Supply chain management and impact of information technology: An analysis of gold production firms in South Africa.
South Africa is well known for its rich natural resources. The economic development was slow in the African continent which resulted in the reduced utilization of natural resources. As the businesses optimize their operations to increase their profits, the need for supply chain integration is being increasingly felt in the region. Companies operating in South Africa face numerous challenges in the external environment which prevents them in having effective business operations (Lazenby, 2012). This paper will provide the outline of research which will be conducted to investigate the impact of information technology on the supply chain management of gold production firms in South Africa. This outline will provide the aim of the research and will highlight the literature which should be reviewed prior to conducting research. The outline will also propose the appropriate methodology which can provide meaningful insight into the measurement of impact of information technology on the supply chain management. This paper will also propose the sampling and data collection methodology and will help in achieving the data analysis objectives.
Barloworld conducts research on yearly bases to find the trends and challenges being faced by the South African industry. It was reported that economic outlook of the demand of goods and services will remain low as the economic recession has taken its toll in the European markets, who are major consumers of South African products (Barloworld, 2012). The participants of the research which comprised of major decision makers and senior executives of the numerous industries agreed that the need to develop and enhance the supply chain of the continent can provide significant cost savings. As observed, the supply chain development in South Africa is marred by labor cost issues, short comings of the infrastructure, bureaucracy and other challenges, saving cost through supply chain can provide significant competitive edge for the company. Improving the supply chain through the use of information technology can help the company in optimizing the supply chain. It was stressed that the South African continent requires improvement in the supply chain mechanisms (Lazenby, 2012).
The research will aim to measure the impact of current information technology implementations in the gold mining firm, retailers, distributors, and their suppliers. The research will focus on measurement of improvements made by the company in their supply chains.
Literature Review Requirements
The measurement of supply chain functions was a critical issue but the initiative was taken in 1997 to develop a framework for measuring and improving the supply chain of all industries. Professionals from different industries came together to develop a framework which was later published as SCOR model (Supply Chain Objective Reference) (Bolstorff & Rosenbaum, 2007). The SCOR model works for the identification, measurement, reorganization and improvement of supply chain processes (Supply Chain Council, (2013). The supply chain's configuration is captured across the organizations functions of planning, sourcing, making, delivering and returns. The measurement of the performance of ...