Strategic supplier relationship management programs as a driver of competitive advantage in the mobile telecommunication industry in Kenya
Ngugi, Samuel K
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The aim of the study was to establish the relationship between strategic relationship management and competitive advantage in the mobile telecommunication industry in Kenya. The study adopted a cross sectional descriptive survey research design. There are four players in the mobile telecommunication industry in Kenya The research took the form of a census study covering all the mobile telecommunication industry in Kenya since the population of the 4 firms was considered small enough. Four mobile telecommunication firms were contacted but only three participated in the research and were considered fit for data analysis. The quantitative data collected using the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Findings indicate that the players in the mobile telecommunication industry in Kenya are faced with several forces that shape competition. This include provision of superior customer service, offering services not offered by competitors, offering high quality services, introduction of new services in the market, use of latest technology and branding of services. Other forces are changing customer needs, government policies and regulations, political interference and innovations. The mobile telecommunication in Kenya use cost leadership as a competitive strategy since they attempt to reduce their operational costs to deliver the products at the lowest prices to the end customer. It was also possible to conclude that mobile telecommunication companies use product differentiation as a competitive strategy since they consider innovations and value additions in their products and services. The mobile telecommunication companies differentiate their products by offering services that not offered by competitors, offering high quality services, introducing new services to the market and branding their services from those of competitors. The findings of the study are that strategic supplier relationship management programs are key drivers of competitive advantage in the telecommunication industry in Kenya and it is recommended that the industry continues using strategic supplier relationship management programs to drive competitive advantage in their operations.