The world has been moving towards green initiatives, and this has called for the use of types of machinery that are environmentally friendly. The move has led to the introduction of technologies where green energy is used, such as electric cars. Therefore, it is essential to conduct this research to see the impact of these changes on the lubricant industry. Finally, for the supply chain effectiveness to be understood, it is necessary to study the available infrastructure at Shell. It will help in understanding what more is needed to increase production according to the customers' need. Infrastructure need in the company changes with time, and there is a need to collect current data because past research may be irrelevant or misleading.
Research Aim and Objectives
The research aims to study the supply chain capabilities of the company, constraints facing it, available infrastructure, and ability of the company to manage change. Finally, it will offer recommendations on the strategies that should be put in place by Shell to enhance high supply chain capability and sales growth. Below are the objectives that will guide the research.
- To evaluate Shell's current supply chain capability against sales growth projections and prove the existing operational constraints hindering the growth plan.
- To understand whether Shell has the infrastructure needed to increase productivity and meet changing customer requirements.
- To measure Shell's effectiveness to manage change happening around the lubricants industry.
- To provide conclusions and recommendations of the research to the leadership team at Shell.
According to Walters (2006), supply chain effectiveness is a significant determinant of whether an organization will meet the demand of the consumers or not. He added that for the supply chain to bring positive results to a company, it should be linked with the demand chain in the market. The strategy ensures that the production in the firm is in line with the needs of the customers. On the other hand, Mohamed (2019) stated that efficiency in a company can be enhanced through conducting supply chain analytics to note the position an organization is in satisfying the customers and the changes that may have taken place in the industry, thus calling for improvements in the company's supply chain channels. However, Ambulkar, Blackhurst and Grae (2015) felt that supply chain analytics is not enough to enhance efficiency. It requires supply chain innovation which maximum the use of the available resources and minimize the risks involved.
Teece (2007) argued that for an organization to achieve the desired sales growth, it has to combine several assets with an appropriate structure that could assist in asset management. Alternatively, Candace et al. (2011) stated that for sales growth can only be experienced in an organization if flexibility is present. In this, the company should have the ability to change the strategies used in production and adapt to new ones which facilitate a high rate of customer satisfaction. Kumar et al. (2006) agreed to the idea and stated that flexibility assists in saving money and also ensure that the resources available are fully utilized towards sales growth.
The research will be supported by Kotler's eight steps change theory which will provide the steps that need to be followed to ensure that change brings efficiency in the company. Various scholars have noted that since external and internal factors lead to change, it is vital to have the right strategies that would lead make it effective. Smith (2011) recommended that Kotler's eight steps change model should be applied to ensure that all the stakeholders are involved and appropriate factors considered. He noted that the first step to consider is the urgency of the changes required. The urgency will determine the speed and type of actions to be taken. Second, a group of people with the capacity to bring change should be brought together. Such individuals would influence others on the need to appreciate the expected change. Thirdly, a vision should be created so that it can guide the people on the expected outcome (Radut, 2015). Fourthly, all the stakeholders should be made to understand the vision by consistently explaining to them until they have full knowledge of all the parts. The fifth step is to empower the people in the company so that they can take actions that are focused on achieving the vision. Additionally, there should be plans to make small improvements that would facilitate the achievement of change (Biroscak et al., 2019). Later, all these small changes should be put together to bring significant improvements in the company. Finally, after the change is experienced, it is important for the leaders to keep focused on ensuring that each stakeholder follows the strategies to achieve the set objective.
However, some scholars felt that the change process is not as easy as outlined in the Kotler's eight steps model. One, Paszkowski (2018) noted that a lot of challenges are experienced in the change process. He argued that some of the employees may resist the proposed changes since they may feel that a lot of tasks will accompany the change. Also, the management is faced with the problem of selecting the most appropriate methods that can be applied to enhance change. On the same, Mondo and Musungwini (2019) argued that the lack of management skills among the leaders is a problem that limits the effectiveness of the expected change. Additionally, they argued that it is also challenging for a company to be successful if the working team does not have the necessary knowledge required after change.
Onimole (2017) recommended some of the strategies that need to be put in place to ensure that the stakeholders in a company appreciate change. One, they argued that it is important for the managers to have skills that would help in convincing the employees and other stakeholders that it is crucial to have change in the organization. Secondly, he recommended leaders should prepare the employees concerning the likelihood of change occurring, and this reduces the cases of resistance since they have been internalizing and expecting change to occur for a reasonable period. Thirdly, it important for all the people to be aware of the vision that the change at achieving, and this creates a good platform for all the people to support it (Onimole, 2017).
Therefore, the above information has shown that the success of a company is influenced by the supply chain effectiveness. However, the effectiveness is greatly affected by change. Hence, for a company to cope with change, the Kotler's eight steps change model should be applied by organizations to ensure that change is embraced. Managers and employees should be trained to ensure that they understand the vision for change also have the necessary skills which are needed to achieve the objectives coming along with the change.
Research design is the framework that is used in the data collection process depending on whether the available data is statistical or explanation. The research design can be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method. Qualitative research entails collection of information that is based on the observation and emotions of the respondents. It involves explanations without using any numbers or figures. On the other hand, quantitative research refers to a study that involves numerical values to represent or give more information concerning a response (Rahman, 2017). Finally, mixed-method involves the combination of both qualitative and quantitative research to get a precise conclusion that is obtained from both numerical figures and explanations of the participants (Brannen, 2017).
The research on Shell's supply chain effectiveness will combine both the quantitative and qualitative research design. Quantitative will take the required figures from the documented records with aim of get precise conclusions based on equipment performance and sales records. On the other hand, qualitative research will be applied when interviewing different people in the organization. In this, such people will use non-statistical information to give explanations concerning the supply chain effectiveness at Shell. Therefore, it is advantageous to combine both the qualitative and quantitative research since they provide detailed information concerning the topic under study.
Research Approach and Data Collection
The research approach that will be used in this research include both the primary and secondary data collection. The primary data collection will involve interviews where managers of different departments at Shell will be interviewed to obtain their experience in supply chain effectiveness at the company. The managers who will be interviewed will be from the following departments; planning, logistics, finance, operations, maintenance, and engineering departments. Interviews are among the effective methods of collection of data since they enhance the personal contact between the researcher and the participants and give room for the interviewer to seek clarification (Sutton and Austin, 2015). However, the interview method is sometimes costly, especially when the researcher has to travel to the premises of the interviewees.
The secondary data collection approach will involve access to the company's financial book and machine performance records. First, data will be collected from the company's sales records (Johnston, 2017). The research will check on the company's sales in the last five years. Such information will give the trend on the number of sales each year. The data will assist in analysing what could have led the rise or drop on sales at certain times. Secondly, data will be collected concerning the performance of the machinery used in the production of the lubricants. These include equipment downtime, equipment failure rates, meantime to repair (MTTR), mean time between failure (MTBF) and finally, the cost of repairs incurred after the machines breakdown. All this information will be collected based on the past five years. It will assist in obtaining detailed statistics on the reason why a particular trend on the supply chain capacity has been experienced. However, secondary data collection approach may be misleading if the information recorded in the books i...
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