Competitive strategies applied by mission for essential drugs and supplies (MEDS)
The success and sustainability of any organization in a competitive environment is determined by its choice of strategy. I his case study was an attempt to establish the competitive strategies applied by MEDS- a Medical Logistics Organization operating in Kenya. The study was also to establish the factors that have influenced the choice of strategy pursued by the organization. Both primary and secondary data were collected. Primary data was collected from the senior managers using an interview guide. Secondary data was collected from the firm's records on file. The firm's general manager, the heads of Operations, Customer Services and Finance were interviewed. An in- depth study of firm's records on file was also carried out to ensure that accurate and reliable information was obtained for purposes of analysis. The data collected was mainly qualitative in nature and was analysed using conceptual content analysis. This method is most suitable for analysis of qualitative data. Analysis of the collected data shows that MEDS has adopted a low cost focus strategy. The organisation serves a selected niche market comprising of mission (faith-based) health facilities and non-governmental organizations that provide humanitarian health services to the marginalised communities. The organization has a deep understanding of the chosen niche market segment and seems to satisfy it needs in a unique way. MLDS provides a complete health package of medicines, medical supplies and training to the chosen market segments. The choice of low cost focus strategy appears to have been influenced by the fact that MEDS is a non- profit making faith-based organisation whose mission is to provide essential medicines and medical supplies to health facilities operating in resource limited settings. It is this unique and narrow niche market that has influenced the firm's choice of low cost focus strategy. Consequently, the firm enjoys a high degree of customer loyalty. I his high degree of customer loyalty is to a large extent the determinant of MEDS competitiveness. It enables the firm to offers a tailor made health package to the customers in a way that the competitors cannot do. The study had limitations since it focused on only one study unit. I he findings therefore should be corroborated with a study of more than one unit in order to draw objective generalization about the competitive strategies applied by the medical logistics sub- sector of the health industry in Kenya.