Liberalization and competitive strategies adopted by sugar processing firms in Kenya
The study sought to achieve the following objectives to determine the extent of liberalization within the sugar industry in Kenya and to establish the competitive strategies adopted by sugar processing firms in response to liberalization of the sugar industry in Kenya. The research was conducted through a descriptive cross-sectional survey design. The target population of the study comprised of all the 9 sugar processing firms in Kenya (Appendix I). For each firm, 3-5 managers were targeted for the census. The researcher collected both primary and secondary data. The drop and pick method was used to collect data.Primary data was obtained by use of a questionnaire (Appendix III). The questionnaire consisted of structured questions on the effects of liberalization on competitive strategies adopted by sugar processing firms in Kenya. The questionnaires were then administered on such managers for the desired data. The respondents were also allowed to submit electronic copies of filled questionnaires. In order, to increase the response rate, the researcher made use of telephone calls to remind the respondents to fill and return the filled questionnaires.Secondary data was collected from news bulletins,audited financial reports,news items and any relevant literature material like related academic research projects.The data was then be processed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel 2010 computer software with these findings as at 5.2. The study concluded that there was slow adoption of competitive strategies by sugar processing firms in Kenya towards the effects of intended liberalization. This is attributable to lack of top management support and failure to invest in modern technologies for example information communication technology. This negatively impacts on efficiency of operations and cost reduction. The study recommends that top management should provide guidance where key supply chain management is most inefficient. This is between planting and delivery of the cane. This is as a result of planting of long maturity cane, use of manual harvesting methods and slow delivery of the cane to the Millers. The researcher faced a number of challenges: it was not easy to have busy employees to help in filling the questionnaires since most of them thought that the process was tedious and non-paying. In most cases, white collar workers consider their time precious and worth payment; therefore, it was a hard subject convincing them that the research was meant for the betterment of their working conditions. Also, due to social desirability nature of the questions in the questionnaire, it was presumably difficult to convince the respondents to give only true information.