Challenges of procurement strategy implementation among road agencies in Kenya
Procurement has developed over the years and is now considered a strategic function within many organizations. In Kenya specifically, public procurement has undergone major transformation and is now governed using a legal framework. Agencies in the roads industry being public entities are subjected to public procurement. Budgetary allocations in the roads industry in Kenya takes a huge portion of the overall budget hence it is prudent that the funds are utilized well in order to achieve economic sense. Procurement in the roads industry is thus strategic based on the resources allocated and implementation of procurement strategy is of concern to all stakeholders. The resource based view is an economic tool used to determine the strategic resources available to the firm. It explains the ability of the firm to deliver sustainable competitive advantage when resources are managed well. The objective of the study was to establish challenges faced by the road agencies in Kenya during implementation of their procurement strategies and ways of mitigating these challenges. The study was a cross sectional survey. Primary data was collected using questionnaires administered to the management of the four road agencies. The study concluded that procurement strategy implementation in the road agencies is challenging. Poor leadership, lack of adequate resources frequent management changes and lack of strategy communication contributed to the challenges. External influence by business contractors and politicians was the greatest challenge and further the unclear link between overall strategy and procurement planning contributed to the challenges. The study concluded that there is need for procurement strategies to keep up with the turbulent environment and better use of the resources through training and awareness of the legal framework, robust policies and procedures and involvement of all staff in outlining the procurement strategies. The road agencies need to ensure robust operational systems are put in place, they need to review organizational systems, procedures and policies. The human resource manuals will need to have a clear focus on ensuring deployment of competent individuals in strategy monitoring, evaluation and control. There is need for development of standard operating procedures in the road agencies to mitigate external influence. The road agencies need to enhance enrolment in professional certification by their staff to ensure professionalism. Individual departments further need to develop their own procurement plans to enhance ownership of procurement strategy. From the findings, incorporating procurement planning into the overall corporate strategic planning, better politicians/stakeholders expectation management, setting clear procurement strategies, supportive agency leadership and clear documented policies and procedure were instituted strategies helping cope with the challenges to procurement strategy implementation in these road agencies to a large extent. These assertions build onto the theory of resource based view or theory of a firm that explains the ability of the firm to deliver sustainable competitive advantage is dependent on how internal resources are managed in such a way that competitors cannot imitate the final product.