Lean procurement methodologies used by large scale manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya
The lean procurement process has been revolutionized, leading to a number of success stories from various companies. These companies join a growing number of businesses in a myriad of industries that have revamped their operations to be leaner and more efficient, all to a variety of benefits and to overcome the critical barriers in the lean procurement practices. To do this, firms apply different methodologies to manage their lean procurement. Most firms have not been able to formulate the right methodologies required to achieve this objective in their lean procurement process. However, the objectives of this study are to determine the lean procurement methodologies being implemented by large scale manufacturing firms; to determine the benefits of implementing lean procurement methodologies among large scale manufacturing firms; and to establish the critical barriers to the implementation of lean procurement methodologies by large scale manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya. Descriptive survey design was used to carry out the study. The population of the study constituted all the large scale manufacturing firms within Nairobi. The sample of this study consisted of 60 large scale manufacturing firms. Self administered drop and pick questionnaires were distributed to the head of purchasing/procurement/supply chain management currently employed by the large scale manufacturing firms in Nairobi. The data collected was analyzed with the use of means, standard deviation, and factor analysis with the aid of statistical packages for social sciences (SPSS). The methodologies adopted by large scale manufacturing firms influenced lean procurement and positively aided manufacturing firms to possess competitive advantage. Of primary consideration, the methodologies adopted by large scale firms included lean thinking, e-procurement, good supplier relationship management and the control movement of materials using the Kanban system and the benefits of implementing lean procurement methodologies also include eliminating waste in all procurement cycles, reduce lead time, reduce inventory, reduce cost, improved customer satisfaction and improved demand management. The critical barriers that the research established in the implementation of lean procurement methodologies to be affecting large scale manufacturing firms included lack of system thinking, resistance to change, poor planning, lack of adequate resource, lack of skills and expertise and the lack of clarity supply chain waste. This study will be of great importance to the policy makers in the manufacturing industry as they will use the methodologies, benefits and established critical barriers in the implementation of lean procurement methodologies used by large scale manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya in gaining competitive advantage by adding value and avoiding waste.