Quality management practices and supply chain performance of large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya
This study was set to establish quality management practices and supply chain performance in large manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya. The study had three objectives: to determine the extent to which quality management practices are implemented by large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya, to establish the relationship between quality management practices and supply chain performance of large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya and to determine the challenges of implementing quality management practices faced by large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya. The study used a descriptive research design to collect data and descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. The study established that that the quality management practices (continuous quality improvement, six sigma practice, lean operations/production, international organization for standardization, benchmarking and supplier partnering) have been practiced to a large extent by the large manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya. Also the study found that there is a positive relationship between dependent variable (supply chain performance) and independent variables. In accordance with the third objective, the study found out that the most seriously faced challenges were: numerous layers in management levels leading to duplication of duties which the respondents reported they were facing to a great extent, top management lack of commitment on quality implementation, competition at the expense of implementation, cultural dynamism and poor leadership by top management hinder quality management implementation were faced by respective organizations at moderate extent while inadequate resources for implementing quality management practices and lack of effective and adequate training on quality control were faced by the respective organizations at low extent. However, there were limitations in the study. For instance, the data collection was collected by Likert scale questionnaires, which have a degree of biases in their responses. Some firms identified also did not participate, citing lack of time and privacy issues. The study recommends further research to be conducted on how quality management practices affect performance of firms in the services industry as well as other types of organizations such as wholesalers and retailers.
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