Investigating supply chain management in a local municipality
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Supply Chain Management (SCM) is increasingly becoming an integral unit in the operations of local municipalities. The efficiency of this unit is paramount to the effective functioning of municipalities. Despite many attempts by management in various municipalities to improve the effectiveness of the SCM unit, challenges seem to prevail. This indicates that such persistent challenges cannot be entirely attributed to management alone, but would require a collective effort from all relevant employees, in ensuring a functional SCM unit. This therefore, has led to the desire to investigate the challenges and possible remediation strategies within SCM systems in local municipalities. The goal of the study was to investigate SCM systems in a municipality, using Tlokwe Local Municipality as a reference point. A quantitative research method was adopted in executing the study, and as such, the study was exploratory and descriptive in its nature, and also described the challenges. The study was based on a survey design and, accordingly, self-administered questionnaires were used as a data collection tool. The study population consisted of employees from Tlokwe Local Municipality in managerial positions and specifically those who also deal directly with procurement and SCM system. Data was collected once due to the availability of the respondents and their busy work schedule. In executing the study, ethical considerations were taken into account, and they included avoidance of harm; voluntary participation; informed consent; non-deception of respondents; anonymity; and confidentiality as well as information about the publication of findings. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics with the main goal of answering the research question which is as follows: Is there an effective SCM system in Tlokwe Local Municipality to deal with service delivery? The findings indicated that all respondents are familiar with the SCM unit, and its ineffectiveness, in particular, due to political interference, was highlighted. The relationship between SCM and service delivery was established from the findings. It was evident that an improvement in the SCM unit would result in improvement in service delivery. Other identified areas of concern within the SCM system included improper control measures as well as the delay in delivery of essential services.