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MANAGERIAL CHALLENGES IN USING LEAN TECHNIQUES IN DESIGNING A COMPREHENSIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF ORGANIZATION LOGISTICS AND PHYSICAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM: A CASE OF DEPARTMENT OF FIELD SUPPORT (DFS), UNITED NATIONS

Michael Boima Kemokai

Abstract


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the managerial challenges in using lean techniques in designing a comprehensive characterization of the organization logistics and physical distribution system. The study further sought to determine the extent to which these challenges impact the logistics and physical distribution of goods and informed managerial practices.

Methodology: The study employed a qualitative research design. The study targeted all the senior managers at Director Levels at the GSC and the RSC and all the senior operational staff from supply chain and service delivery pillars in three (03) large Field Missions. These field missions are namely United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO); United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS); and the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA). This study used purposive sampling technique. The researcher purposively sampled fifteen (15) personnel; with three (03) participants each from the GSC, RSC, and three (03) participants each from the three (03)  Field Mission. Primary data was obtained from the original sources using questionnaires and interview.

Findings: The results revealed that DFS did face various challenges in the implementation of lean strategies and that the operational difficulties experienced within its operations across field missions resulted in reduced customer satisfaction, increased supplier lead time and increased operational costs. The respondents indicated that they experienced a lack of understanding of the complexity of supply chain at the senior leadership level whereby most initiatives are tainted with personal agenda as a consequent the biggest hurdle to overcome is gaining enthusiasm and trust of the staff. They also indicated that there is a high risk of asset waste and loss due to assets remaining in stock for over one year without use. Further, they indicated that there are weaknesses in the management of construction or “self-constructed” projects; and weaknesses in the restructuring of the department of peacekeeping operations.

Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study recommends that     DFS should foster a continuous performance improvement mindset among staffs through planning, doing, checking and taking corrective actions on a balanced scorecard that integrates and aligns staff motivation and interest to the objectives of the organization. Also, objective and fair work plan and performance management are an ingredient to foster continuous improvement


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Keywords


managerial challenges, lean techniques, characterization, logistics and physical distribution system, Department of Field Support

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