Original Research

Perceptions of managers regarding supply chain cost reduction in the South African mobile phone industry

Musenga F. Mpwanya, Cornelius H. (Neels) van Heerden
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 9, No 1 | a176 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v9i1.176 | © 2015 Musenga F. Mpwanya, Cornelius H. (Neels) van Heerden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 February 2015 | Published: 24 June 2015

About the author(s)

Musenga F. Mpwanya, Department of Marketing, Logistics and Sport Management, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Cornelius H. (Neels) van Heerden, Department of Marketing, Logistics and Sport Management, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Many industries, including the mobile phone industry, experience a surge in supply chain (SC) costs in the provision of products and services to their customers. Despite this, only a few studies have been conducted on SC cost reduction in South Africa and globally.

Objective: This study seeks to understand the perceptions of managers regarding cost reduction in the South African mobile phone SC.

Method: A qualitative case study was conducted, involving eight willing managers and using semi-structured interviews, observation and documents. Interviews transcripts were analysed thematically with the help of Atlas.ti and a threefold process was followed, comprising data reduction, data display and data interpretation and conclusion drawing.

Results: The findings suggest that mobile phone companies should consolidate their strategic relationships and be efficient, in order to effectively reduce costs in the South African mobile phone SC. To achieve this, whilst South African mobile network operators have to share more and more infrastructure and outsource their operations, other mobile phone companies should re-engineer their operational processes and their reduce costs across the SC.

Conclusion: The knowledge generated from this study should assist South African mobile phone companies to reduce their SC costs and address high-priced mobile services. On the other hand, this study should assist regulating authorities (the Department of Communications and the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa) to gain insights into the challenges faced by the mobile phone industry in South Africa and, therefore, to make appropriate and adequate mobile telecommunication policies.


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