Information and communications technology and operational efficiency in supermarkets in Nairobi
The aim of this research was to find out the role of various ICT applications in the improvement of operational efficiency for supermarkets in Nairobi. It aimed to answer the questions of ICT applications that are adopted by supermarkets in Nairobi and the relationship between the level of adoption of these applications and operational efficiency that was attained. A sample of 58 supermarkets was chosen from the list of 110 supermarkets to which structured questionnaires were issued by drop-and-pick method. The forty-two questionnaires were duly filled and returned. This constitutes 72.4% response which according to Stacks (2011) was adequate for use in analysing and presenting findings for the identified research objectives. The findings indicated that applications that were simple and cheap to install and implement such as CCTV cameras, electronic point-of-sale systems and bar code readers were most prevalent while advanced and relatively expensive ICT applications such as ecommerce, supply chain systems and enterprise resource systems were least used. The size of supermarkets also determined ICT equipment that were used. Coefficient of correlation of 0.52 was obtained from the regression analysis that measured the strength of the relationship between dependent and independent variables. The relationship was direct, meaning that supermarkets with largest extent of ICT application in their premises had the highest operational efficiency. It was recommended that supermarket owners acquaint themselves with ICT applications that are available in the market and evaluate those that are suitable for their needs. Supermarkets that had a wide array of application in their premises had high operational efficiency. It is therefore necessary that they use all available ICT applications depending on their needs. Given that some ICT applications were expensive to buy and implement, it was suggested that developers make applications that are suitable for local needs, with regard to supermarkets.