|dc.description.abstract||In today's global knowledge economy, progressive companies must be equipped with a
good balance of internal knowledge, both in scope and depth, and must adapt to the rapidly
changing business environment. The ability of an organisation to manage knowledge as a
corporate strategy is becoming a key competitive advantage. The essence of building an
organisation's strength or capability in strategic knowledge management is to deepen the
understanding of the exploitation and exploration of knowledge.
The impact of strategic knowledge management on organisations embarking on such
initiatives will be significant. This is particularly C N C ~w hen organisations are. focusing
their efforts on improving the performance of their supply chains. Several organisations,
implementing supply chain management improvements, have generated savings of millions
of rands. This has prompted the CEO's of organisations to shift from individual company
performance to what is called supply chain performance. Supply chain performance refers
to the extended supply chain's activities in meeting end-customer requirements, including
product availability, on-time delivery, and all the necessary inventory and capacity in the
supply chain to deliver that performance in a responsive manner. Supply chain performance
crosses company boundaries since it includes basic materials, components, subassemblies
and finished products, and distribution through various channels to the end customer. It also
crosses traditional functional organisation lines such as procurement, manufacturing,
distribution, marketing & sales, and research & development.
Therefore, increasing international cooperation, vertical integration, along with a focus on
core activities, have led to the notion that fums are links in a networked supply chain. This
novel perspective has created the challenge of designing and managing a network of
interdependent relationships, developed and fostered through strategic collaboration.
Despite various attempts to identify stumbling blocks in the path towards improved
performance and competitiveness in the non-ferrous foundry industry, no research attempt
has yet been made towards a systematic development of a supply chain management
strategy. This study identifies and consolidates various supply chain initiatives and factors
to develop key supply chain management constructs conducive to advancing the field in the
An extensive literature study was undertaken to identify effective supply chain management
practices and to develop constructs that could be used in the supply chain management
strategy. A questionnaire was then developed based on these different constructs and
circulated among industry members to determine their perception of the validity and usage
of these supply chain management constructs in their own firms. These constructs would
then form the basis for the supply chain management strategy. Furthermore, the results were
then discussed to identify any shortfalls or areas for improvement and the possible reasons
for these shortcomings.
It was found that there is a clear shortfall or uncertainty in the use of information
technology as a tool to improve the supply chain performance. There was also no clear
indication that the respondents knew the benefits that could be realised from using an
information system that could supply information from the entire supply chain. Another
shortfall that was identified was the willingness to collaborate across the whole supply
chain. The respondents were also, very undecided about the use of cross-functional teams,
supplier involvement and logistics integration.
This paper also describes the characteristics, competitive factors and supply chain
management issues related to a non-ferrous foundry as part of the entire supply chain.
Despite the industry members Wig aware of most of these issues, there was a clear
requirement to integrate these supply chain management processes. The management of
knowledge throughout the supply chain was identified as critical to achieving competitive