Evaluation of the Impact of E-business in Supply Chain Management: “A Case of the Retail Sector in Malawi”

Suya, Gideon (2015) Evaluation of the Impact of E-business in Supply Chain Management: “A Case of the Retail Sector in Malawi”. Masters thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

Developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and electronic business (e-business) have significant impact on business operations including in retail supply chain management. Retail managers are persistently seeking ways to improve customer service, marketing, supply chain performance, and profitability of their retail chain stores. In this regard, the study’s main objective was to evaluate the impact of e-business in supply chain management using a case of the retail sector in Malawi; identifying levels of e-business adoption, utilisation, benefits and challenges. Highlights were made on benefits derived from e-business adoption such as reduced transaction costs, improved communication and information flow, coordinated supply chain planning, ability to overcome geographical trade barriers, enable access to global sources of supply and markets. Prominent barriers to e-business adoption and utilisation are high cost for electronic equipment, poor technology infrastructure resulting in poor network quality, high internet subscription rates, and frequent power blackouts affecting operations and information processing. Technology development in Malawi is in infancy stage hence not allowing continuing development of electronic business. The study established that the low technology adoption rate means low adoption for e-business and associated applications. While there is awareness of e-business applications that can be utilized to improve customer service, procurement, logistics management, supplier and customer relationship management and marketing, very few of these applications are being utilized in the business models adopted by retail firms. The study identified areas that require consultative effort from all stakeholders in order to improve the technology environment and attain sustainable e-business utilization. Issues that were beyond the case firm’s business strategy scope are national technology infrastructure development, policy formulation and implementation, regulations on data security in an environment of online business and consistent provision of power for improved operations execution. The Researcher recommends government’s increased effort in investing to improve the national technology and power generation infrastructure, policy formulation and implementation to promote e-business adoption and utilisation in the country. The retail firms must put in place or update e-business strategies to ensure consistency with each firm’s corporate and business strategies and pursue cross organisation supply chain systems integration and collaboration for better performance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Electronic version of the dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree MSc Supply Chain Management awarded by University of Bolton in conjunction with Malawi Institute of Management
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > Off-campus Division
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2016 20:08
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2019 07:57
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/967

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