Lean practices and supply chain competitiveness in the steel industry in Gauteng, South Africa

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Khoza, Sizwe
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Vaal University of Technology
This study examines the influence of lean supply chain management (LSCM) on supply chain competitiveness in the steel industry in Gauteng, South Africa. The industry suffered a huge blow when imported steel took over the market and collapsed big players within the industry in South Africa.A range of problems hit the market hard, leaving companies applying for section 189 of the labour law to reduce overheads and restructure their organisations. It is evident that organisations need to change their way of thinking,heighten their supply chain strategies and adopt international standards like lean supply chain management practices to become competitive in a broader spectrum. Using a data set of 265 supply chain professionals drawn from the steel manufacturing industry in Gauteng, results showed the importance of proper implementation of LSCM woulddirectly influence SCC, leading to improved organisational performance. The collected quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS version 27.0) statistical software.Techniques such as correlations and regressions were used to test the hypotheses.The results of the study showed that four lean practices, namely Just in Time, Total Quality Management, Strategic Partnership and Waste Elimination all predictthe establishment of a lean culture. However, Human Resource Management was statistically insignificant. The results further showed that Lean culture predicts the competitiveness of the steel supply chain. Thererefore, an emphasis on lean supply chain management in the steel industry is anessential contributor to its success.
M. Tech. (Department of Logistics, Faculty of Management Sciences), Vaal University of Technology.
Supply chain competitiveness, Steel Industry, Lean supply chain management (LSCM)