Operations efficiency improvements in a de-monopolized market: a case study at a cement firm in Zambia

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Phiri, Jagger Marvin
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The University of Zambia
The Cement manufacturing sector in Zambia recorded operations Low overall equipment efficiency and High production cost at the time the market environment was changing from monopoly to de-monopolisation market environment. These parameters in operation excellence indicates inefficient functional level strategy operations. Thus, this study was initiated to analyse the causes for functional operations inefficiencies in order to establish ways of eliminating operations inefficiencies at functional level as well as to identify changes that needed to be made in order to create a sustainable manufacturing competitive advantage in a de-monopolised markets as opposed to continuing with inefficient monopoly practices. A case study methodology was conducted at one of the leading Cement manufacturing firm by studying systems, internal performance reports, conducting interviews and revealing published literature on the causes of inefficient operations at functional level operations strategies with a focus on Manufacturing and Marketing. Thereafter, a list of possible causes was compiled and translated into a questionnaire. The questionaire was administered in a non-probabilistic judgmental sampling format to operation strategy directors, managers and front line supervisors. A combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis method on findings was applied using SWOT clockTM, Monte Carlo Simulations and Pareto Analysis respectively. The results were that functional level operations inefficience is the effect of unbalanced strategy linkage between manufacturing and marketing operations. This was so because existing operations strategy formulation literature focused on prescribing what to do than prescribing how to do it, hence the causes that lead to unbalanced linkage between the manufacturing and Marketing functions during the strategy formulation as well as implementation phases were not being detected. The conclusion was that the root pitfall for unbalanced functional linkage is low collaboration, between and within the manufacturing and marketing operation functional teams. Therefore, the ‘JMP Collaborative-Model’ fig. 12 has been developed in this research to eliminate low collaboration between functional level strategy in the demonopolised market. Key Words: Functional ,Manufacturing, Marketing, Operations strategy, Operations efficiency, De-monopolised, Competitive market.
Cement industries--Zambia , Cement manufacturing