Information and communications technology and supply chain performance among logistics firms in Nairobi, Kenya
The objectives of SCM are to achieve the desired customer service level in the targeted market segment and to optimize the total cost of the supply chain investment. In order to achieve the optimal level of service efficiency and ensure cost minimization in SCM, there is a need to eliminate unnecessary activities. ICT solutions in SCM have often been approached from various dimensions with a focus on the overall effect on efficiency, customer value and cost. In Kenya, logistics companies have strived to implement various ICT applications in their supply chain processes. Efficiency and reliability in the logistics industry through various modalities such as adoption of ICT solutions has seen improvements in customs management systems, security (tracking and tracing shipments) and information sharing. However, many sectors of the logistics industry still run on traditional or manual systems and this could be attributed to their ineffective and inefficient performance. There exists a research gap on this area of the influence of ICT on supply chain performance among logistics firms in Nairobi. The study employed a descriptive research design. The population comprised of approximately 1000 logistics firms in Kenya. The study targeted 30 large firms operating in Nairobi County because logistic firms in Nairobi were likely to have adopted the use of ICT in managing their supply chain processes as opposed to other Counties in Kenya. The 60 respondents of the study were selected from the supply chain management and ICT departments since they were the ones conversant with the impacts of ICT on supply chain performance of the logistics firms. The descriptive statistical tools such as Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and MS Excel were applied. Tables and charts were used to summarize responses for further analysis and facilitate comparison. The study found that the logistics firms adopted ICT in supply chain that affects supply chain performance significantly. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) affect the supply chain performance of the logistics firms to great extents among other ICT applications. The study also concludes that the high degree of complexity leads to a context contingent set of synergistic combinations of IT and other organizational resources, including workplace practices, change initiatives, organizational structure, and financial condition. The study recommends that there is need for adoption of improved technology so as to ensure efficiency in information flow. The study recommends that there is need for a given supply chain to set clearly the kind of strategy it needs to adopt in the market and then set the right performance measures. There is need for integration of the supply chain design so as to increase efficiency which will lead to improved financial performance. The logistics firms need to have a correct analysis of lead time as this provides the industry with various benefits.