The influence of operational excellence on the performance of Kenol Kobil group in the Rwandan market
During the global downturn of 2009, many businesses cut costs and boosted efficiencies to survive. They however, needed to increase profitability using the money liberated through the cost-cutting measures employed and the efficiency strategies undertaken. A number of these companies adopted operational excellence by making savvy business choices such as streamlining operating structures to enhance future success. Operational Excellence is a strategy highly used by companies venturing into foreign markets to gain a competitive edge. However, not many firms have successfully implemented it owing to lack of skilled personnel to guide the strategy implementation. The study sought answers to the following research questions: what are the operational excellence (OE) initiatives employed by the KenolKobil Group in the Rwandan market? What are the effects of those initiatives on the oil marketer’s performance in that market? The study used a case study research design. The target population was the management employees of KenolKobil both at the Head Office and in Rwanda. The study used purposive sampling technique to select seven employees in the top management cadre. The primary data was collected using an on-line questionnaire. Content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data while the quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics using SPSS Version 18.0. The data was presented through percentages, means, standard deviations and frequencies. From the findings, the study concludes that Kenol Kobil Group has adopted operational excellence (OE) initiatives to a great extent to spur the company’s performance and profitability. Kenol Kobil Group has adopted the Lean Six Sigma approach as one of its operational excellence (OE) initiatives. The company faces challenges in its implementation of OE such as lack of clarity in linking strategy to execution and limited focus on process excellence. The adoption of operational excellence has contributed significantly towards the company performance through continuous improvement in decision-making, on-going investment, profitability, customer service and human resources capabilities. The study recommends that the management of Kenol Kobil Group should address the major challenges facing the implementation of OE strategy by continuously evaluating its implementation and by undertaking the necessary correctional measures whenever there are deviations. The company should conduct research on the different national markets where it operates to ensure that the OE initiatives implemented suits the subsidiary in that specific market.