Challenges facing supply chain management practices in retail outlets (a case study of Nakumatt lifestyle)
The general objective of this problem was to investigate the challenges facing supply chain management practices at Nakumatt supermarket. The study will enable the management and staff of Nakumatt to know what challenges they face, so that they find ways to manage them and improve more. It would also serve as a guide for further research in the areas of retail business. Different problems were encountered, for example time constraint since some of the respondents took long answering the questionnaire. Most of the respondents were also suspicious; they did not want to give information for fear that it may be used by others to their disadvantage. They regarded most information confidential hence there was a lot of postponement and rescheduling of appointments. Another problem was that different authors had commented differently sometimes giving contradicting information. Finding literature on different studies done on this subject was also a problem since there were limited references. The research variables used were pricing, competition, location, advertisement and customer service. Most respondents recommended that there should be controlled pricing among competitors for the same products and services. Respondents also suggested that prices should be based on quality of products. Respondents recommended fair pricing amongst competitors with good quality products. On competition, the respondents said that regulatory bodies like the Kenya Bureau of Standards should be more vigilant to ensure fair play. Standards and quality of goods and services should be ensured to allow for fair competition. The respondents felt that proper location, which is convenient to customers, should be considered before setting up a business. Strategic location is important to both employees and customers as it enhances supply chain management practices it was unanimously vui agreed that customer’s service should be a priority of each retail store outlet, not just to win customers by low pricing but ensure they enjoy value for their money. This is achieved by provision of efficient services. Proper and adequate advertising should be done as it creates more awareness to the public about products and services and consequently encourages more customers. The research design used was descriptive as it required an in-depth analysis of the challenges facing Nakumatt in supply chain management practices. The researcher sought opinions from staff within Nakumatt, to give first hand information. The target population for this study consisted mainly of the management and employees of Nakumatt lifestyle. The sampling designs used were stratified and random because with them, the cost of collecting and analyzing data is greatly reduced by stratifying the population into groups. In conclusion, the study found out that the greatest challenge Nakumatt face is competition. This is supported by the fact that most respondents pointed out that there is a lot of competitive rivalry in the industry. To outdo competition, they must have strategic location, suitable pricing methods and serve customers well in order to continue attracting and retaining them. Good advertisement methods and provision of quality products and services is also necessary to boost reputation and hence sales. The study recommends that regulatory bodies like the Kenya Bureau of Standards should be effective in their roles in maintaining quality standards in both products and services offered by retail outlets in the industry. Retail outlets should price right, give quality products and services, ensure proper location even before they are set up and advertise themselves to ensure a place in the industry. Their management must be keen on monitoring the environment and react accordingly in order to survive.