A survey of the perceptions of process improvement consulting among the manufacturing sector in Kenya
The period 1995-2000 has witnessed major changes in the manufacturing sector in Kenya. From a predominantly protected business environment in the 70s & 80s, economic liberalization policies have exposed many firms to competition from cheap but relatively superior imports. Consultants in Kenya have been involved in assisting the industry in survival strategy formulation and implementation. However, this expert involvement has mainly been focused on the firm's goal or mission, i.e. market share retention and expansion, or profit maximization within the context of the industry's environment . and the firm's capability. There has been little involvement of consultants in the improvement of the company's intemal value adding processes with a view to revitalizing the internal.operations and nurture their ability to deliver outstanding products and services at competitive prices. This is inspite of documented cases of successful collaboration between industry and consultants in the relatively more competitive business environments in Europe and America. It is against this background that this research was set up to explore Kenya's manufacturing sectors' perception of a process improvement consultant. The research variables under investigation were:- the general perception of a process improvement consultant; areas in the manufacturing sector that would attract the services of such a consultant; and, performance indicators that would be appropriate for such a consultant intervention.