Original Research

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

Sizwe Khoza, Chengedzai Mafini, Welby V. Loury Okoumba
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 25, No 1 | a4617 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v25i1.4617 | © 2022 Sizwe Khoza, Chengedzai Mafini, Welby V. Loury Okoumba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2022 | Published: 28 October 2022

About the author(s)

Sizwe Khoza, Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Chengedzai Mafini, Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Welby V. Loury Okoumba, Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The steel industry in South Africa suffered significantly when imported steel took over the market and collapsed big players in the industry in the last decade. The industry requires new business models and paradigms to improve its supply-chain strategies and adopt international standards such as lean supply-chain management practices to become competitive.

Aim: In the study the relationships are investigated between lean supply-chain management practices, lean culture, and supply-chain competitiveness in the steel industry in Gauteng Province.

Setting: The study was conducted in the steel manufacturing industry in the Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Methods: In the study a quantitative method involving 265 supply-chain and operations managers and practitioners was employed. The Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS version 27.0) was used to analyse the data in which correlations and regression analysis were employed to test the research hypotheses.

Results: The results of the study showed that four lean practices, namely Just in Time, Total Quality Management, Strategic Partnerships and Waste Elimination, all predict the establishment of a lean culture. However, Human Resource Management was statistically insignificant. The results further showed that a lean culture predicts competitiveness in the steel supply chain.

Conclusion: The adoption of lean supply chain management in the steel industry is an essential contributor to its success.


Keywords

supply chain management; lean supply chain management; just-in-time; total quality management; strategic partnership; waste elimination; human resources; lean culture; supply-chain competitiveness; South African steel industry

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