Strategic responses by the cement manufacturing companies in Kenya
The cement manufacturing industry is a very vital sector in the development of the country. However the sector faces a number of challenges, principal among them include power problems, climate protection and responsible use of all fuel and raw materials. It therefore becomes important to develop strategies that will counter these challenges. This study therefore sought to find out the strategic responses by cement manufacturing companies in Kenya. The objectives of the study were to determine strategic measures adopted by cement manufacturing firms in Kenya, to examine behavior of cement manufacturing firms in a challenging environment and to establish the constraints faced by the firms in responding to the challenges. The study adopted a descriptive design in its methodology. A census study was used since the population was small. A total of 3 companies were involved in the survey, namely; Bamburi Company, East African Portland Cement and Athi River Mining Company. Primary data was collected by questionnaire method. The result of the study showed that there have been various changes in the industry including increase in demand and entry of other players. The strategic responses that were significant in the industry include; diversification in form of overseas investments and downstream cement production. Outsourcings of non-core services as well as marketing programs have been introduced. Controlling plant and equipment expenditure through leasing, maintenance, safety and automation have been introduced. Companies involved in the study used packaging products like dust control bags and restructuring. These companies also carried out competitive bidding by involving procurement systems and policies. The study also found out that cement manufacturing companies had achieved rationalization of staff through job realignment and job interviews. Inventory management had been achieved through policy formulation on procurement process. The cement manufacturing companies involved in the study had instituted change in the organization in order to respond to the changing environment. The changes were occasioned by the need to remain competitive, responding to customer needs and technological changes. The implementation of change in the organization had been successful for most of these companies.