University of Pretoria

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Driving competitive and organisational performance through operations management

posted on 2021-06-11, 10:31 authored by Wynand le RouxWynand le Roux
The measurement instrument is defined as the device to be used in the assignment. The consultant proposed: (i) semi-structured in-depth interviews by using a semi-structured questionnaire, which included several open-ended questions related to the overarching assignment questions; and (ii) unstructured in-person observations to include an understanding of: 1. What innovative approaches could be suggested to help KSA improve its after-sales service support in line with the strong principles of the Komatsu Way?
2. What areas should the PDC team focus on to enhance and maintain its competitive advantage in the stated target markets?
The Delphi technique was used to test research questions with a group of people that are involved in the consulting project’s topic (Saunders & Lewis, 2018), together with setting up specific themes to explore different areas of interest.

The purpose of the individual consulting project was to understand which approaches KSA could follow to improve its after-sales service support to enhance and maintain its competitive advantage in the market. To identify the core problem or problems in the company (internal or external), data was gathered and analysed via the application of diagnostic tools or methods used to gain insight into the problem area. In-depth face-to-face interviews were carried out with participants in which the questionnaire was used as the basis of the discussion (data was collected in the form of voice recordings). To record what is happening on a broader level, data was gathered through unstructured in-person observations (data was collected in the form of electronic notes). The consultant’s position of Warehouse Operations Manager within the organisation was leveraged to prevent the Hawthorne effect in which informants act differently because they are being observed. The consultant's identity was, therefore, not revealed during observations. Finally, additional insights into the performance of the contracted company's operations were gained by analyzing the KPIs and management reports of the operations division. The consultant gained permission at all times to collect data and communicate that participation in the assignment was voluntary and that the principle of informed consent was, where applicable, applied to each individual involved in the data collection process. The consultant protected the identity of the company and that of the individuals involved in the research by keeping information confidential in any stored data, reports, or publications that emanated from the consulting project. Confidentiality of participants and their data was assured by not reporting the names of individuals participating in the consulting project, and by storing any data without identifiers. Data collected in the form of voice recordings were transcribed by an independent transcriber and stored electronically. To protect the respondents’ confidentiality, the transcriber was required to sign an NDA. Similarly, data collected from observations were captured by the consultant and stored electronically.




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