Common restrictions faced by automation suppliers in the Vaal Triangle manufacturing industry
The primary objective of this study was to identify and investigate the main restrictions automation suppliers encounter when attempting to promote and sell their products into the local Vaal Triangle manufacturing industry. Through the literature study that was conducted, a general investigation into the supply chains of some of the most prominent manufacturing industries within the geographical demarcation were analysed. Two manufacturing industries were chosen namely Sasol and Rand Water. The different criteria upon which they qualify their suppliers were identified and the reasoning behind it discussed. The identified criteria included product compliance restrictions; commercial restrictions as well as limitations placed on suppliers by the consumer themselves where suppliers are restricted to only a few per product or service. The commercial restrictions were identified as the only restrictions the supplier has total control over and for this reason, was investigated in detail. These commercial restrictions included the supplier's NOSA, ISO and CIDB rating, as well as their BBBEE status. After the literature review, an empirical study was conducted by making use of a questionnaire which was developed alongside the conduction of the literature study. This questionnaire was sent out to the top management of the identified local automation suppliers to be filled out. The completed questionnaires were analysed by the Statistical Consultation Services of the North-West University (Potchefstroom campus). After the reliability and validity of the questionnaire had been determined, the basic demographical information of the respondents was analysed. An assessment of the 12 constructs measured in the study was done and the relationships between the demographic variables and the constructs were identified. Following the detailed analysis, conclusions on the demographic information of the respondents as well as between all the demographic variables and the constructs measured which had practical significance were discussed. Practical recommendations regarding compliance to the commercial restriction studied were made. The success of the study was determined mainly based on the achievement of the primary and secondary objectives. The study concluded by making suggestions for further research on the topic at hand.