An evaluation of the impact of strategic information systems on the competitiveness of the food manufacturing industry in Zimbabwe
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The manufacturing industry forms the backbone of many economies because it is the nerve centre of value creation. The food manufacturing is even more important because besides creating value, it feeds and nourishes the nation. However our manufacturing industry has gone through some challenging years which resulted in the decline of capacity utilisation and fierce competition from foreign manufacturers. Surprising enough, the imported goods which are deemed to be of superior quality, usually come priced at lower price levels than their local equivalent products. This has resulted in the erosion of the local firms’ competitiveness. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is one of the fastest transforming industries. Organisations struggle to keep pace with the changes and even try to out do each other in trying to have the technology, more like a technology race. This research was carried out with the main objective of evaluating the capacity to produce an effect of strategic information systems in the food manufacturing industry. It was also carried out to establish the level of automation of the firms’ processes. The survey established that most of the firms use computerised Information systems in their daily work processes and that IT systems were deemed to have helped the firms in their quest to lower cost, improve efficiency, save time, and ultimately improve profitability of the firms. It was also established that the strategic information systems in place were already having a great improvements on the business processes and therefore ultimately on the competitiveness of the firms. Consequential to that, if the recommended strategies are incorporated, the competitiveness of the firms will greatly improve. The firms will be able to reduce costs, and gain competitive advantage on the price, or even improve on product quality. The end result will be improved revenues, market share and profits. The literature review brought out the issue of the new trends in IT and business strategy. One such trend is what is termed Digital Business Strategy. Digital business strategy recognises that even thought the IT and business strategies can be aligned, the IT strategy will always be subordinate to the business strategy. The digital business strategy seeks to combine the two strategies into one strategy. This is an area I would recommend for further study to see how such strategy formulation can bring about sustained competitive advantage.
Additional Citation InformationSmoke, W. (2013). An evaluation of the impact of strategic information systems on the competitiveness of the food manufacturing industry in Zimbabwe (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectStrategic information systems
Information Communication and Technology (ICT)