribution. The study examined the current technology available to Massbuild and how these factors impact its daily processes. A prominent challenge in retail is the implementation phase of adopting newer technology, which requires management decision-making. Methodology: This research study is exploratory. The methodology was qualitative and utilised a semi-structured in-depth interview approach with twelve senior management employees at Massbuild. A purposive sampling method was used to help select participants who fit the criterion. The empirical findings provide insightful and vital information on the benefits and challenges of technology on merchandise and distribution processes. Findings: The research findings highlight the emerging technologies that will help a retailer focus on improving existing merchandise and distribution processes. The research participants interviewed emphasised particular technologies used by Massbuild and its evolutionary change over the past ten years. There has been a strong emphasis on automation, artificial intelligence and assortment optimisation within Massbuild. Regarding implementation of technology, interview participants provided insight into possible solutions to challenges they encounter within their respective employment roles. Contribution: Technology is at the forefront of retail and is continually evolving. There are in-depth studies available regarding technology in retail, especially with the influence of the fourth industrial revolution. This research provides fresh insights into the retail field of merchandise and distribution, and provides fruitful insight for future researchers.
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    Challenges experienced when outsourcing logistics in South Africa: a case of Lolli Supermarkets.
    (2019) Gwala, Siphindile Adora.; Ncube, Eric Dumisani.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    The effective and efficient operation of distribution centres is a goal for all retailers using the distribution centre strategy. It therefore becomes imperative to strategically position all available resources in order to achieve a smooth operation. This has led to the emergence of outsourced logistics service providers in South Africa to enhance efficiencies while retail organisations focus on the core functions of their business. Lolli Supermarkets makes use of third party logistics (3PL) service providers to achieve delivery efficiencies and cost saving in the distribution centre. The aim of the study is to identify challenges and determine where 3PL service providers are fulfilling their strategic role and where they experience challenges that result in the provision of suboptimal services to distribution centres. This study further attempts to achieve the following: firstly, to identify the challenges Lolli Supermarkets experience with its reliance on 3PLs. Secondly, to determine whether 3PL service providers are fulfilling their strategic role to improve order replenishment. Lastly, to determine whether Lolli Supermarkets are experiencing challenges with 3PL service providers with regards to product availability and as a result provision of suboptimal services by the 3PL service provider. This allows the study to analyse the impact of outsourcing in retail organisations while also evaluating any changes that may be encountered under developing economy conditions. An exploratory design was used to identify the challenges that result in suboptimal services provided by 3PL service providers. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data collected from sixteen respondents who form part of Lolli Supermarkets management and two respondents who form part of management of the 3PL. The main findings reveal that 3PL service providers commit to creating efficiencies for the distribution centre through adhering to outbound plans, having service levels agreements in place, meeting the set key performance indicators, maintaining information flow to align goals of both parties, and operating in the most flexible manner to achieve efficient product delivery and enhance customer satisfaction. However, there are challenges that arise due to fluctuations in outbound volumes, communication breakdown, unpunctuality and the limited number of trucks available for use.
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    An integrated logistics network to enhance logistics optimisation of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s off-campus resident students’ transportation.
    (2017) Ngidi, Nduduzo Christian.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    The application of an integrated logistical network at the University of KwaZulu-Natal transportation system seeks to optimise the coordination of the movement of students in the University. The logistics network of the University of KwaZulu-Natal includes insourced and outsourced logistics services. This study is based on the nature of the University’s student transportation system along with the phenomenon of an integrated network. The main purpose of this study is to explore the nature of the logistics network of the University by identifying its compatibility with the principles of integration. The objectives of this study are: firstly, to assess the influence of an integrated logistics network in optimising the transport services of the University. Secondly, to examine the effect of the process flow of the outsourced and insourced student transportation systems of the University. Thirdly, to establish the extent of the relationship between the transportation schedule and transport facilities. Finally, to assess the perceived performance outcomes of selected logistical systems against the expectation of the selected stakeholders. This study applies the research onion that classifies research into five stages such as research philosophy, research approaches, research strategies, time horizons, and data collection methods. A quantitative approach has been adopted to analyse the data from 250 respondents. Using nonprobability sampling, the purposive technique assisted to collect relevant data from persons of interest and knowledge. The study findings reveal the extent to which an integrated logistics network influences optimisation in the off-campus residents’ transportation network of the University. Also, it reveals the perceived performance of the logistics network from the perspective of the students. Lastly, the study reveals a needed paradigm shift in meeting the transportation needs of off-campus resident students. This arises from the expressed dissatisfaction from students; it is also an opportunity for further incorporation of technology in the operational and managerial procedures within the logistics network of the University
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    Dimensions of supply risks in the supply of water: a case of Zululand District Municipality.
    (2017) Khuzwayo, Sebenzile Ayanda.; Mbhele, Thokozani Patmond.
    Increasing water shortage is providing an imperative to the measurement of water utilisation. So as to give a sensible picture of utilisation, this measurement ought to incorporate the operational activities of the municipality as well as to view from an end to end supply chain point of view. This study, subsequently, aimed to investigate the supply risks in the supply of water of the Zululand District Municipality. The study has four objectives; firstly to establish the degree of balance between water supply and demand characterized by driving forces of service delivery; secondly to determine the extent of supply risk management of water within the restraining forces of the Zululand District Municipality; thirdly to determine the magnitude response capacity of the Zululand District Municipality to mitigate the supply risk of water delivery; and lastly to analyse whether the integration of service delivery activities enhance the supply component of water. The case study is exploratory and a thematic analysis approach was adopted after gathering information through an in-depth interview. It became evident in this research that district municipalities lack the capacity to deliver water services due to a variety of supply chain risks faced by the municipality. The study also showed that the region is confronted with various risks with regard to supplying water to the community members of the surrounding area. The implications of water shortage negatively affect the livelihood and enhancement of the people neighbouring the Zululand region. Key concepts: Water Shortage, Water Supply, Service Delivery, Supply Risk Management, Supply Chain Risk
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    Green sourcing strategy challenges faced by Automotive Component Manufacturers in Durban, South Africa.
    (2019) Mngadi, Mbalenhle Nokukhanya.; Ramchander, Manduth.
    There is a growing need to protect the environment mainly because a clean environment is of essence for healthy living. One of the means by which automotive component manufacturers (ACMs) may protect the environment is by implementing green supply chains. Demand for motor vehicles has been intensified by continued increase in the world’s overall population. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are producing more vehicles to meet demand and ACMs are in turn required to produce more component parts to meet OEMs’ demand. The significance of making sustainable sourcing strategy decisions cannot be overstressed. This is because sourcing is the backbone of any organisation, with its main aim being to procure critical components at the lowest possible cost from consistent and reliable suppliers at the best quality. The adoption of Kraljic’s (1983) purchasing portfolio model is presumed to be used as a sourcing strategy. The main aim of this research is to understand how ACMs incorporate green elements in sourcing and to identify drivers and barriers to the implementation of green supply chain. This cross-sectional study made use of mixed method and data were collected using personally administered questionnaires to purchasing and logistics employees as well as managers in ACMs in Prospecton, Durban. Qualitative and quantitative data was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23 and Nvivo 11, respectively. Participation in the study was voluntary and anonymity of participants was maintained. Green sourcing is not yet a priority to ACMs and those that are practicing it confirmed that greening requirements have influenced sourcing. Kraljic’s (1983) model is used extensively by ACMs in Durban and the model is considered crucial when conducting sourcing. Recommendations based on findings include; a thorough understanding of the consequences of the deteriorating environment and contributions ACMs make, ACMs providing trainings and courses to educate employees on green sourcing and its significance, mitigating barriers to implementing green sourcing by involving suppliers, customers and government when conducting sourcing.