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An Assessment of Inventory Management and Competitive Advantage of Modern Retail Firms in Kenya

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dc.contributor.author Kiarie, Gladys Nungari
dc.date.accessioned 2017-10-13T09:17:45Z
dc.date.available 2017-10-13T09:17:45Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://erepo.usiu.ac.ke/11732/3392
dc.description A Project Report Submitted to the Chandaria School of Business in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) en_US
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to assess inventory management in relation to competitive advantage of modern retail businesses in Kenya. This study sought to answer the following research questions: What are the challenges on inventory management in modern retail businesses? What are the effects of inventory management on competitive advantage in modern retail business? What are the appropriate inventory management strategies that would ensure sustainable competitive advantage in modern retail business? The study adopted the descriptive research design on a population of 165 branches of the top five supermarkets in Kenya out of which a sample of 117 branches was studied. The study used stratified random sampling as the sampling technique. Structured questionnaires were administered to all respondents. Prior to the study, a pre-test survey was conducted to test the validity and applicability of the questionnaire. The data collected was analyzed using SPSS and analyzed data presented in frequency tables and figures. The study established that there was a positive relationship between all three challenges of inventory management and firm’s competitive advantage. The three challenges studied are demand variations and uncertainty, inventory management and control, and skills and competencies of the managers. There was also a positive relationship between both on-shelf availability and inventory turnover and firm’s competitiveness whereas there was a negative correlation between inventory holding cost and competitiveness. Inventory management strategies on IT, supply chain integration and inventory management and control were also found to be positively related to a firm’s competitiveness. The study concluded that the modern retail firms are aware of the challenges of inventory management in their industry and have put systems in place to counter these. It however noted that despite this, there are still out of stock and non-performing inventory instances in the stores. The study also noted that the firms did not have a fully elaborate inventory management policy and did not fully enforce it in all the branches. It was also concluded that the use of ABC analysis, inventory optimization and inventory strategic planning were key to achieving inventory performance and that IT and supply chain integration enhanced the efficiency and profitability of the firms. Based on these findings, the study had the following recommendations. First of all, modern retail firms need to create inventory management policies covering all aspects and ensure full implementation in all their branches. They should also train their inventory managers on technologically-based inventory management systems and policy implementation. The study also recommends that the modern retail firms invest more in IT and technological systems to ensure JIT supply and restocking to improve their on-shelf availability and inventory turnover. System such as RFID would enhance visibility and lead to improved forecasting and information sharing between the different firms along the supply chain. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher United States International University - Africa en_US
dc.subject Inventory Management en_US
dc.subject Competitive Advantage en_US
dc.subject Modern Retail Firms in Kenya en_US
dc.title An Assessment of Inventory Management and Competitive Advantage of Modern Retail Firms in Kenya en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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