The Covid-19 (“Covid”) pandemic caused small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to close down or shrink substantially in 2020 and 2021. These SMEs constitute over 95% of enterprises in most countries of the world. As the trusted business advisors to the SMEs, there was a unique need to find out how the small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) themselves were affected by the pandemic. By October 2021, a representative sample of 197 SMPs from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda had responded to the abridged closed-ended questionnaire. In an earlier study completed in 2019 (adopting a much broader questionnaire), a total of 409 SMPs from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda had responded. The SMPs had reduced in terms of employment. SMPs with less than 10 personnel had increased from 34% to 38%. The SMPs used only 12 days for development/training (benchmark = 20 days) and the utilization ratio was only 52% (benchmark >70%) implying pandemic had disorganized teamwork and staff morale. On a positive note, the charge-out rates had increased marginally by 2% to USD264 per day. Clients billed had increased by 20% to 79 per annum but the average fees per client fell by 6% as clients tried to cut costs due to the pandemic. That notwithstanding, the average revenue per SMP increased by 28% to USD296, 000 per annum implying that SMPs (as a bloc of businesses) benefitted during the pandemic period. The study was purely quantitative hence the qualitative aspects of how the SMPs in East Africa managed to cope with the lockdowns have not been captured. Secondly, this study was limited to income side (due to its lower sensitivity) but the sustainability of SMPs can also depend on their level of operating expenses, profitability and partner drawings. SMPs in East Africa should benchmark their individual practices to these research findings. Evidence shows that more and more SMPs are being licenced annually hence competition for fees is likely to increase in coming years. This study had contributed to literature about the Covid pandemic and its influence on the SMPs and the methodology can be adapted to other regions in Africa.
Key competitive indicators (KCIs) for real estate project developers (REPDs) in Anambra State (Published)
Anambra State has witnessed increase in the number of new real estate projects and developers as well. While there are obvious evidence as to the increasing number of new entrants into the real estate development industry, there seems to be no facts or study as to the indicators for competiveness in the area, hence the need to study the Key competitive Indicators (KCIs) of the real estate project developers. It is also important that the Real Estate Project Developers (REPDs) understand (KCIs), this will help or assist them in formulating the effective competition strategies. These strategies will also help clients in selection of the best project managers. This Study however identified a number of (KCIs) as it pertains to the indigenous real estate project developers and managers; they were analysed using Relative significant index (RSI). The finding is provided a valuable insight to the competitiveness in real estate development industry.
The growth of domestic powdered milked consumption in Indonesia exceeds the growth of domestic powdered milk raw materials production, it is causes fulfillment of needs is provided through imports. The purpose of this study are 1) Analyze the factors that influence the competitiveness of the domestic powdered milk industry; 2) Analyze the factors that are determinants of the import of raw powdered milk, and 3) Formulate strategic recommendations that can improve the competitiveness of the domestic powdered milk industry. Based on the results, the factors that most play a role in the competitiveness of domestic powdered milk are government policies in trade, the Milk Processing Industry (IPS), and the company’s strategy. Based on Engle-Granger Cointegration method, in the long run the volume of Indonesian powdered milk imports is significantly affected by the real price of imported powdered milk, the real exchange rate, real per capita income, and import tariffs. Meanwhile, based on short-term dynamic ECM equations, the volume of imported powdered milk is significantly affected by domestic powdered milk production, the real price of domestic powdered milk, real per capita income, and import tariffs.
This study of companies listed on the stock exchanges in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda has uncovered oligopolistic audit market structure. A total of 78 listed companies (74% of population) was analysed using audit fees’ data from 2013-2017. The study revealed that Big4 had a statistically positive influence on the audit fees paid by the listed companies. Non_Big4 as a bloc had a negative influence as some of the firms experienced reduction in audit fees after taking over from Big4. The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) was 0.94 while Concentration Ratio (CR4 – clients) which measures client market concentration of the Big4 was 86% and CR4- audit fees was much higher at 96% with PwC and KPMG the top two. Only 5% of variation in audit fees could be attributed to variation in stock exchange. Audit fees increased by a compound annual growth rate of 8% but Non_Big4 remain marginalized and forced into fee discounting to retain the few clients.
Assessment of Market Practices and Organizational Competitiveness of Sheba Leather Industry (Plc) (Published)
Ethiopian leather development strategy has put the shoe industry on the forefront position to accelerate the development of the sector. The study focuses on the assessment of market practices and organizational competitiveness of Sheba leather industry. The main purpose is to find the factors that allow and prevent the company from coping up with competitive pressures and to find out the competitive advantages enjoyed and disadvantages faced by the company. A concept of competitiveness and parameters for measuring it has been discussed. The porter diamond model has been chosen to analyse the company’s competitiveness. As source of data four department managers and the general and deputy manager of the company were contacted by the researcher. The result depicts the low level competitiveness of the company. All determinants of competitiveness (factor conditions, home demand condition, related and supporting industries, and firm strategy, structure and rivalry) are found to be insignificant with the exception of natural resource endowment of the country in hides and skins and low labour cost availability. Lack of strong existence of related and supporting industries and factor conditions like scarcity of skilled labour, unavailability of raw materials (chemicals and shoe accessories) are the factors that limit the company from utilizing its cost advantage in raw hides and skins and sustaining its market share on domestic and international market. The study forwarded the diversification of the company’s product destination into large bases and the establishment of distribution outlets in different part of the country to base the company’s market on strong domestic demand.
Competitiveness in Higher Education Practices in Sierra Leone: A Model for Sustainable Growth (Published)
This article has taken a step towards providing an open critical approach for the future of sustainable growth for HETIs in Sierra Leone. The system at the moment needs a complete review and overhaul in order to move forward in competing with HETIs at a global scale. The government on its own cannot continue take up the burden of a 100% funding for HETIs in the country (with increase population growth rate) when the situation across the region, and the world is such that HETIs are developing great plans towards self-sufficiency / sustenance through high quality teaching and learning, and more importantly, competitive research ventures. A model has been worked out for a future sustainable and competitive HETIs in the country, and partnership with TEC, followed by some realistic recommendations for consideration both in the present and the future.
Effect of Cross-Functional Information Sharing On Supply Chain Agility of Cosmetics Manufacturing Firms in the County Government of Nairobi, Kenya (Published)
Supply Chain Agility is widely regarded as a critical element that affects firms’ competitiveness at the strategic level. This is because firms with Supply Chain Agility have better performance in responding to unforeseen events. The purpose of this study, was to assess the effect of Cross Functional Information Sharing on Supply Chain Agility of Cosmetics Manufacturing firms in the County Government of Nairobi. Cross Functional Information Sharing is generally considered an enabler of a firm’s Supply Chain Agility. Information Sharing has significant effects on the performance of Cosmetics Manufacturing Firms. These trends have led to expanding the scale of procurement and reducing operating and purchase costs in order to improve the responsiveness of the supply chain. Relational View theory, Resource Based View Theory and Stategy, Structure and Performance Theory was adopted in the study. Cross-sectional survey research design was used in the study. The target population of the study was 714 employees working in the Cosmetic Manufacturing Firms in the County Government of Nairobi, Kenya. A sample of 256 was selected from the target population using a Multi Stage Sampling Technique. Both descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyse the collected data. The results indicates that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between Cross Functional Information Sharing and Supply Chain Agility (r=.582, p < 0.01). This is a clear indication that any effort to improve the communications channels making it more informative will lead to an increase in supply chain agility. Therefore the study concludes that Cross functional information sharing is a pertinent factor as it affects the Supply Chain Agility of Firms. With the growing technological advances and the emergence of the global information infrastructure, firms should possess the suitable competitive inter-organisational informational systems to enable them to achieve the rapid and effective response to the customer needs and changing expectations
Impact of innovation on the supply chain performance: Case of the automotive industry in Morocco (Published)
In Through the Looking-Glass famous incident from the book of Alice in Wonderland, known as the Red Queen’s race, it involves the Red Queen and where Alice is constantly running, but remaining in the same point. The Red Queen said: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”This story is used in real life to illustrate the idea of running after capital and market share accumulation in order to maintain relative economic position. This idea cannot represent better the main purpose of our study: “The innovation and its impact on supply chain performance and competitiveness”.In this paper, we attempt to corroborate, based on an empirical study of Moroccan multinational firms specifically in the automotive industry, the relationship between the supply chain innovation and performance through the Supply Chain Integration.
Competitiveness of Enterprises Established In Rural Areas: Insights from Hilly Terrain of India (Published)
Competitiveness of various types of enterprises is utmost important if an entrepreneurial society has to secure economic survival in the liberalized and globalized era. Firm’s competitiveness assures the long-term economic and social growth of any country. The present study aims; first to analyze the competitiveness of the enterprises established in hilly region; second to determine the sector-wise level of competitiveness of the enterprises established in the rural areas of India; and third to provide the suggestions to improve the competitiveness of these enterprises to secure the long term growth in competitive era. In this study, the researchers make use of primary data which is collected through schedule method using purposive sampling. Item & reliability analysis, and factor analysis are applied to analyze the level of competitiveness of the enterprises along with ANOVA, and descriptive & t-statistics. The findings reflect that level of competitiveness of enterprises established in the rural areas of hilly terrain significantly low and differ from each other and that too from industrial area wise. Locations of the enterprises have significant contribution in the competitiveness of the enterprises. The study may provide new insights to policymakers and stakeholders to improve the competitiveness of the enterprises
Factors Affecting the Service Quality Standards at the International Airports When Viet Nam Integrates TPP: A Study at Tan Son Nhat Airport, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (Published)
The results this study was to identify and analyze the factors the service quality standards at the Tan Son Nhat International airport according to 39 criteria following the International Association of Aviation standards. Qualitative and quantitative research methods were combined to conduct 575 passengers with 39 observed variables (the International Association of Aviation standards) to determine the factors affecting the service quality standards at the Tan Son Nhat International airport. The study results showed that 05 factor group is influenced (1) Competence, (2) Responsiveness, (3) Access, (4) Tangibles, (5) Reliability. The objects of the findings are as follows: First, to identify the factors that affect the service quality standards at the Tan Son Nhat international airport; Second, to determine the prior order of the impact degree of factors on affecting the service quality standards at the Tan Son Nhat international airport; Third, to propose solutions for service quality at Tan Son Nhat international airport following international standards in the trend of international integration.
Factors Affecting Competitiveness of Vietnamese Online Sales Websites in Integrating Tpp: A Study in Vietnam (Published)
This study is to analyze the factors affecting competitiveness of Vietnamese online sales websites in integrating TPP (Trans – Pacific Partnership). Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used to carry on 800 online customers in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang City and Hanoi City. The study results show that the competition volume of Vietnamese online websites affected by 05 factors as follows: (1) The level of competition, Suppliers, The risk of substitution, Buyer Power, Entry Barrier. Based on the research results, measures are proposed to improve competitiveness for Vietnamese online sales websites in the future. After Analyzing the data, the main objectives of this study were to: First, identify the factors affecting competitiveness of Vietnamese online sales website; Second, determine the priority order of the impact factors affecting competitiveness of Vietnamese online sales websites; Third, propose solutions to enhance competitiveness of Vietnamese online sales websites in integrating TPP.
The development of the fresh milk marketing becomes an important point in capturing the unreached domestic market by using creative economy approach through agro-tourism. This study aimed to analyze the competitiveness of dairy farmers on fresh milk marketing to agro-tourism based milk processing companies; and analyze the impact of agro-tourism based fresh milk marketing and the impact of government policies on the competitiveness of the dairy farmers that market fresh milk to agro-tourism based milk processing companies. The analysis method was the Policy Analysis Matrix. The research results showed that dairy farmers have been profitable and have competitive and comparative advantages. The policies impact to input-output still could not maximize profits at the farmer level. The sensitivity analysis showed that agro-tourism effects increase both competitive and comparative advantages despite of raising the feed prices up to 30% at the same time. The agro-tourism based dairy agribusiness needs to be developed.
Strategy of Competitiveness of Urea Industry in the International Market and Its Implication toward the Development of Urea Industry in Indonesia (Published)
The aim of research is to find out and analyze the variable influencing the competitiveness and the strategy to increase the competitiveness and to formulate the competitiveness model of urea industry in the international market. The problems face by the urea industry are the gas raw material, the old plant, the old technology and the domestic selling price policy. The price policy (domestic price and export price) and the distribution policy (production volume and export volume) are significantly influencing the income and the profit of company and will be influencing toward the competitiveness. The insignificant domestic price influences the selling price (income) and the domestic policy of price regulation which is the same as the export price that will increase the income and the competitiveness. Research design is a case study, during the period Dec 2013 to June 2014 and analysis of the factors that influence the competitiveness by multiple linear regression, market structure analysis using the Herfindahl index and concentration ratio (CR4), Comparative advantage using the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) and SWOT analysis, competitive advantage using Porter Diamond theory and to develop the strategy and model of competitiveness, it is used the Analytic Network Process (ANP). The analysis result of the Structure of Urea Market tends to the direction of Oligopoly with the moderate concentration level shown with the average value of Herfindahl Index of 0.0808 and the value of CR4 45.01 %. The Urea Industry of Indonesia has the comparative advantage is shown by the value of Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) of 2.07 which is higher than from China as the main competitor in Asia. The analysis result of competitive advantage of Porter’s Diamond Theory is that as a whole the attributes of resource and domestic demand have the competitive advantage. The support and government and the opportunity factor help the forming of competitive advantage. From the SWOT Matrix, the position of urea industry on Indonesia is in the quadrant II (Stability) having the opportunity and the big market strength. The strategy priority of the analysis of ANP is the development of technology, then the development of export market, the change of subsidy regulation and the strategy of the business communitcation with the other urea producer country.The research showed the need of revitalization of urea industry with the development of technology, market development and business communication with urea producer countries to increase competitiveness in the international market.
Competitive advantage is a relative feature, evaluated in respect of other competing enterprises. The gaining of sustainable competitive advantage is conditioned by knowledge of own performance and the results of the competitive environment. SMEs have limited opportunities to obtain such information on their own. The paradigm of mutual benchmarking changes this situation by introducing the collaborative network. The aim of the cooperation is to support each of the group members to achieve sustainable competitive advantage, which is the result of a conscious strategy, and not only a matter of chance. This cooperation is based on the collecting and processing of data and sharing information through a common IT platform: for example, a group of Polish SMEs was shown how to implement such a common IT solution and how to provide the information preparing within the proposed service. Taking into account the needs and constraints of the SME sector, the conditions and general rules of service realization were identified