Research Proposal on Supply Chain Management Challenges Faced by Clothing Retailers in Nigeria
Supply Chain Management Challenges Faced by Clothing Retailers in Nigeria
Supply chain refers to all the value adding operational activities involved with supplying to an end user with a service or product (Lowson 2002). A supply network is defined by Christopher (1992) as an interconnection of organizations which relate to each other through upstream and downstream linkages between the different processes and activities that produce value in the form of products and services to the ultimate consumer (cited in Lowson 2002). Porter (1985) is among the earliest influences upon an integrated supply network. According to Porter, the organization’s value chain is embedded within a value system comprising suppliers and buyers. The linkages within this chain or system provided the building blocks of competitive advantage. Conversely, supply chain management involves partnerships that are developed between organizations performing adjacent, linear steps in the chain. The supply chain is viewed as a whole rather than a set of fragmented parts in order that activities, the basic units of competitive advantage, can be configured, confined and performed in different ways to rival chains (Porter, 1996). Supply chain or value chain management is composed of the operational or tactical activities and can be defined as ‘managing the entire chain of raw material supply, manufacture, assembly and distribution to the end consumer (Jones 1989 cited in Lowson 20002). Christopher (1998) defines supply chain management as the management of upstream and downstream relationships with the suppliers and customers to deliver superior consumers value at less cost to the supply chain as a whole. The supply chain has four basic components:
Production – Businesses focus on how much to produce, where to produce it and which suppliers to use.
Inventory – Businesses decide where to store their products and how much to store.
Distribution – Businesses address questions about how their products should be moved and stored.
Payments – Businesses look for the bets ways to pay suppliers and get paid by customers.
This paper aims to answer the question “What are the supply chain management challenges faced by clothing retailers in Nigeria?” More specifically, this paper aims to answer the following questions:
1. What is the current status of the clothing manufacturing and retailing industry in Nigeria?
2. What are the industry norms when it comes to supply chain management?
3. What are the difficulties encountered by clothing retailers in production?
4. What are the difficulties encountered by clothing retailers in inventory?
5. What are the difficulties encountered by clothing retailers in distribution?
6. What are being done to overcome these difficulties?
The researcher will employ both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data gathering. The researcher will make use of a survey and a focus group. A survey gathers data at a particular point in time with the intention of describing the nature of existing conditions can be compared, or determining the relationship that exist between specific events. Survey research according to Hutchinson (2004) can be defined most simply as a means of gathering information, usually through self-report using questionnaires or interviews (p. 285). The attraction of a survey lie in its appeal to generazability or universality within given parameters, its ability to make statements which are supported by large data banks and its ability to establish the degree of confidence which can be placed in a set of findings (Cohen et al., 2000, p. 171). The popularity of survey research is due in large to its utility on countless research situations. Surveys are used for such diverse purposes as needs assessment, program evaluation, attitude measurement, political opinion polling, and policy analysis, as well as for simple descriptions of behaviors, activities, and population characteristics. The scope of surveys can range from large-scale national surveys to smaller surveys confined to a single neighborhood, classroom, or organization. Another strength is its applicability on situations where direct manipulations of variables is either unfeasible to unethical (Hutchinson, 2004, p. 286). Surveys are best suited for descriptive research. Companies undertake surveys to learn about people’s knowledge, beliefs, preferences, and satisfaction, and to measure these magnitudes in the general population (Kotler 2000).