The Influence of lean supply chain management practices on performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya


  • handard kimari Jomo Kenyatta university student
  • Dr. Samuel Muli Jomo Kenyatta university


Total Quality Management (TQM), Just In Time (JIT), Six Sigma, Kanban, Lean Supply Chain (LSC)


Lean Supply Chain Management is key for enhancing organizational performance in manufacturing firms. Despite many efforts to address lean supply chain management practices in manufacturing firms, there exist limited literature on the influence of lean supply chain management practices on the performance of manufacturing firms. Manufacturing companies face performance challenges which include an inadequate volume of sales, low profitability, uncompetitive market share, poor customer satisfaction associated with lean supply chain management practices. To fill this gap, the study sought to study the influence of lean supply chain management practices on the performance of manufacturing firms. In specific, the study aimed to assess the influence of just-in-time procurement on performance, to determine the influence of the Kanban system on performance, to examine the influence of Sigma Six on performance, and to establish the influence of Total quality management on performance. The study used a descriptive research design. The target population was 400 employees from five departments which forms the internal supply chain of Unilever Kenya Limited. A stratified random sampling technique was employed in attaining a representative sample from the target population. The study used a 20% sample size from the target population which is represented by 80 respondents. Data collection was done using structured open and closed-ended questionnaires. To test the validity and reliability of the research instruments a pilot test was conducted which involved a pilot sample of 16 staff who were excluded from the actual research study. The data were analyzed by use of descriptive statistics and inferential analysis through statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 21 software. Regression analysis results revealed that Just in Time Procurement had an insignificant negative influence on performance, Kanban system had a significant negative influence, Six Sigma lean supply chain practice had a significant positive influence on performance and Total quality management had an insignificant positive influence on performance. The study concluded that Just in Time Procurement, Kanban system and Total quality management have no notable influence on performance. However, Six Sigma is a good driver of organizational performance. The study recommends that manufacturing companies should deploy more resources towards the implementation of Just in Time Procurement policies. The study recommends that manufacturing companies should integrate the Kanban system with Just in time lean practices since the two practices have interdependence in operation. For Total quality management study recommends that manufacturing firms should adopt a continuous quality improvement strategy across all functions within the organization. Generally, resources (e.g. finances, system-process integration infrastructure, operational staff involvement, and top management support, etc.) are key from implementation to adoption and success of lean supply chain practices for contribution to the performance of manufacturing firms.


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Research paper