FACTORS AFFECTING MATERIALS MANAGEMENT: A SURVEY OF SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED MANUFACTURING FIRMS IN INDUSTRIAL AREA NAIROBI, KENYA
Materials Management is a tool to optimize performance in meeting customer service requirements at the same time adding to profitability by minimizing costs and making the best use of available resources. This study sought to determine factors affecting materials management in manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objective: to analyze the effect of inventory control and information communication technology; on materials management in small and medium-sized manufacturing firms. The research involved a cross-sectional survey of small and medium manufacturing firms in Nairobi. The study adopted descriptive research design to determine factors affecting materials management. A sample size of 46 respondents was selected from a list of 455 manufacturing firms. The data was collected from the respondents (material managers) through a questionnaire which was self-administered and analyzed using SPSS. The data was then presented inform of tables and charts. Regression model was used to show the relationship between independent and dependent variables. The study found that good inventory control is important in materials management because it reduces stock levels and hence increases profitability. Also ICT helps firms in planning, controlling and processing of materials. The study recommends that firms should embrace good inventory control systems in order to minimize cost associated with materials management and maximize profit through employing effective and efficient methods of controlling materials management. Also, firms should employ qualified staffs who are competent and skilled to help firms to achieve its goals in materials management. Manufacturing firms should adopt new information and technology for planning, controlling and processing of materials management.
Key Words: Materials Management
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