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IJERA (International journal of Engineering Research and Applications) is International online, ... peer reviewed journal. For more detail or submit your article, please visit www.ijera.com

IJERA (International journal of Engineering Research and Applications) is International online, ... peer reviewed journal. For more detail or submit your article, please visit www.ijera.com

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  • 1. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 The Relationship and Role of Information &Communication Technology (ICT) in the Mining Industry: An Analysis ofSupply Chain Management (SCM) – A Case Study Nana Yaw Asabere*, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong** *(School of Software Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning Province, P.R. China) **(School of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning Province, P.R. China)ABSTRACT An increasing number of researches Lucas Jr. and Spitler [4] argued that, the investmenthave been made around Supply Chain of ICT in the supply chain process systems does notManagement (SCM) and the Relationship and warrant an increase in the business performance.Role Information and Communication This is because having the right ICT system is justTechnology (ICT) plays towards its improvement one side of the solution whereas training for the useand sustainability. SCM initiatives driven by ICT of the ICT system to function properly forms thebrings along synchronized workflow which tends other side of the solution. In our previous work [5],to simplify the complexity of procurement, order we reviewed and justified the significant roles ICTprocessing and financial flow, which help deals plays in SCM and also outlined the importance ofwith volatile demand resulting from frequent ICT in SCM. With reference to our previous workchanges in competition, technology and and the relevant literature, there is no doubt that ICTregulations. However, practical insight to is very important in SCM for sustainable output andaddressing the relationship and role ICT plays in Return of Investments of companies andthe SCM based on real world contemporary case organisations. Through qualitative and quantitativestudies, are limited. Through qualitative and research methodologies as well as review of relevantquantitative research methodologies as well as literature, this paper targets the Mining Industry inreview of relevant literature, our paper targets Ghana, specifically, Adamus Resources Limited -the Mining Industry, specifically, Adamus Nzema Operations, located in Ghana to close thisResources Limited - Nzema Gold Mine, a gap and realize the importance of ICT in SCM in theSubsidiary of Endeavour Mining Corporation, Mining Industry of Ghana.located in Ghana to close this gap. Our paper is structured as follows. In the subsections of Introduction, we discuss the HistoryKeywords:Supply Chain Management (SCM), of Mining in Ghana; give a Brief Background of ourInformation and Communication Technology (ICT), case study Gold Mine (Adamus Resources Limited -Improving and Sustaining Standards of SCM, Nzema Gold Mine). Furthermore, in the subsectionsMining Industry, Mine, Ghana of Introduction, we elaborate on SCM Procedures of the Mine through ICT and discuss our Research1. INTRODUCTION Objectives. In Section II, we elaborate on our Today‟s Supply Chain Management (SCM) literature review of the paper by discussing theis being viewed by many businesses as an approach review of relevant literatures on the relationship andthat serves as a key source for competitive gains role of ICT in the SCM of the Mining Industry,[1].Information plays a crucial and dominant role in presenting the definition and theory underlying whatcontemporary organization. It serves as the glue role ICT plays in SCM in the Mining Industry,between the supply chains and customers as well as discussing how ICT has helped to improve SCM infacilitating other processes, departments and the Mining Industry, and what can be done toorganizations to work together to build an improve and sustain standards of SCM through ICTintegrated, and coordinated function [2]. Over the in the Mining Industry. Section III presents ourlast decade, ICT tools and techniques have evolved Research Methodology and outlines the selectedfrom just being a support function to an essential approaches and tools we used for the collection andtool of decision-making process. analyses of the data pertaining to the subject under However, as a result of this, the use of ICT investigations. Section IV presents the summary ofin businesses is deemed a prerequisite for the our research results findings from botheffective management of current complex supply questionnaire responses and managementchains [3]. Indeed ICT implementation drives SCM interviews. Section V finally concludes the paper byinitiatives by bringing multiple process changes in presenting discussions on our research findings andboth suppliers and customers, which leads to linking our findings back to the relevant literature.information integration, and coordinated workflow In Section V, we further discuss the limitations ofas well as synchronized planning [2]. However, 641 | P a g e
  • 2. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675the paper, and puts forth recommendations, future potential of the underlying sulphide mineralizationworkand conclusion remarks. along the Salman trend [7].A. History of Gold Mining in Ghana C.SCM Procedures of the Mine Through ICT Ghana has a long history of mining, The supply chain management processes ofespecially for gold. Gold from Ghana (gold coast) the Mine starts from customer needs /demands andwas traded to Europe at least as early as the tenth ends at the point where the customer‟s needscentury. In the early colonial times, it is thought /demands are fully and satisfactory met. In the pastthat, annually more than a quarter of a million however, each department had its own computerounces of gold reached Europe from African system that focused on sub-optimization. In thissources. The Precambrian auriferous Tarkwa modern era, ICT have made it possible for theconglomerates of Ghana were developed in a introduction of Enterprise Resources Planningmodern way during the period 1876-1882 by Pierre (ERP) systems such as pronto to manage manyBonnat, the father of modern gold mining in the supply chains. With the introduction of ERPGold Coast [6]. In 1895, Ashanti Goldfields systems, all departments and functions along theCorporation began work in the Obuasi district of supply chain are integrated into a single computerGhana, developing the Ashanti and other Mines, system that serves all these different departmentswhich have produced the largest proportion of gold particular needs. This ERP system act as ansince 1900 in the countries of the Gold Coast. All of integrated software program that operate on a singlethese deposits are of Precambrian age [6]. database to enable smooth and easy sharing of At the Obuasi Mine, over the years, 25 million information and communicate with each other.ounces of gold were mined. At Bogoso, since The Mine SCM processes make provision for themining operations commenced in 1873, more than following:nine million ounces of gold were produced, largelyfrom extensive underground operations [6]. 1. Demand Management The demand management processes of theB. Brief Background of the Mine (Adamus Mine‟s SCM are the processes taken to balance the Resources Limited - Nzema Gold Mine) customers‟ demands with the capabilities of the Adamus Resources Limited (a Subsidiary supply chain. In the Mine‟s SCM, the pronto systemof Endeavour Mining) is located in south-western is used to create reorder reports which determine thepart of the Republic of Ghana, about 280km west of reorder quantity of stock items (which serves as theGhanas capital city, Accra [7]. The Mine announced demand) or facilitates the calculation of theits interest in developing the Nzema Gold Mine in quantities of stock items to be purchased (which is2009 with a designed mill throughput of 2.1 million also referred to as the need). This report istonnes per annum ("mtpa") for a projected maintained in the reorder database to enable theproduction target of 100,000 ounces of gold per automatic generation of purchase order. However inannum with a ten (10) year estimated life of the the case of non-stock or “direct” items purchases,Mine [7]. Soon after this announcement of the end users/internal customers are required toexpression of interest, the construction works for the place their request by filling out the requiredprocessing plant and the related infrastructure were information in the online requisition in prontoinitiated and completed in January 2011. However, a allowing the purchasing officers or buyers to be ablefull swing of production was in April 2011 with an convert the requisition into Quotation Requestedend of year 2011 production of 90,026 ounces (QR)/Request for Quotation (RFQ) and further beachieved [7]. able to convert them into purchase order. Its mining operations consist of a chain ofshallow oxide pits along the Salman trend plus the 2. Acquisition ManagementAnwia deposit 8km west of the plant. However, The Mine SCM acquisition managementdepending on the type of ore, processing start from processes starts with the purchasing officers or1.6 mtpa to 2.1 mtpa plant with the extraction of the buyers receiving the internal customer needs orgold through a standard gravity-CIL process. The demands in the form of reorder reports or placementprocessing plant is located west of the Salman of online requisitions by the end users/internalCentral pits and is connected to the national power customers through the ERP/Pronto system, andgrid via a substation [7]. sending these needs in the form of tenders to To improve and sustain the Mine‟s selected number of vendors in the form of Requestoperations by increasing Mine life and/or for Quote (RFQ). Once the RFQ‟s have been sentthroughput, exploration works is ongoing to out to these selected vendors, and quotationsdiscover additional oxide resources both along the received from them, the quotations are carefullySalman trend and the immediate area. In addition, evaluated/ analyzed based on some set purchasingan evaluation is currently underway to identify the criteria such as lead-time, price, quality etc. At the end of the analysis, purchase order (s) is/are created 642 | P a g e
  • 3. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675online through the ERP/Pronto system for the best area and between the business partners. This criticalvendor (s). The purchase order (s) is/are approved activity is undertaken to ensure the internalby the Supply Chain Manager or a more superior customer‟s satisfactions are always met and evenperson such as Commercial Manager & General exceeded. Metrics and measures such as informationManager depending on the face value of the on how often vendors keep to their promises onpurchase order, or by an end user department if the deliveries, information on the percent of orderspurchase is non-stock/ direct purchase. Once the filled on time from the warehouse to the internalpurchase order (s) has been approved, it is sent customers, information on how often deliverieselectronically to the successful vendor (s) to either made by vendors are made full truckload and fullsupply the items or render the service. pallets of individual products, and information on how often products delivered by vendors meet the3. Logistics Management quality standard as quoted, etc. are collected from The logistics operations major goal is to Pronto and critically analyzed and where there is amove goods and its associated information from shortfall or where applicable, an improvementvendors to customers through the supply chain strategy is adapted to fill the gaps.network. However, this process is required to keepmoving until and unless the goods get to the final II. RESEARCH OBJECTIVESdestination (i.e. at the right place and at the right The paper‟s aims and objectives are totime). In the Mine SCM however, this process is investigate the role ICT has played towards thewholly the duty of the officer-in-charge of logistics improvement of the mining business performanceand event management/expediting supported by through an effective SCM in the Mining Industrysome other supply chain staffs. To enable a smooth with emphasis on a specific Mine as a case study.flow of information between the partners within the More purposely, the paper looks into what role ICTsupply chain network, the Mine has signed several has played to help improve SCM specifically, andlong-term contracts with different number of freight mining business performance as a whole and how itforwarders such as ocean-freight, airfreight, DHL, at will help sustain the standards that have beenhigh volume purchased countries, with in-country achieved in the SCM in the Mining Industry.clearing agents and transporters. The logistics and Because the chosen case study organizationevent management/expediting officer monitors all operates in a non-customer competitive andpurchase orders/ shipments by tracking to find out resources and financial acquisition competitivethe status or progress of all purchase orders/ arena, the direction of the study is channeledshipments by login onto the freight forwarders towards the reduction of the Mine operational costnetwork system (but the freight forwarders do not performance and the improvement of the SCMhave access to the Mine’s ERP network) and quickly operations through the use of ICT towards theinforming the Supply Chain Manager of any change achievement of the Mine‟s growth andin event that may have happened. These events sustainability.generally relates to late arrival or dispatch ofpurchase orders/consignments at pre-specified III. LITERATURE REVIEWlocations. These changes in events are quickly sent A. Introductionacross to the appropriate departments by either This section of the paper reviews theSupply Chain Manager or directly by the logistics relevant literature on SCM and ICT in relation to theand event management/expediting officer to enable general context within which they are applied. Itthem put in place an appropriate plan to also reviews literature on the relationship betweenrescue/sustain operations while a continuous SCM and ICT. It further looks at reviewingmonitoring of the progress is done until the delay is literature on how ICT has helped improved andfixed or the consignment finally arrives. This sustain SCM standards in the Mining Industry. Thisprocess ends when the goods are received, inspected will clearly establish the current state of theand stored in the warehouse or delivered to internal knowledge in the subject, it limitations and how thiscustomers satisfactorily. research fit into the general industrial context.Analyzing the literature is aimed at making4.Regular Assessment of Supply Chain available a great deal of information to clearly pointPerformance out to the fact that, there is the strong need for ICT Regular assessments of the Mine SCM adaption and implementation within the SCMperformance is done using the information that are network for continuous improvement andcaptured in the ERP/Pronto system on the various sustainable SCM standards on a more generic front.processes for the purpose of reporting andidentifying shortfalls in the processes to look at B. General Conceptsways to improve. The ERP/Pronto system enables The conventional approach to managingthe possibility of tracking the various process supply chains (SC) has evolved considerably overtransactions that takes place within each functional the last decade. Shavazi et al. [8] argued that, “face- 643 | P a g e
  • 4. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675to-face management, manual tracking systems, 1. Supply Chain Management (SCM) Conceptpaper-dominated order processing systems, and Sweeney [1]argued that, many definitionswired communication links were the primary exist for SCM. As a matter of fact, many authorsmanagement tools available to logistics managers”. have attempted to define Supply Chain ManagementWith the current new face of SC, all these (SCM) in their various capacities, yet none have somanagement tools have turned out to become far been able to offer a more comprehensiveobsolete [9].This has come into play as a result of definition. Shavazi et al. [8] offered a single andthe massive increasingly growth and the complex encompassing definition by stating that, SCM is anature of the SC network. This complex massive systematic, strategically synchronized conventionalgrowth has surfaced according to Shavazi et al. organization function within a single business and[8]because of the high global difference in cost of across the borders of businesses within the SC, tolabor pushing businesses to source for raw materials enhance the continual concert of the individualand services from cheaper labor nations to help partners and the entire company. Campbell &control cost of production and stay competitive in Wilson [13] defined SCM “as a set of two or morethe market. Furthermore, they argued that, current connected business relationships in which exchangecustomer taste has become increasingly complex in one relationship is contingent of non-exchange inwith a high demands rate for customized products another”. Biniazi et al.[10]argued that, supply chainthat better suit their needs.This high resultant is formed when two or more organizations areincrease in product variation has made forecasting integrated though individual businesses that mightof demand a very intricate task for businesses to be officially separated by current issues such asmanage and predict both volumes and option mix as materials, information and financial flows butagainst a distinct demand pattern. related to each other with the main focus on promoting entire SC sustainable growth. This has brought about the increase in thesupply base and cost of coordination. Organizations 2.Information and Communication Technologyare therefore required to increase their competitive (ICT) Conceptsstrength to help them standardize and improve their Information and Communicationinternal processes to enable them produce goods and Technology (ICT) as cited by Asabere et al. [5] is anservices with superior quality, shorter lead time, umbrella term that includes anycommunicationincreasing service level and at reduced minimum device or application, as well as the various servicespossible cost [10][11]. However, Gek et al. [12] and applications associated with them, whichadded that, though there is the need for businesses to enables businesses to gather, store, access, andoptimize their internal processes, there is also the analyze information used in taking strategicstrong need for them to coordinate with each other‟s business decisions and also enables communicationbusinesses within the supply chain network. With within the business functions and between thethis complex network of suppliers, factories, business partners.warehouses, distribution centers and retailers, the To a greater extent, all sectors see thekey SCM success of any SCM strongly relies on factors of supply chain as drivers for ICThow sound the entire supply chain network system investment. Indeed, there is the strong need foris being managed [8]. increased organizational efficiency, improved The high rate of geographically located communications within and among partners andbusinesses within the SC network has made reduced paperwork, and responding to customer andbusinesses view information as the most critical supplier needs. The strongest drivers among themtools for SC to flourish. Shaikh et al.[11] appear to be meeting customer needs and the needstrengthens his argument by also mentioning that, for better communications within and amongthe most critical aspect in the management and partners [8]. This means that, there is a strong needmaintenance of the SCM network is the timely to integrate information flows across the networkavailability of relevant information. Sweeney [1] partners within the value-chain. This has called formentioned that, there is a collaborative sharing of common data and transaction standards within theinformation and processes between the various value-chain. Such initiatives are clearly of greatSupply Chain (SC) partners by using an ICT system importance to support effective exploitation ofsuch as Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP). business-to-business e-commerce.Indeed, ICT has become the key enabler in the In the Mining Industry, since the industrymanagementof the current geographically located deals with high value stock consignments/capitalsupply chains to achieve stronger supply chain goods, the effects of insufficient, inadequate orcapabilities and sustainable business inaccurate flow of data and information (Silos‟ ofcompetitiveness [1]. information)across the boundaries can be profound. It is necessary to interface within and between the partners of the supply chain to ensure optimal exchange of information across the boundaries. 644 | P a g e
  • 5. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-6753. The Relationship Between ICT & SCM further result in an overall performance increase of Various researchers have attempted looking the Supply Chain Operations.into the relationship between ICT and SCM. Therelationship between ICT and SCM is indeed of D. How has ICT Helped to Improve SCM?much interest to many scholars lately because of the The use of ICT has become increasinglyimmense importance put forth in the business arena. prevalent. Indeed the greatest effect of ICT onThe extensive adoption of supply chain concept businesses is the huge increase in access to servicesamong many businesses partners located in different and information causing better and often cheapergeographical locations has lately stressed on the communications within and between the supplyincreasingly importance of the use of ICT in SCM chain partners. The presence of ICT in the SCMoperation to help offer greater global service to operations has given rise to a new face of businessenhance customer needs [14]. Asabere et al. [5] operations. The use of ICT in the SCM has indeedargued that, ICT has helped strengthen the linkage brought about greater coordinated efforts in businessbetween SCM partners and offered an effective way processes among supply chain partners. This hasof managing time, cost and equality of the services subsequently brought about an improved buyer-delivery. Shavazi et al. [8] also argued that, ICT has supplier relation as a result of process changescome to support the collaboration and coordination leading to reduced variability and uncertainty ineffect of the supply chains activities through information possessed by both parties. Fasanghari,information sharing. Information sharing is indeed et al. [3] argued that, the adoption of ICT in SCMthe greatest key element towards the enhancement has helped “improve supply chain agility, reduceof supply chain operations. Asabere et al. [5] cycle time, achieve higher efficiency and deliverpointed out that, the development and the presence products to customers in a timely manner”. ICT inof ICT have immensely affected SCM and its the SCM has really made information flow acrossprocesses in many ways over the last decade. the length and breadth of the chain in a time-Indeed, ICT has become an imperative tool for the compression manner (quicker). ICT has also madeachievement of competitive gain and this SCM operations more efficient and reliable andachievement is increasingly dependent on the serves as every organizational key operationscapability of businesses to create customer‟s enabler. Shavazi et al. [8] argued that, the closevaluethrough the effective use of ICT. relationship of the two concepts, SCM and ICT sometimes makes it difficult to assess which oneC. What is the Role of ICT in SCM? contributes to the benefits of the other. Sweeney [1] argued that, most businessactivities can be described in terms of five functions E. What can be Done to Improve and Sustainincluding buy, make, store, move and sell, and this Standards of SCM Through ICT?is referred to as “micro” or internal supply chain, Biniazi et al. [10] argued that, “Supplyyet, these functions have been managed traditionally Chain design is based on the strategic factors andand over the years in isolation (cross-purpose). customer attention and needs to design the supply“Supply Chain Management means thinking beyond chain, so that it covers the range of availablethe established boundaries, strengthening the products, services, new products or customerslinkages between the functions, and finding ways section, based on the knowledge of the final productfor them to pull together” [1]. Again, Sweeney [1] in the supply chain”. This clearly depicts the factmentioned that, maximizing the SCM level of that every organizations supply chain is it coreeffectiveness and efficiency of the flows of material, operational driver, and its design is made possiblemoney, and information along the full chain should by putting together a number of independentbe administered in an integrated and holistic systems. Sweeney [30] pointed out that, to improveapproach, with the key aim of improving the overall SCM there is the strong need to integrate supplyservice and cost objectives. This is indeed the key chain activities and information across the lengthrole that is being played by ICT in the SCM. ICT and breadth of the chain as several supply chainwhen employed into the SCM operations closes the non-value added activities arise as a result of thegap or acts as an interface between the various presence of fragmented supply chain configurations.processes within and between the SCM systems and There is this saying that, „the whole is greater thantherefore according to Sweeney [1], ICT smoothens the sum of the various parts‟. This is an unarguablethe flows of raw materials, money, and information fact beyond all reasonable doubts. An integratedfrom source through the various phases of system generates significant improvements as itoperations in the chain to the final user. Biniazi et adapts to the „total systems‟ thinking approach andal.[10]argued that, the management of information tends to become a more robust system. Sweeneyand appropriate synchronization between the [30] argued that, system deficiencies are mostlypartners will lead to an ever-increasing influence on caused by poorly designed interfacing amongthe speed, accuracy and quality etc. which will subsystems rather than any inbuilt subsystem weaknesses. It is obvious that, improving and 645 | P a g e
  • 6. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675sustaining SCM standards strongly requires the need B. Research Designfor the improvement of the interfacing between the Trochim [18] argued that, “research designvarious SCM systems to enable the free flow of provides the glue that holds the research projectinformation across and along the chain which serves together”. It is therefore obvious that, without anas the key enabler to SCM. Realizing this dream appropriate research design in a research, thatrequires the need to make present ICT in the SCM. research will be disintegrated creating lack ofIndeed, ICT has all it takes to help close this gap by correlation among the individual sections.offering closely interface subsystems to deliver The authors have made this paper comeupdated data and information across and long the into reality through the use of case study. To enablesupply chain, making the process more efficient and them arrive at „method triangulation‟ [15], theymore effective to operate [10]. Sweeney [31] argued employed a variety of methods and tools in thethat, “effective ICT is a key success factor”. To research design which includes both quantitativeimprove and sustain SCM standards using ICT, ICT and qualitative techniques. As pointed out by Whiteimplementation in the SCM ought not to be done in [15], “a characteristic feature of case studies is thatisolation, instead be part of an integrated approach they employ varieties of differentto total supply chain design andmanagement[31]. It techniques”.Saunders et al.[16] also argued that, ashould also be noted that, users and training are also case study is a research strategy which involves anessential part of the successful improvement and empirical study of a specific situation trend withinsustainability of the SCM operations through ICT. its real life perspective via several sources of data. Indeed, it could be argued that, researching a singleIII.RESEARCH METHODOLOGY topic via a variety of diverse methods is highly The approach adopted by researchers to complementary, as the outcome of the research turnscollect and analyze data with regards to the subject to offer a more comprehensive understanding of thematter is termed the research methodology. White problem under study. The quantitative research was[15] argued that, research methodology (research administered through the e-mail addresses of the„onion‟ as put bySaunders et al., [16]) is the rational individual senior staffs of the Mine who wereupon which the research is founded, whereas the mainly the targeted group for the questionnaire. Theapproach/technique utilized to collect data and management team members of the Mine, basicallyinformation is identified as the method. the heads of departments were interviewed to carry This main aim of this section of the paper out the qualitative research. Some of the dynamicsis for the authors to present their approach adopted that were considered in the design to appreciate thein the investigation of the research subject. relationship and role of ICT in the Mining The process of investigation in this paper Industrywere included in the survey-basedincludes; the methodology adopted, the research questionnaire for the Mine senior staffs and the in-design, the data collection methods, the reasons for depth questionnaire for the managementthe adoption of a hybrid of questionnaire and semi- interviewees. The following were considered andstructured interviews as against other methods, and discussed in detailin the interviews and surveydata analysis for the study. The research design questionnaire design.section of the paper comprises of quantitativeresearch, qualitative research, validity& reliability 1. Quantitative Researchof the research and ethics and confidentiality. Quantitative research techniques as argued by White [15] are sometime referred to as „scientificA. Research Methodology Adopted methods‟ mainly based on the collection of facts and The authors followed the case study observable facts, and used to describe, explain,methodology in an attempt to answer the research inferlaws and ascertain a correlation. Thequestions [17]. According to White [15], a case quantitative research was administered through thestudy is an in-depth study of a distinct circumstance e-mail addresses of the individualsenior staffs of thesuch as an organization. In fact, it is a detailed Mine who are mainly the targeted group for theinvestigation from all sides of a situation. The questionnairein the form of survey using a self-researchers chose this methodology as a result of administered structured questionnaire.their perceived in-depth research on the topic in the The selection of the sample populationchosen organization which is best suited. The with the most information regarding the researchapplication of the investigative study has three main area is a common slant often used in businessintents, namely: to seek comprehensive information research[19]. This is known as purposive samplingabout the role of ICT plays in the SCM in the approach. Simply put, this technique aims at theMining Industry, to investigate how ICT has helped most knowledgeable group of people – the seniorto improve SCM in the Mining Industry and to seek officers. The two main reasons for focusing on thesewhat can be done to improve and sustain standards groups of people are: firstly, because the group willof SCM through ICT in the Mining Industry. understand strongly the relationship and role that ICT plays in the Mining Industry, hence can make 646 | P a g e
  • 7. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675more reasonable contributions tovalidate the data The questionnaire was designed to providecollected, secondly, it is imperative for the authors both categories (yes/no) answers and Likert scale (5to capture their views to better understand the point) questions for the purposes of the analysis.research topic. Despite the persistent e-mails and follow-up phone calls, a total of thirty-six (36) valid responses were1.1 Survey Questionnaire Design collected and used for further analysis. This The paper‟s survey questionnaire is produced a return response rate of 72 per cent whichstructured into four (4) sections. The first section is considered adequate for this research.has questions that are related to the respondents‟ Descriptive statistics according to White [15]wasgeneral information. The remaining three (3) used to evaluate and analyze the data andsections are assigned each to the three research information collected from the quantitative research,questions. Averagely, each section contains ten (8) making the data more visible and most suitable forquestions with a combined multiple-choice, close- onward interpretations.ended, open-ended and a rating question with sub- According to Trochim [18], descriptivesection for further comments. statistics is used to describe „what is or what data Under section one (1) of the questionnaire, shows‟. Given the small sample size, it was not mostthus, the general respondents information section, suitable to proceed with inferential statistics.the questionnaire has questions such as, the Inferential statistics is however a way of getting to aemployment status of the respondents, as there was conclusion of a study by going beyond the directa high possibility of the various respondents having data in an attempt to infer from the test data aboutdifferent employment status. The full job titles and what the population might assume [18].departments they work for were asked to enable ananalysis to be made as to whether the type of the 1.3 Pilot Studydepartments the respondents work for has some Six (6) respondents were used to conduct aamount of influence on their response to the pilot test on the questionnaire before getting to thequestionnaire. How long they have worked with targeted population. This provided an insight totheir current Mine and how much experience they whether or not the questionnaire will be easy todo have working with other Mines, rating the follow by the respondents. As argued by White [15],duration of the respondent such as less than 1year, the quality of any questionnaire is dependent on the1-5years, 5-10years, 10-15years and above 15years. quality of the questions provided in the Under the second section of the questionnaire. The pilot study helped ascertain anyquestionnaire, this section had questions that attempt potential future problematic areas and deficienciesto gather information to help answer the question in the questionnaire, making it possible to make thewhat role does ICT plays in SCM in the Mining necessary further adjustments to the questionnaireIndustry. prior to the actual implementation of the Section three (3) of the questionnaire had questionnaire during the full study [20]. White [15]all questions related to the research question in an argued that good and easy going questions will keepattempt to gather information on how ICT has the respondents focused and will promote accuratehelped to improve SCM in the Mining Industry? responses.The last section, section four (4) of the questionnairealso had all it questions moving in the direction of 2. Qualitative Researchattempting to answer the last research question, This is a “staple form of research” [15] andwhat can be done to improve and maintain standards originated from the interpretative tradition in theof SCM through ICT in the Mining Industry? social sciences [21]. This method uses descriptive,A copy of the survey questionnaire can be found in non-numerical form of collecting and analyzing dataAppendix F. [15] and offers potentially great means of investigating the subjectivity and complexity of the1.2 Primary Quantitative Data Collection subject matter [21][22].A qualitative research The survey monkey‟s website was used attempts to investigate a central research questionright from the scratch which made it easy to carry instead of proving or disproving a predeterminedout, administer and explore the research for smooth thought [21]. Wainwright [23] argued that, theunderstanding and the design of the questionnaire. qualitative research method attempts to create an in-The target population for the quantitative data depth perception of the experiences of thecollection was the fifty (50) junior and middle participants and the significances among theirsenior officers of the Mine. The quantitative data explanations of a specific activity, process orcollected from the respondents were done through occurrence. Rubin and Rubin [24] argued that,the individual respondents e-mail addresses and qualitative research is all about making out whatcompleted questionnaires returned to the authors outcomes mean, how people adjust to situations andthrough an email address provided on the how they see what has occurred to them and aroundquestionnaire. them. Over the last decade or so, there has been that 647 | P a g e
  • 8. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675evolvement of a greater number of qualitative appropriate and popular by many researchersmethods with some of the excellent ones including conducting semi-structured or in-depth interviews“interviews, observation and the use of diaries [15]. and hence, the authors deemed it fit to adopt thisThis paper used interviews as the qualitative technique to solicit the views of their targetedresearch approach with the Mine‟s management groups during their interview. The authors adapted ateam to find out what is at stake regarding the sample size of 6 for the interview to enable themrelationship and role of ICT in the Mining Industry. have some reassurance as to a reliable sense of “thematic exhaustion” within the data set [26].2.1 Interview Questionnaire Design The interview questionnaire was designed 2.3 Pilot Studywith only open-ended questions with more than one Two (2) interviewees were interviewed toquestion on the same topic to check and correlate pilot test the semi-structured interview questions tothe validity of the response. To enable the authors to determine the typical time required for eacheasily and properly compare and contrast the interviewee and was incorporated back into theopinions of both the non-management and study to devise the questions. At the end of the pilotmanagement staffs, similar questions to that of the test, it was observed that certain questions were toosurvey questionnaire were asked but in different narrow whereas others were ambiguous making theapproaches. There were certain questions that were administering of the interview very lengthy. Thosepulled out from the survey questionnaire and added narrow questions were expanded a little and theto the management interview questionnaire but ambiguous questions rephrased and re-piloted onunfortunately these questions were not put under another interviewee. The final questions were clearsections as in the case of the survey questionnaire. enough and the time taken to administer thereafterThe question as to what are the interviewee‟s noted. White [15] argued that, a pilot study makescurrent roles with the „Mine‟ and the length of stay sure the questions are clear to understand and aidson the same role with the „Mine‟ were the first the removal of any vagueness, as well as aids inquestions on the interview questionnaire. This was timing the interview. In a nutshell, this assisted thefollowed by a question on how the interviewees will design and redesign of the questionnaire for thedescribe the presence of ICT in their Mine‟s SCM. interviews.Next was the question, what role the intervieweesthink ICT plays in their Mine SCM. The C. Validity and Reliability of the Researchquestion,has the infusion of ICT into the Mine SCM Validity is all about whether the result of abrought about some form of improvement to the research are “really about what they appear to beSCM was asked followed by several series of about”, whereas, reliability is basically the degree toquestions such as, is ICT really an imperative tool to which the technique for collecting the data orthe Mine SCM operations and why, how has ICT analysis of the data will offer reliable results [27].helped to improve the Mine SCM and many, many However, White [15] argued that, “validity ismore. concerned with the idea that the research design All responses received from the interviews fully addresses the research questions andconducted can be found in Appendix A-E. objectives” that the authors look at answering and achieving, whereas “reliability is about consistency2.2 Primary Qualitative Data Collection of the research, and whether other authors could White [15] argued that, interviews are employ the same research design to arrive at similarconsidered more suitable methods to use when a results, though the explanation and conclusion mightcase study research strategy is employed. The absolutely be different from the previous author‟sinterview focused on the management team point of view.members, i.e. heads of department of the Mine who The authors have attempted to ensureare strongly believed to be able to furnish the validity of the research with a detailed literatureauthors with further insights regarding the “what, review and several pilots testing of the questionnairehow and why” questions [16]. Furthermore, White and the interview questions guaranteeing the[15]suggested that, open-ended interviews questions targeted groups comprehend and appropriatelyshould be employed to allow for qualitative analysis understand the questions [28][29]. Additionally, theas part of the case study strategy. The paper authors on various occasions have had series ofinterview examined the views of the targeted discussions with the targeted groups (seniorpopulation on their perceived thoughts on the managers, managers and supervisors of the Mine),relationship and role of ICT in the Mine SCM all in the name of communicating deeply with themsystem in practice. A detailed literature review was on the essence of the research. The continuous,conducted prior to the design of the content of the devise approach and persistent education of thequestionnaire to enhance the reliability and validity purpose of the research to the targeted groupof the data. As argued by Sturges & Hanrahan [25], resulted in the expression of their willingness tothe face-to-face interview is considered most offer the authors with the needed data for both the 648 | P a g e
  • 9. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675questionnaire and the interview. Yet, for internal sharing their views but they were on their own inimprovement of both the questionnaire and the relation to the Mining Industry in general, based oninterview to be achieved, the authors requested the their experiences on the ICT and Supply Chainparticipants of the pilot test to give considerable operations of the Mine.feedback. Indeed, the feedback received wasextremely helpful as it assisted in identifying vague E. Description of the Empirical Research Studyand complex questions, identifying the durations The authors used approximately two (2) weeks toused in answering the questionnaire and interview complete research tasks involved and receivequestions to make out whether the durations are responses ofstaff for the empirical part (the surveyreasonable or whatever, eliminate or revamp vague and the interview) of the paper. Though the surveyquestions that were not answered or not answered questionnaire could have taken 20-30minutes to getproperly [29].For the fact that one of the author‟s completed by each respondent, the questionnairework in one of the mining companies in Ghana and was still made available to the respondents for athat he is in close relationship with the majority of period of two (2) weeks for the reason ofthe survey respondents and interviewees, and that convenience and accurate answering of the surveythe respondents have already expressed their questions. After this length of time, 36 usable andgreatest deserve to respond to both the questionnaire fully completed responses were collected from theand the interview, makes it obvious that the research respondents. The management interviewresult can be considered authentic and hence can be participation was excellent right from the beginninggeneralized to operating businesses in the same to the end, recording a hundred percent turn-outindustry. This brings us to the conclusion that, the from the interviewees within two (2) days.study can be replicated under a similar methodologywith no difficulties, therefore it is considered IV.ANALYSIS AND RESULTS OF THEreliable. RESEARCH FINDINGS A. Questionnaire ResponseD. Ethics and Confidentiality of the Research The responses to the questionnaires we The respondents of the survey were the received after distribution are depicted below. Wemain users of the company‟s senior staff‟s intranet used Microsoft Excel to create charts and tables tosection; therefore the responses posted cannot be correspond to the received questionnaire responses.viewed by any other groups of people outside this This can be verified from figures 1 to 19 and tablegroup. There was also a brief pre-notification 1-10. We also adopted the Likert Scale Formula:message to the targeted respondents to inform themof the purpose of the study and assured respondents Mean  Nthat their responses or information provided will betreated strictly confidential and shall only be used n in the 1-5 scale/opinion questions, in order tofor the intended purpose. Additionally, a participant achieve accurate result of the responses. In our tableinformation sheet was sent to respondents to be read results for the scale/opinion questions, we also usedand understand, and a model consent form to be SA to denote Strongly Agree, A to denote Agree,read, understood, signed and returned by the NL to denote Neutral, D to denote Disagree and SDparticipant to the author/ researcher before the to denote Strongly Agree.commencement of the survey or interview.Following that was an introductory messageclearing stating that, the response is only and only 1. General Respondent Informationfor the purpose intended. It is important to “only  Responses to Question 1.1 depicted belowinvolve people with their consent or knowledge” in figure 1, showed that all of the[15] and also inform the targeted respondents respondents (100%) were contract staff ofproperly about the research so as to make a more- the Mine.informed decision as to whether to participate orotherwise. Also during the research, the respondentsshould be given the right to redraw and remove theirconsent if they so wish. The management team of the Mineinterviewees were also assured of the fact that, theirideas and opinions shared will be exclusively use forthe intended purpose. For that matter, theirpersonalities were not completely disclosed in thepaper but only their roles within the Mine wereused. The respondent were made to know that, theywere not in any way representing their Mine in 649 | P a g e
  • 10. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 Question 1.1: Current Employment Type of Question 1.4: Designated Department of Respondents? Respondents? 40 12 12 30 10 8 8 6 Number 20 6 4 4 2 2 2 10 0 2 0 0 Contract Perman Other Staff ent Staff Number 36 0 0 Staff CategoryFig-1: Responses to Question 1.1 Number  Responses to Question 1.2 depicted below in figure 2, showed that 28 (78%) of the Fig-3: Responses to Question 1.4 respondents were mostly males and the remaining 8 respondents (22%) were  Responses to Question 1.5 depicted below females. in figure 4, showed that 32 (89%) of the respondents had worked in the Mine for a Question 1.2: Gender of Respondents? duration of 1-5 years and the remaining 4 respondents (11%) had worked in the Mine 30 for a duration of 5-10 years. 25 20 Question 1.5: Duration of Working for the 15 Company?Number 10 Number 5 0 32 Male Female Other Number 28 8 0 4 0 0 0 Gender Less 1-5 5-10 10-15 MoreFig-2: Responses to Question 1.2 than 1 years years years than 15 year years  Responses to Question 1.4 depicted below in figure 3, showed that 12 (33%) of the respondents work in the Commercial Fig-4: Responses to Question 1.5 Department, 4 respondents (11%) work in the Social Responsibility Department, 2  Responses to Question 1.6 depicted in respondents of three different sets (6%) figure 5, showed that 24 (67%) of the work in the Occupational Health, respondents had worked in the Mining Environment and Exploration Departments. Industry for a duration of 1-5 years and the 8 (22%) & 6 (16%) respondents work in remaining 12 respondents (33%) had Process and Mining Departments worked in the Mine industry for a duration respectively. Wedidn‟t receive any of 5-10 years. responses (0%) from the Security Department. 650 | P a g e
  • 11. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 Question 1.6: Duration of Working for the Table-2: Responses to Question 2.2  Mining Industry? SA A NL D SD Number Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 Frequency 24 24 12 0 0 0 (n) 36 12 N = (n*s) 24 24 0 0 0 48 0 0 0 Mean 1.333333  Responses to Question 2.3 (The PresenceLess than 1 yearyears years More than 15 years 1-5 5-10 10-15 years of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will AllowFig-5: Responses to Question 1.6 Decisions Based on Total Supply Chain Information?) depicted below in table 3, 2. What is the Role of ICT in SCM in the Mining showed that 28 (78%) of the respondents Industry? “Strongly Agree” and the remaining 4  Responses to Question 2.1 (The Presence respondents (11%) “Agree” to Question of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Provide 2.3. From table 3, further applying the Information and Material Availability and Likert Scale Mean Formula to the Visibility?) depicted below in Table 1, responses of Question 2.3, depicted the showed that 32 (89%) of the respondents result shown below: “Strongly Agree” and the remaining 4 (11%) respondents “Agree” to Question 2.1. From table 1, further applying the Mean   N  44  1.22 Likert Scale Mean Formula to the responses of Question 2.1, depicted the  n 36 result shown below:  N  40  1.11 This result depicts that most of the responses to Mean  Question 2.3 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly  n 36 Agree”). This result depicts that most of the responses to Table-3: Responses to Question 2.3 Question 2.1 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Agree”). SA A NL D SD  Table-1: Responses to Question 2.1 Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 SA A NL D SD  Frequency (n) 28 8 0 0 0 36Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 N = (n*s) 28 16 0 0 0 44Frequency Mean 1.222222(n) 32 4 0 0 0 36N = (n*s) 32 8 0 0 0 40  Responses to Question 2.4 (The Presence Mean 1.111111 of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Enable,  Responses to Question 2.2(The Presence of Strengthen and Smoothen Collaboration ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Enable a with Supply Chain Partners?) depicted Single Point of Contact for Data?) depicted below in table 4, showed that 28 (78%) of below in table 2, showed that 24 (67%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree” the the respondents “Strongly Agree” and the remaining 4 respondents (11%) “Agree” to remaining 12 respondents (33%) “Agree” Question 2.4. From table 4, further to Question 2.2. From table 2, applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to furtherapplying the Likert Scale Mean the responses of Question 2.4, depicted the Formula to the responses of Question 2.2, result shown below:  depicted the result shown below:  N 44 N 48 Mean    1.22 Mean    n 36  1.33  n 36 This result depicts that most of the responses to This result depicts that most of the responses to Question 2.3 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Question 2.2 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Agree”). Agree”). 651 | P a g e
  • 12. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675  Responses to Question 2.7 depicted below Table-4: Responses to Question 2.4 in figure 8, showed that all 36 respondents SA A NL D SD  (100%) affirmed to the fact that the presence of ICT in the Mine has helped inScale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 developing high valued chainFrequency relationships/partnerships. 28 8 0 0 0(n) 36N = (n*s) 28 16 0 0 0 44 Mean 1.222222 Question 2.7: The Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Has Helped in Developing High No  Responses to Question 2.5 depicted below Valued Supply Chain 0% in figure 6, showed that all 36 respondents Relationships/Partnerships? (100%) affirmed tothe fact that ICT in the Mine has helped to improved demand response time. Question 2.5: ICT in Your Mine SCM Has Helped Improve Demand Response Time? Yes 100% 0% Yes Fig-8: Responses to Question 2.7 No 100%  Responses to Question 2.8 depicted below in figure 9, showed that all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that the presence of ICT in the Mine has helped to attain global standards and access to the world market. Fig-6: Responses to Question 2.5 Question 2.8: The Presence of ICT in Your  Responses to Question 2.6 depicted below Mine SCM Has Helped to Attain Global in figure 7, showed that all 36 respondents Standards and Access to the World Market? No (100%) affirmed to the fact that the 0% presence of ICT in the Mine has helped streamline logistic activities across the supply chain leading to cost reduction and improved efficiency. Yes Question 2.6: The Presence of ICT in Your 100% Mine SCM Has Helped Streamlining Logistic Activities Across the Supply Chain Leading to Cost Reduction and Improved Efficiency? No 0% Fig-9: Responses to Question 2.7 3. How Has ICT Helped To Improve SCM In The Mining Industry? Yes  Responses to Question 3.1(The Presence of 100% ICT in Your Mine SCM has Enabled Greater Material Availability and Visibility Which has Immensely Improved Materials and Maintenance Planning Processes With Many Significant Cost Reduction and Fig-7: Responses to Question 2.6 Service Improvements?) depicted below in table 5, showed that 28 (78%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree”, 4 (11%) 652 | P a g e
  • 13. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 “Agree” and the remaining 4 (11%) were “Neutral” to Question 3.1. From table 5, Question 3.3: Has ICT Helped to Improve Your further applying the Likert Scale Mean Mine SCM by Helping Gain Instant Updates on Formula to the responses of Question 3.1, Orders Placed With Vendors Which Helps in depicted the result shown below: Production and Maintenance Planning? Mean   N  48  1.33 0% Yes No  n 36 This result depicts that most of the responses to Question 3.1 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly 100% Agree”). Table-5: Responses to Question 3.1 SA A NL D SD  Fig-11: Responses to Question 3.3Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5  Responses to Question 3.4 (The Ability toFrequency 28 4 4 0 0 Notify Vendors of Changes in(n) 36 Configurations in Products That areN = (n*s) 28 8 12 0 0 48 Produced to Order has Been Made Mean 1.333333 Possible With the Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Leading to an Improved SCM?)  Responses to Question 3.2 depicted below depicted below in table 6, showed that 20 in figure 10, showed that all 36 respondents (56%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree”, (100%) affirmed to the fact that the and the remaining 16 (34%) “Agree” to presence of ICT in the Mine has helped Question 3.4. From table 6, further improve the Mine Supply Chain Operations applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to by enabling a quick approach to contacting the responses of Question 3.4, depicted the vendors on issues pertaining to customer result shown below:  N  52  1.44 service problems such as late deliveries and changes in schedule. Mean  Question 3.2: The Presence of ICT in Your  n 36 Mine SCM has Helped Improve Your Mine This result depicts that most of the responses to Supply Chain Operations by Enabling a Quick Question 3.4 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Approach to Contacting Vendors on Issues Agree”). Pertaining to Customer Service Problems Such as Late Deliveries and Changes in Scheduled? Table-6: Responses to Question 3.4 0% SA A NL D SD  Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 Yes Frequency 20 16 0 0 0 (n) 36 100% No N = (n*s) 20 32 0 0 0 52 Mean 1.444444 Fig-10: Responses to Question 3.2  Responses to Question 3.5 depicted below in figure 12, showed that all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that with the  Responses to Question 3.3 depicted below presence of ICT in the Mine SCM, the in figure 11, showed that all 36 respondents ability to track ordered spares and raw (100%) affirmed to the fact that ICT in the materials on a continuous basis by the Mine has improved the Mine Supply Chain Mine‟s Supply Chain has been made Management (SCM) by helping gain possible. instant updates on orders placed with vendors which helps in production and maintenance planning. 653 | P a g e
  • 14. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 Question 3.5: The Ability to Track Ordered Question 3.7: The Ability to Schedule Pickups Spares and Raw Materials on a Continuous and Deliveries has Been Made Possible and Basis by the Mine‟s Supply Chain has Been Even Improved With the Infusion of ICT Into Made Possible With the Presence of ICT in the Your Mine SCM? Mine SCM? No No 0% 0% Yes 100% Yes 100% Fig-12: Responses to Question 3.5  Responses to Question 3.6 depicted below in figure 13, showed that all 36 respondents Fig-14: Responses to Question 3.7 (100%) affirmed to the fact that the presence of ICT in the Mine SCM has  Responses to Question 3.8 depicted below created the ability to directly communicate in figure 15, showed that 32 respondents with vendors and internal customers (89%) affirmed to the fact that the presence regarding supply issues on a 7-day/24 hour of ICT in the Mine SCM has enabled the basis without being physically present. SCM employees to become more responsive to internal customer service problems and reduce service costs whereas Question 3.6: The Presence of ICT in Your 4 respondents (11%) said otherwise. Mine SCM Has Created the Ability to Directly Communicate With Vendors and Internal Customers Regarding Supply Issues on a 7- Question 3.8: The Presence of ICT in Your Day/24-Hour Basis Without Being Physically Mine SCM Has Enabled the SCM Employees to Present? Become More Responsive (Reduce Response No 0% Time) to Internal Customer Service Problems and Reduce Service Costs? No Yes 11% 100% Yes 89%Fig-13: Responses to Question 3.6  Responses to Question 3.7 depicted below Fig-15: Responses to Question 3.8 in figure 14, showed that all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that the ability 4. What can be Done to Improve and Sustain to schedule pickups and deliveries has been Standards of SCM Through ICT in the made possible and even improved with Mining Industry? infusion of ICT into the Mine SCM.  Responses to Question 4.1 (The Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Help to Achieve the Concept of JIT and Also Help Improve and Sustain Standards in Your Mine SCM?) depicted below in table 7, showed that 16 (34%) of the respondents 654 | P a g e
  • 15. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 “Strongly Agree”, another 16 (34%) “Agree” to and the remaining 4 respondents Question 4.3: Reduction of Overall Production (11%) are “Neutral”.From table 7, further Costs by Streamlining the Products Flow Within applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to the Production Process and Improving the responses of Question 4.1, depicted the Information Flow Between Business Partners result shown below: Will Lead to Improved and Sustainable  N  60  1.7 Standards of SCM Through ICT in the Mining I Mean   n 36 No This result depicts that most of the responses to Question 4.1 are aligned to scale 2 (“Agree”). 11% Table-7: Responses to Question 4.1 SA A NL D SD  YesScale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 89%Frequency 16 16 4 0 0(n) 36N = (n*s) 16 32 12 0 0 60 Mean 1.666667 Fig-17: Responses to Question 4.3  Responses to Question 4.2 depicted below in figure 16, showed that all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that continuous  Responses to Question 4.4 (The Presence information sharing, transparency and of ICT in Your Mine SCM Would Improve visibility on inventory and purchase orders and Sustain Standards of Your SCM by statuses are ways that can lead to improved Enabling Delivery Speed, Inventory and sustainable standards of SCM through Visibility, and Flexibility in Operations ICT in the Mining Industry. Through the Seamless Cooperation With Both the Internal Customers and Key Suppliers/Vendors is Considered an Question 4.2: Continuous Information Approach That Will lead to Improved and Sharing, Transparency & Visibility on Inventory Sustainable Standards of SCM Through and Purchase Orders Statuses are Ways That can ICT in the Mining Industry?) depicted Lead to Improved and Sustainable Standards of below in table 8, showed that 24 (67%) of SCM Through ICT in the Mining Industry? the respondents “Strongly Agree” and 12 No (33%) “Agree” to Question 4.4. From table 0% 8, further applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to the responses of Question 4.4, depicted the result shown below: Yes Mean   N 48   1.33 Fig-16: Responses to Question 4.2 100%  n 36 This result depicts that most of the responses to Question 4.4 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly  Responses to Question 4.3 depicted below Agree”). in figure 17, showed that 32 respondents (89%) affirmed to the fact that reduction of Table-8: Responses to Question 4.4  overall production costs by streamlining the products flow within the production SA A NL D SD process and improving information flow Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 between business partners will lead to Frequency improved and sustainable standards of 24 12 0 0 0 (n) 36 SCM through ICT in the Mining Industry N = (n*s) 24 24 0 0 0 48 whereas 4 (11%) said otherwise. Mean 1.333333  Responses to Question 4.5 depicted below in figure 18, showed that all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that developing 655 | P a g e
  • 16. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 high valued supply chain relationships and  Responses to Question 4.7 depicted below enhancing customer services level will lead in figure 19, showed that all 36 respondents to the achievement of high level (100%) affirmed to the fact and believe that competitive advantage in the resources and consistent stock-takes and stock analysis finances competitive business can help eliminate stock-out of critical raw environments. materials and parts at the warehouse. Question 4.5: Developing High Valued Supply Question 4.7: Consistent Stock-Takes and Stock Chain Relationships and Enhancing Internal Analysis can Help Eliminate Stock-Out of Customer Services Level Will Lead to the Critical Raw Materials and Parts at the Achievement of High Level Competitive Warehouse. Do you Believe This Underlying Advantage in the Resources and Finances Process Would be Improved and Sustained by Competitive Business Environment? Adapting ICT in Your Mine SCM? Yes No Yes No 0% 0% 100% 100% Fig-19: Responses to Question 4.7  Responses to Question 4.8 (An increase in the SCM Operational PerformanceFig-18: Responses to Question 4.5 Through a Prompt Action in Handling Requisitions at the Issuing Point will Lead  Responses to Question 4.6 (What is Your to Improved and sustainable Standards of Take on the View That Real-Time Posting SCM through ICT in the Mining Industry?) of Requisitions for Items Which are Taken- depicted below in table 10, showed that 32 off the Shelves Will Help to Improve and (89%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree” Sustain Standards of SCM Through ICT in and the remaining 4 (11%) “Agree” to the Mining Industry?) depicted below in Question 4.8. From table 10, further table 9, showed that 24 (67%) of the applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to respondents “Strongly Agree”, 8 (22%) the responses of Question 4.8, depicted the “Agree” and the remaining 4 (11%) result shown below: “Strongly Disagree” to Question 4.6. From table 9, further applying the Likert Scale Mean   N  40  1.11 Mean Formula to the responses of Question  n 36 4.6, depicted the result shown below: This result depicts that most of the responses to Mean   N 60   1.7 Question 4.8 are aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Agree”).  n 36 Table-10: Responses to Question 4.8 This result depicts that most of the responses to Question 4.6 are aligned to scale 2 (“Agree”). SA A NL D SD  Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 Table-9: Responses to Question 4.6 Frequency 32 4 0 0 0 (n) 36 SA A NL D SD  N = (n*s) 32 8 0 0 0 40Scale (s) 1 2 3 4 5 Mean 1.111111Frequency 24 8 0 0 4(n) 36 V.RESEARCH DISCUSSIONSN = (n*s) 24 16 0 0 20 60 This section of the paper presents and Mean 1.666667 discusses the synthesis of the research findings from both the operational (senior officers) team members and the management members on the subject matter. 656 | P a g e
  • 17. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675The subject of this research finds three main sets of of ICT has really improved the Mine‟s operationalconclusions. These include: the role ICT plays in the processes, reduced the transport cost and time usedMining Industry, how ICT has helped to improve to pick up reports – as reports are sentSCM in the Mining Industry, and what can be done electronically, easy reporting has surfaced, andto improve and sustain standards of SCM though the simplified processes. He (Process Manager) furtheruse of ICT in the Mining Industry. stated that, ICT acts as a catalyst to our operations. In fact, it plays a major part/role in the Mine SCMA. What is the Role of ICT in the SCM in the operations by improving communication between Mining Industry? and within all operational partners. Major This section attempts to discuss the role improvements has shown up in the SCM - from theICT plays in the SCM in the Mining manual way of conducting business and itsIndustrytowards achieving sustainable business associated transactions, to electronic approachgrowth from the management interviews and the which makes everything extremely easier and faster.survey respondents‟ perspective. From the empirical The Supply Manager finally mentioned that, ICTresearch, the following research findings were has enhanced the ability to obtain goods andachieved. services from a wider range of suppliers, helps track and trace order status and helps in inventory1. ICT is Responsible for: Information and visibility. For sure! ICT has helped in identificationMaterial Availability and Visibility, Single Point and measurement of service providers.of Contact for Data and Total Supply Chain From the survey respondent‟s perspective, theDecision & Collaboration following were arrived upon receipt and analysis of Two similar groups of questions were the 36 responses.asked in both the management interview and the The 36 responses received on the question, “Thesurvey questionnaire under the above subject areas. Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will ProvideFrom the management perspective, the following Information and Material Availability andgeneral views were collated. Visibility?”, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly The Finance Manager mentioned that, the agree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), referring topresence of ICT has enabled SCM to be more table-1, showed that, 32 (89%) of the respondentsefficient and proactive to meet the demands of its “Strongly Agree” and the remaining 4 (11%)internal clients. ICT ensures that information to and respondents “Agree”. Further applying the Likertfeedbacks from third party agents are delivered on Scale Mean Formula to the responses receivedtime and internally enables free work flow and depicted 1.11. This result clearly depicts that mostreduces cost. He further mentioned that yes; the of the responses to the question are aligned to scaleinfusion of ICT has really brought about great 1 (“Strongly Agree”). In another scenario, the 36improvement to the supply chain. The Health, responses received on the question, “The PresenceSafety and Environment (HSE) Manager also of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Enable a Singlecommented that, the presence of ICT in the Mine Point of Contact for Data?”, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1SCM has helped shorten the processes, created being ‘Strongly agree’ and 5 being ‘Stronglytransparency and visibility of information and disagree’), referring to table- 2, showed that, 24increased the speed of the processes. ICT plays a (67%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree” and themajor role in the Mines operations including remaining 12 respondents (33%) “Agree”. Furtherbroadening the scope of operations (i.e. sourcing for applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to theraw materials) and helping in the integration of responses received depicted 1.33. This result clearlyinformation between and within the various actors. depicts that most of the responses to the question areHe (HSE Manager) further affirmed that, ICT has aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Agree”). Furthermore,really brought about lots of improvements to the the 36 responses received on the question, “TheSCM. ICT has increased the pace of data Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Allowprocessing, data collection and transactions within Decisions Based on Total Supply Chainand between various parties involved in the SC. The Information?”on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘StronglyMaintenance Manager also responded that, the agree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), referring topresence of ICT in the mine has massively improved table- 3, showed that, 28 (78%) of the respondentsthe entire SCM operations and smoothened the “Strongly Agree” and the remaining 4 respondentsprocesses. ICT helps in coordinating the activities (11%) “Agree”. Further applying the Likert Scalewithin and between all parties of the SCM of the Mean Formula to the responses received depictedMine and beyond. ICT has facilitated maintenance 1.22.This result clearly depicts that most of theplanning activities through the creation of visibility responses to the question are aligned to scale 1of materials in stock. ICT has also helped in good (“Strongly Agree”). In another scenario, the 36records keeping; it simplifies tasks, brings about responses received on the question, “The Presenceeffective communication, and reduces cost. The of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Enable, StrengthenProcess Manager also mentioned that, the presence and Smoothen Collaboration with Supply Chain 657 | P a g e
  • 18. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675Partners?”on a scale of 1 to 5(1 being ‘Strongly He also further mentioned that, ICT has helped theagree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), referring to Mine SCM achieve business improvements throughtable- 4, showed that, 28 (78%) of the respondents a variety of ways. ICT has improved the way we“Strongly Agree” the remaining 4 respondents used to operate our business, changed our thinking(11%) “Agree”. Further applying the Likert Scale style on inventory holdings and improved our wayMean Formula to the responses received depicted of sharing information which used to hinder the1.22.This result clearly depicts that most of the progress of our operations. The Process Managerresponses to the question are mostly aligned to scale mentioned that, indeed ICT is an extremely1 (“Strongly Agree”). imperative to our SCM operations! ICT reduces ourFrom the above scenario, it can be realized that both workload, improves efficiency, helps monitor thethe management interviewees and the survey processes, reduces labour and associated costs,respondent views are in a convergence/ on the same enhances labour utilization, improves safety bypage. Indeed this general consensus therefore reducing accident and incidents occurrences.emphasizes the fact that, the presence of ICT in the Furthermore, he mentioned that, ICT has helped theMine SCM has really brought about information & Mine achieved massive improvements! Hematerials availability and visibility and has enabled commented that, cost control, transparency anda single point of contact for data. ICT has really visibility have all improved over years with the useallowed decisions to be made based on total supply of ICT. He further commented that indeed, cost ischain information and has really enabled, something that is dragging our operations into thestrengthened, and smoothened collaboration with ditch, and hence drastic cost reduction throughsupply chain partners, which will obviously lead to transportation cost elimination in case of sampleimprovement and sustainability of the total supply collection and proper inventory control has led tochain of the Mine. sustaining our Mine SCM operations. The Supply Manager commented that, yes indeed ICT is really2. ICT: Improves Demand Response Time, an imperative tool to the Mine SCM operations andStreamlines Logistic Activities Along the Supply this is because without ICT in our SCM, tracing andChain, Develops High Valued Supply Chain tracking of purchase orders would have been veryRelationships/Partnerships & Attains Global difficult. He further mentioned that, ICT has helpedStandards and Access to World Market the Mine to improve on orders delivery turnaround Similar sets of questions were asked under times.both the management interview and the survey The following were put together from the 36questionnaire in different approaches under the responses received from the survey on the aboveabove subject areas. subject areas.The following general views were collated from the The 36 responses received on the question, “Themanagement responses. Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Helps ImproveThe Finance Manager mentioned that, ICT is really Demand Response?” on a “Yes” or “No” optionan imperative tool to the Mine SCM operations showed that, all 36 respondents (100%) said yes ,because without ICT a lot of time and energy will be affirming to the fact that, ICT in the Mine haswasted leading to higher cost and lower efficiency helped to improved demand response time. Inof operations. He further affirmed that ICT has another scenario, the 36 responses received on thehelped to improve their Mine SCM in the sense that, question, “The Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCMit has virtually cut a lot of paperwork, improve has Helped Streamlining Logistic Activities Acrossunderstanding of the SCM activities and helped in the Supply Chain Leading to Cost Reduction andreducing turnaround time. The Health, Safety Improved Efficiency?” on a “Yes” or “No” optionEnvironment Manager also mentioned that, ICT is showed that, all 36 respondents (100%) respondedan extremely imperative tool to their Mine SCM yes, affirming to the fact that, the presence of ICT inoperations. He added that it is in fact, a necessity, a the Mine has helped streamline logistic activitiesbusiness tool that is needed to be integrated into all across the supply chain leading to cost reduction andbusinesses. He further added that, ICT has improved efficiency. Furthermore, the 36 responseshelpedimprove the Mines operations – created received on the question, “The Presence of ICT ineffective communication, transparency, reduced the Your Mine SCM Helps in Developing High Valuedvolume of works done within the shortest possible Supply Chain Relationships/Partnerships?”, on atime. The Maintenance Manager also affirmed that, “Yes” or “No” option showed that, all 36ICT is an extremely imperative tool. This is because respondents (100%) responded yes, affirming to theit comes with lots of benefits when adapted. Such fact that, the presence of ICT in the Mine has helpedbenefits include production cost reduction through in developing high valued supply chaintightly controlled inventory and controlled processes relationships/partnerships. In another scenario, thecoupled with excellent maintenance planning system 36 responses received on the question, “Thewhich leads to the balance of demand and supply. Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM has Helped toLess downtimes or more plant uptime/availability! Attain Global Standard and Access to World 658 | P a g e
  • 19. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675Market?”, on a “Yes” or “No” option showed that, one. He further commented that, with ICT in ourall 36 respondents (100%) responded yes affirming Mine SCM, every department including that of HSEto the fact that, the presence of ICT in the Mine has department can access and find whatever they needhelped to attain global standards and access to the for the departments operations from the warehouseworld market. and request the materials without even being From the above scenario, the responses put physically present at the warehouse. He furtherforth by both management interviewees and the commented that, the presence of ICT in the Minesurvey respondents, shows that the two views are SCM is highly sustainable, and can improve Minemoving in the same direction. The kind of consensus operations so far as we kept updating the ICTachieved from the two set of responses received systems that we meet the ever changing needs. Thefrom both sides points out to the fact that, the HSE Manager mentioned that, the presence of ICTpresence of ICT in the Mine SCM has: helped in the Mine SCM has help improve demandimprove demand response time, streamlined logistic response time and that of the development of highactivities along the supply chain, developed high valued supply chain relationships to a large extent!valued supply chain relationships/partnerships and Just to mention a few, with the introduction of ahelped attained global standards and access to the comprehensive ERP system which comes withworld market. electronic requisition powered by ICT, once materials/spares requisitions are initiated by endB. How Has ICT Helped To Improve SCMinthe users and accepted by issuing staffs, an automatic Mining Industry? issuing of the item from the system is made. The This section attempts to discuss how ICT errors are created through manual posting. Theas an enabler has helped to improve the SCM in the Maintenance Manager commented that the presenceMining Industry towards achieving sustainable of ICT in their Mine SCM has helped providebusiness growth from both the management information availability, created material visibility,interviewees and the survey respondents‟ views. and enabled a single point/location of contact forFrom the empirical research, the following research data. In fact, it has made our work extremely easy.findings were put together. Information is everywhere and easily accessible making work very easy and smooth. In fact, ICT has1. ICT: Has Enabled Material Availability and helped to improved and sustained the Mine SCMVisibility, Improved the Mine Supply Chain performance. It has facilitated our operations byOperations and Helped Gain Instant Updates on simplifying our operational transaction. TheOrders and Changes in Configurations in presence of ICT in the Mine SCM helps improveProducts demand response time and that of the development The two groups (management and the of high valued supply chain relationships byoperational staffs) of the research had similar breaking most of the communication barriersquestions posed to them under the above subject between our department and the other departmentsareas but in different ways. It was necessary to as well as other clients. The Process Managercollate various views on the subject in order to make mentioned that yes; with the use of ICT, everythe comparison quite interesting and easier to department and section of the Mine areachieve. synchronized making information about everyFrom the management perspective, the following aspect of the operations known to everybody thatgeneral views were collated. works not only with the department or section butThe Finance Manager commented that the presence any other department. Materials/spares in stock inof ICT in their Mine SCM has helped provide the warehouse, in transit, and cleared at the port oninformation availability, created material visibility, and its way to the Mine site are all made known/and enabled a single point/location of contact for availability to all of us at any point in time.data. He further explained that, expediting report, Information is just available everywhere! ICT hasfor instance, has made it possible for all end user brought about green supply chain. All transactionsdepartments to know the progress of their orders. that take place within the various departments of theThe Finance Manager further commented that, ICT Mine are conducted electronically. All end userhas helped reduced the processing time/time to departments as well as the supplies departmenthandle transactions. He further mentioned that, the manage invoices received from contractors andpresence of ICT in the Mine SCM has helped suppliers by keying in those invoices into the ERPimprove demand response time because retrieval of system for payment by the finance department. Thisinformation is not far-fetched and easily accessible has really brought about speed towards theresponse time has been tremendous. ICT has also processing of invoices as they monitor the processenabled other user departments to understand and and comments about the process as well. This hasappreciate SCM better. The Health, Safety & made the contractors and suppliers to continuouslyEnvironmental (HSE) Manager also commented that support our business. The process Manager furtherthe presence of ICT in their Mine SCM is a perfect commented that, yes, the presence of ICT in your 659 | P a g e
  • 20. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675Mine SCM helps improve demand response time help in the production and maintenance planning. Inand that of the development of high valued supply another scenario, the 36 responses received on thechain relationships and even beyond that! Automatic question, “The Ability to Notify Vendors of Changesupdate of materials or spares issued from the in Configurations in Products That are Produced towarehouse are done as soon as the electronic Order has Been Made Possible With the Presence ofrequisitions initiated by the user departments are ICT in Your Mine SCM Leading to an Improvedaccepted by the warehouse and picking slips printed SCM?”, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Stronglyfor the issue staffs at the warehouse to pick the agree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), referring tomaterials or spares for staging and collection by the table-6 showed that, 20 (56%) of the respondentsusers. The Supply Manager commented that, the “Strongly Agree”, and the remaining 16 (34%)presence of ICT in the Mine SCM has really made “Agree”. Further applying the Likert Scale Meantheir end users sit in the comfort of their offices to Formula to the responses received depicted 1.44.access our stock inventory to process stock issues This result clearly depicts that, most of theand dispatch to warehouse issuing counter for responses to the question are mostly aligned to scaleaction. He further commented that, ICT helped to 1 (“Strongly Agree”).improve and sustain their Mine SCM performance From the comments and views expressedthrough the use of information as the basis of by both management interviewees (qualitative) andSupply Chain controls. The presence of ICT in the the survey respondents (quantitative) on the aboveMine SCM has helped improve demand response subject area, it can be realized that the responses aretime and that of the development of high valued driving towards the same point. The achievement ofsupply chain relationships by enabling the the consensus in the responses received from theimplementation of the electronic requisition two sides are clear and strongly pointing out to the(purchase and material requisitions) system and fact that, the presence of ICT in their Mine SCM hasthrough the building of close contact and sharing of enabled material availability and visibility,real-time information between and within partners. improved the Mine supply chain operations andThe following were put together from the 36 helped gain instant updates on orders and changes inresponses received from the survey on the above configurations in products.subject areas. The 36 responses received on the question, 2. ICT: Helps Easy Tracking of Ordered Spares“The Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM has and Raw Materials, Helps DirectEnabled Greater Material Availability and Visibility Communication With Vendors and InternalWhich has Immensely Improved Materials and Customers, Enables Schedule Pickups andMaintenance Planning Processes With Many Deliveries and Enhances SCM Employee’sSignificant Cost Reduction and Service Responsive RateImprovements?”, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being The same sets of questions were put forth‘Strongly agree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to both the management interviewees and thereferring to table-5 showed that, 28 (78%) of the operational staffs but tackled in two differentrespondents “Strongly Agree”, 4 (11%) “Agree” and directions under the above subject areas.the remaining 4 (11%) were “Neutral”.Further The following general views were collated from theapplying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to the management responses.responses received depicted 1.33. This result clearly The Finance Manager commented that, the presencedepicts that most of the responses to the question are of ICT in the Mine SCM has really created a quickmostly aligned to scale 1 (“Strongly Agree”). In approach to contacting vendors on issues regardinganother scenario, the 36 responses received on the late deliveries and changes in scheduled shipment“Yes” or “No” option question showed that, all 36 dates to improve speed (fast delivery) & on-timerespondents (100%) responded yes affirming to the delivery, and is really positive in reaching out tofact that, the presence of ICT in the Mine has helped clients just by the press of a button, makingimprove the Mine Supply Chain Operations by transactions a lot more easier and enjoyable. Heenabling a quick approach to contacting vendors on further mentioned that, improvement andissues pertaining to customer service problems such maintenance of standards of the Mine SCM throughas late deliveries and changes in schedule. ICT can be achieved by encouraging all to use andFurthermore, the 36 responses received on the continue its usage whilst embracing new ICTquestion, “Has ICT Helped to Improve Your Mine methods or technology as and when they emerge.SCM by Helping Gain Instant Updates on Orders The Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE)Placed with Vendors Which Helps in Production Manager commented that he strongly agrees that,and Maintenance Planning?” on a “Yes” or “No” the presence of ICT and it tools such as mobileoption showed that, all 36 respondents (100%) phone (i.e. BlackBerry) which has the facilities toresponded yes, affirming to the fact that, ICT in the send and receive e-mails makes it extremely easy toMine has improved the Mine SCM by helping gain contact vendors from anywhere and at anytime. Heinstant updates on orders placed with vendors which further mentioned that, improvement and 660 | P a g e
  • 21. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675maintenance of standards of the Mine SCM through ability to track ordered spares and raw materials onICT is achievable by keeping abreast with a continuous basis by the Mine‟s Supply Chain hastechnology through adapting developing trends, (i.e. been made possible. In another case, 36 responsesusing mobile phone to send and receive e-mails received from the question, “The Presence of ICT inwhile out of site), acquire new technology, offer the Mine SCM has Created the Ability to Directlytraining to keep up with the use of the new Communicate With Vendors and Internal Customerstechnology. The Maintenance Manager commented Regarding Supply Issues on a 7-Day/24 Hour Basisthat ICT has come to change the way they operate Without Being Physically Present?” on a “Yes” ortheir Mine. He elaborated further by citing a good “No” option resulted in all 36 respondents (100%)example that, his office phone line is linked to his responding to yes, affirming to the fact that, themobile phone line so in case somebody wants to presence of ICT in the Mine SCM has created thereach him through any of the lines and is not ability to directly communicate with vendors andsuccessful, the call is automatically diverted to the internal customers regarding supply issues on a 7-other line. He added that, he can now work from day/24 hour basis without being physically present.anywhere using just his mobile phone to respond to Furthermore, the 36 responses received on theurgent or critical e-mails. The Maintenance Manager question, “The Ability to Schedule Pickups andstated that improvement and maintenance of Deliveries has Been Made Possible and Evenstandards of the Mine SCM through ICT can be Improved With the Infusion of ICT Into Your Mineachieved by upgrading the system from time-to- SCM?” on a “Yes” or “No” optionshowed that, alltime, ensuring full utilization of the system, training 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that, thestaffs on how to effectively use the system, ensuring ability to schedule pickups and deliveries has beencompliance of system procedures, there should be made possible and even improved with infusion ofsystem administrators to manage the entire ICT ICT into the Mine SCM. In another case, 36system on the company. The system administrators responses received from the question, “Theshould link up the system within and between Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM has Enabled thevarious Mines to create visibility and SCM Employees to Become More Responsive tomakenecessary changes to the system to ensure Internal Customer Service Problems and Reducefriendlinessto all users. The Process Manager Service Costs” on a “Yes” or “No” option showedcommented that he strongly agrees with the notion! that, 32 respondents (89%) affirmed to the fact, thatHe added that, the presence of ICT in their Mine the presence of ICT in the Mine SCM has enabledSCM has really improved their response speed to the SCM employees to become more responsive totheir vendors, contractors and even within the internal customer service problems and reducedvarious departments. He stated that improvement service costs whereas 4 respondents (11%) saidand maintenance of standards of the Mine SCM otherwise. Looking at the number of respondents (orthrough ICT requires an intensive education and in terms of percentages) who responded to Yes, andtraining of all staffs. The Supply Manager those who responded to No, it can be realized that acommented that, ICT has absolutely brought about greater portion of the respondents really affirmedlots of improvement to their operations! With the that yes, the question had positive responses. Wepresence of ICT in the Mine SCM, difficulties therefore can confidently say, the respondentsinvolved in communicating with vendors are the agrees that, the presence of ICT in the Mine SCMthings of the past. In fact, access to all forms of has enabled the SCM employees to become morecommunicating tools and the ability to communicate responsive to internal customer service problemsto vendors about any change whatsoever can be and reduced service costs.made at anytime and anywhere as far as there isnetwork available in the area. The Supply Manager The above comments and views from bothstated that improvement and maintenance of the qualitative responses (management interviews)standards of the Mine SCM through ICT requires and the quantitative responses (questionnairejust two key things! Training and consistent system responses) make it clear that a consensus has beenupgrades. achieved. The two side views argued strongly inThe following were put together from the 36 support of each other and in the direction pointingresponses received from the survey on the above out to the fact that, the presence of ICT in the Minesubject areas. SCM has helped easy tracking of ordered spares and The 36 responses received on the question, raw materials, helped direct communication with“The Ability to Track Ordered Spares and Raw vendors and internal customers, enabled scheduleMaterials on a Continuous Basis by the Mine’s pickups and deliveries and has enhanced SCMSupply Chain has Been Made Possible With the employee‟s responsive rate.Presence of ICT in the Mine SCM?” on a “Yes” or“No” option showed that, all 36 respondents (100%)responded yes, affirming to the fact that, indeedwith the presence of ICT in the Mine SCM, the 661 | P a g e
  • 22. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675C. What can be Done to Improve and Sustain inventory visibility will lead to business Standards of SCM Through ICTin the Mining improvement. For example, the purchase orders Industry? created by the procurement department are made This section attempts to put forth a known to each end user for verification throughdiscussion on what can be done to improve and electronic media before approval is given. Internalsustain standards of SCM through ICT in the customer service level enhancement is the key toMining Industry towards achieving sustainable production success. Therefore the use of ICT willbusiness growth from the management interviews really help to improve our operations to achieveand the survey respondents‟ perspective. The higher competitive stand in our businessfollowing research findings were achieved from the environment. The Supply Manager also commentedempirical research. that, information is one of the SCM key enablers and creates lots of transparency and visibility within1. ICT Implementation: Will Help to Achieve the the SCM. Transparency and visibility between andConcept of Just in Time (JIT) by Creating within the SC partners help improve and sustainContinuous Information Sharing, Transparency, standards of the Mine SCM. Once the internalVisibilityand Flexibility in Operations and customer services are fully satisfied or higherReduces Overall Production Costs services level are achieved, then there is that high The sets of questions put forth to the possibility that, the Mine will be competitive in themanagement interviewees were similar to that of the resources and finances arena and hence can attractoperational staffs but asked in quite a different lots of investors.direction under the above subject areas. The following were put together from the 36The following general views were collated from the responses received from the survey on the abovemanagement responses. subject areas. The Finance Manager commented that The 36 responses received on the question,continuous information sharing, transparency & “The Presence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Will Helpvisibility on their inventory and purchase orders is a to Achieve the Concept of JIT and Also Helphealthy sign and should be continued as it will help Improve and Sustain Standards in Your Mineimprove and sustain standards of SCM in the Mine SCM?”on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’through ICT. The Finance manager further and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), referring to table-7commented that the use of ICT in the Mine has showed that, 16 (34%) of the respondents “Stronglymade SCM customer friendly both internally and Agree”, another 16 (34%) “Agree” and theexternally which is a very positive sign towards remaining 4 respondents (11%) are “Neutral”.growth and achieving high level competitive Further applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula toadvantage in the resources and finances competitive the responses received depicted 1.7. This resultenvironment. The Health, Safety & Environment depicts that, most of the responses to the question(HSE) Manager mentioned that, yes, information are mostly aligned to scale 2 (“Agree”). In anothersharing on a continuous basis, transparency & scenario, the 36 responses received on the question,purchase order and inventory visibility are the key “Continuous Information Sharing, Transparency &to process improvement. These are most of key Visibility on Inventory and Purchase Orders Statusimprovement areas that businesses are dying to are ways That can Lead to Improved andachieve with the help of ICT. As a matter of fact, Sustainable Standards of SCM Through ICT in theICT cannot be underestimated. The essence of the Mining Industry”, on a “Yes” or “No” optionwhole SCM operations is the customer and since the showed that, all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed toMine does not have any external competitive the fact that continuous information sharing,market, its focus is on how the internal customer transparency and visibility on inventory andservice level can be improved. The Maintenance purchase orders statuses are ways that can lead toManager commented that, information availability improved and sustainable standards of SCM throughhelps eliminates greater amount of inventory. Once ICT in the Mining Industry. Furthermore, the 36information is continuously shared among all responses received on the question, “Reduction ofparties, not only will inventory be made visible to Overall Production Costs by Streamlining theeverybody but will be reduced drastically. Products Flow Within the Production Process andInformation will indeed replace inventory. He Improving Information Flow Between Businessfurther mentioned that, the internal customer‟s Partners Will Lead to Improved and Sustainablesatisfaction is the reason for the whole process. Standards of SCM Through ICT in the MiningEnhancing these internal customer service levels is Industry”, on a “Yes” or “No” option showed that,the key to achieving sustainable growth leading to 32 respondents (89%) affirmed to the fact that,the immense gains in the arena they happen to find reduction of overall production costs bytheir business. The Process Manager mentioned that streamlining the products flow within the productionyes to a large extent, information sharing on a process and improving information flow betweencontinuous basis, transparency & purchase order and business partners will lead to improved and 662 | P a g e
  • 23. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675sustainable standards of SCM through ICT in the The Finance Manager strongly commented that,Mining Industry whereas 4 (11%) said otherwise. real- time is the order of the day and that real-timeAdditionally, looking at the number of respondents posting of requisitions for items which are taken-off(or in terms of percentages) who responded to Yes, the shelves will help to improve and sustainand those who responded to No, it can be realized standards of SCM through ICT in the Miningthat a greater portion of the respondents really Industry. The Finance Manager added that,affirmed that yes, the question had positive decisions need to be taken not on very oldresponses. We therefore can confidently say, the transactions as that might be detrimental to therespondents agree that, the reduction of overall Mines. This can only be achieved if the Mine isproduction costs by streamlining the products flow capturing data as and when events happen. Thewithin the production process and improving Finance Manager further commented that, everyinformation flow between business partners will Mine wants as much as possible to reduce cash costlead to improved and sustainable standards of SCM per ounce, a positive sign to investors that the Minethrough ICT in the Mining Industry. In another case, is operating efficiently. It is therefore imperativethe 36 responses received on the question, “The that ICT supports SCM in this direction to makePresence of ICT in Your Mine SCM Would Improve work processes flow freely at no extra costs.and Sustain Standards of Your SCM by Enabling Therefore, the Finance Manager strongly agreedDelivery Speed, Inventory Visibility, and Flexibility that, reduction of overall production costs byin Operations Through the Seamless Co-operation streamlining the products flow within the productionWith Both the Internal Customers and Key process and improving information flow betweenSuppliers/Vendors is Considered an Approach That business partners will help improve and sustainWill lead to Improved and Sustainable Standards of standards of SCM in the Mine through ICT. TheSCM Through ICT in the Mining Industry?”, on a Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Managerscale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ and 5 being mentioned that, interestingly, they do not run‘Strongly disagree’), referring to table-8 showed manual requisitions. Every requisition is issuedthat, 24 (67%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree” electronically by end user/requester through theand 12 (33%) of the respondents “Agree”. Further ERP system. Once the requisitions are issued,applying the Likert Scale Mean Formula to the signals are sent to the warehouse team and onceresponses received depicted 1.33. This result depicts accepted, it automatically issues out from the systemthat most of the responses to the question are mostly quantities and a picking slip is used to collate thealigned to scale 1 (“Strongly Agree”). items requested. In view of that, I (HSE Manager) strongly do go by the statement that “real-time The comments and views put forth by the posting of requisitions for items which are taken-offtwo main target groups show that the responses are the shelves will help to improve and sustainmoving in the same direction and hence the standards of SCM through ICT in the Miningargument put forth are in support of the subject. The Industry” Production cost is a headache for mostconsensus achieved from the two group responses managers. If a seamless production can be realizedreceived clearly pointing out to the fact that, the by using ICT to close these gaps through theimplementation of ICT in the Mine SCM will help provision of consistent and timely information, thento achieve the concept of JIT by creating continuous our business will never be the same. We will seeinformation sharing, transparency, visibilityand massive improvements to the Mine SCM and thoseflexibility in operations and reduce overall improvements will be sustainable. The Maintenanceproduction costs which are all what mining Manager agrees perfectly with this notion. However,companies are dying to achieve. he continued by saying that, in their case, requisitions are not even manual they are all2. ICT Implementation: Will Improve and electronically generated and so posting are doneSustain Standards of the SCM Such as High real-time all the time. It indeed helps a lot. Cost isValued Supply Chain Relationships and something that is killing our operations slowly. If anEnhancing Internal Customer Services Level, attempt is made to streamline the flow of productsReal-Time Posting of Requisitions, Consistent within the production stream and improved throughStock-Takes and Stock Analysis & Quick partnership information flow using ICT system, it isProcessing of On-Line Requisitions obvious that massive improvement and In both the management interview and the sustainability will be achieved. The Processsurvey questionnaire, questions asked on both were Manager mentioned that, with the use of ICT,quite similar but asked in different directions under material requisitions have been made possiblethe above subject areas for easy comparison and electronically and hence postings are done in a real-interpretation. time manner. This has really brought about greatThe following general views were collated from the improvement and sustainability to our SCMmanagement responses. operational standards – i.e. inventory control systems. He further mentioned that, with the use of 663 | P a g e
  • 24. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675ICT, production cost can be controlled by Through a Prompt Action in Handling Requisitionsstreamlining products flow within the production at the Issuing Point Will Lead to Improved andsystem and improving information sharing among Sustainable Standards of SCM Through ICT in thethe trading partners leading to total SCM Mining Industry?”, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 beingimprovement and sustainability. The Supply ‘Strongly agree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’),Manager mentioned that, real-time posting of referring to table-10 showed that, 32 (89%) of therequisitions are what we are currently practicing in respondents “Strongly Agree” and the remaining 4our operations. Since its insertion into our SCM (11%) “Agree”. Further applying the Likert Scaleoperations, it has increasingly brought about great Mean Formula to the responses of question depictedimprovement and has helped sustain the SCM. 1.11. This result depicts that most of the responsesOverall cost of production is what we are all striving to the question are mostly aligned to scale 1to reduce drastically! Any cost effective approach (“Strongly Agree”).that can be adapted to reduce the over cost ofproduction is most welcome. However, streamlining The above mix of comments and views fromproducts flow across the production line and both management team members and operationalimproving information flow among partners, I staffs clearly depicts the fact that a consensus hasstrongly believe will lead to improved and sustained been achieved. This consensus therefore depicts theSCM standards through ICT. fact that, the implementation of ICT in the MineThe following were put together from the 36 SCM will absolutely improve and sustain standardsresponses received from the survey on the above of the SCM such as high valued supply chainsubject areas. relationships and enhancing internal customerThe 36 responses received on the question, services level,real-time posting of requisitions,“Developing High Valued Supply Chain consistent stock-takes and stock analysis & quickRelationships and Enhancing Customer Services processing of on-line requisitions. These SCMLevel Will Lead to the Achievement of High Level attributes or drivers are indeed highly enhanced withCompetitive Advantage in the Resources and the implementation of ICT in the Mine SCM.Finances Competitive Business Environments?” ona “Yes” or “No” option showed that, all 36 VI. CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONSrespondents (100%) affirmed to the fact that AND FUTURE WORKdeveloping high valued supply chain relationships A. Conclusions and Recommendationsand enhancing customer services level will lead to We have introduced in this paper a morethe achievement of high level competitive advantage practical insight and approach to addressing thein the resources and finances competitive business relationship and role ICT plays in the SCM based onenvironments. In another case, the 36 responses real world contemporary case studies. This paperreceived on the question, “An increase in the SCM has therefore put forth a new face of addressing theOperational Performance Through a Prompt Action relationship and role ICT plays in the SCM by usingin Handling Requisitions at the Issuing Point will the Mining Industry, specifically, Adamuslead to Improved and sustainable Standards of SCM Resources Limited - Nzema Gold Mine, athrough ICT in the Mining Industry?”, on a scale of Subsidiary of Endeavour Mining Corporation,1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ and 5 being located in Ghana as the case study organization to‘Strongly disagree’), referring to table-9 showed close this gap. In this way, a clear understanding ofthat, 24 (67%) of the respondents “Strongly Agree”, the level of importance attached to ICT in the non-8 (22%) “Agree” and the remaining 4 (11%) strategic, and finance and resources competitive“Strongly Disagree”. Further applying the Likert arena will be established. This will help ICT andScale Mean Formula to the responses received SCM practitioners to understand the usage trend ofdepicted 1.7. This result depicts that most of the ICT in this new environment and become aware ofresponses to the question are mostly aligned to scale which best practices exist and how they relate to2 (“Agree”). Furthermore, the 36 responses received their business domains.on the question, “Consistent Stock-Takes and Stock Based on the surveys and the interviewsAnalysis can Help Eliminate Stock-Out of Critical conducted on the operational staffs and theRaw Materials and Parts at the Warehouse. Do You management team members of the MineBelieve This Underlying Process Would Be respectively, it was realized that, the relationshipImproved and Sustained by Adapting ICT in Your and role of ICT in the SCM of Mining Industry wereMine SCM?”, on a “Yes or “No” option showed numerous. The research clearly depicts that, there isthat, all 36 respondents (100%) affirmed to the fact a great deal of interest in the use of ICT by the SCMand believe that consistent stock-takes and stock of the Mining Industry as ICT has helped to improveanalysis can help eliminate stock-out of critical raw their SCM and sustain standards of their SCM butmaterials and parts at the warehouse. In another lacks the total coverage of it implementation. Yet itscenario, the 36 responses received on the question, is believed and expected that, this will increase“An Increase in the SCM Operational Performance immensely in the next few years. 664 | P a g e
  • 25. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675This clearly indicates the level of importance that REFRENCESthe Mining Industry sees ICT role towards their [1] E. Sweeney “Managing the Supply Chain:operation performance and hence are aiming at the Role of Information andexpanding it coverage to move away from the silo Communications Technology (ICT) as aoptimization to a more robust grip on the entire SC. Key Enabler of theProcess, BusinessFrom the other side, it was observed that, though Ireland, Summer Issue, pp.105-109, 2005.there is a high interest in the use of ICT in the [2] A. Mohan and P. V. Rajeev “Role ofMine‟s SCM to support and improve it operations, Information and Communicationits use is however still in infancy. 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Akhavan “Position andfinally be confidently stated that, indeed the Role of ICT in Supply Chain Managementresearch findings are truly a representative of the (SCM)”,Australian Journal of Basic andfamily of other circumstances of which the same Applied Sciences, 5(8): 827-831, 2011.outcome will be adapted. [11] R. Shaikh, M.F. Shamim and S. Riaz “An Analysis of Rise and fall of SCM - ICT 665 | P a g e
  • 26. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 Integration by the FMCG Sector in [26] G.Guest, A. Bunce and L. Johnson, “An Pakistan”, International Business & Experiment with Data Saturation and Economics Research Journal,Vol. 8, No. 9, Variability”, Field Methods, 18(1), 59-82, pp.31-40, 2009. 2006.[12] W. T.Gek, M. J. ShawandB. Fulkerson [27] M.Saunders, P. Lewis and A. Thornhill, “Web-Based Supply Chain Management”, “Research Methods for Business Students” Information Systems Frontiers, 2:1, pp. 41- 5th (ed.). London: Financial Times / 55, 2000. Prentice Hall., 2009.[13] A.J. Campbell and D. Wilson “Managed [28] VHundley and E. van Teijlingen, “The Networks: Creating Strategic Advantage”, Role of Pilot Studies in Midwifery in Networks marketing (ed. Iacobucci, ýD), Research”, RCM Midwives, Vol. 5, No. 11, Sage, London, England, 1996. pp. 372-374, 2002.[14] P.Evangelista“The Role of ICT in the [29] E. Van Teijlingen & V. Hundley “The Logistics Integration Process of Shipping Importance of Pilot Studies‟, Social Lines”, Pomorski Zbornik (1),pp. 61-78, Research Update, Issue 35. Winter 2001. 2002. [Online]. Available from:[15] B. White“Dissertation Skills for Business http://sru.soc.surrey.ac.uk/SRU35.html(Ac and Management Students”, South- cessed: 7 August 2012). Western, Cengage Learning, Seng Lee [30] E. Sweeney “Re-engineering the Supply Press, Sinagpore, 2000. Chain: Making SCM Work for You in[16] M.Saunders, A. Thornhill and P. Perspectives on Supply Chain management Lewis“Research Methods for Business and Logistics - Creating Competitive Students”, 4th (ed.). London: Financial Organisations in the 21st Century Times / Prentice Hall, 2007. (Sweeney, E. ed.)”, Dublin: Blackhall[17] R. K. Yin “Case Study Research: Design & Publishers, Chapter 16, pp. 295-306, 2007. Methods” 4th (ed.). Sage Publications, [31] E. Sweeney “ICT in Supply Chains. USA, 2009. Keynote Speech at Smart Work in the[18] W. M.K. Trochim “The Research Methods Warehouse, Waveform Knowledge Base”, 2nd Edition, 2006, Solutions”Chartered Institute of Logistics [Online]. Available from: and Transport (CILT), Dublin, March http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/s 2010. tatdesc.php (Accessed: 3 August 2012). [32] P.M.Swafford, S. Ghosh and N.N. Murthy[19] J. GuarteandE. Barrios “Estimation Under “A Framework for Assessing Value Chain Purposive Sampling”, Communications in Agility”, International Journal of Statistics- Simulation and Computation, Operations & Production Management, 35:277-284, 2006. Vol. 26, No.2, pp.118-140, 2006.[20] Z. A.Hassan, P. Schattner and D. Mazza “Doing A Pilot Study: Why is it APPENDICES Essential?”, Malaysian Family Physician, Appendix A - Interview with the Finance Vol. 1, No. 2 & 3, pp. 70-73, 2006. Manager[21] A. Broom “Using Qualitative Interview in 1. Please give a brief description about CAM Research: A Guide to Study Design, your role in the Mine and how long Data Collection and Data Analysis‟, you’ve been working with the Mine as Complementary Therapies in Medicine, well as the industry…I am the Finance Vol. 13, No. 65-73, 2005. Manager of Adamus Resources Limited,[22] D. Ezzy“Qualitative Analysis: Practice and generally responsible for monthly, Innovation” Crows Nest, N.S.W: Allen & quarterly and yearly financial and Unwin, 2002. management reports. I have been working[23] D. Wainwright“Can Sociological Research for Adamus for 2 years 5 months now and be Qualitative, Critical and Valid”, Qual. have 7.5 years‟ experience in the mining Rep., Vol. 3 No. 2, 1997. industry.[24] H.J. Rubin andI.S. Rubin “Qualitative 2. How would you describe the presence of Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data” ICT in your Mine’s SCM? - The presence Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995. of ICT has enabled SCM to be more[25] J. E. Sturges and K. J. Hanrahan efficient, proactive to meet the demands of “Comparing Telephone and Face-to-Face its clients. Qualitative Interviewing: AResearch 3. What role does ICT plays in your Mine Note”, Qualitative Research, Vol. 4, No. 1, SCM? - It ensures information to and pp.107-118, 2004. feedback from third party agents aredelivered on time. Internally too, it 666 | P a g e
  • 27. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 enables work to flow freely and reduces 13. What is your opinion on the use of ICT cost. by your Mine SCM enhances internal 4. In your view, has the infusion of ICT customer services level to the into your Mine SCM brought about achievement of high level competitive some form of improvement to the SCM? advantage in the resources and finances - Yes competitive business environment that 5. Is ICT really an imperative tool to your the Mine finds itself? - ICT has made Mine SCM operations and why? - Yes, SCM customer friendly internally which is because without that a lot of time, energy a very positive sign. will be wasted leading to higher cost and 14. What is your take on the view that real- lower efficiency. time posting of requisitions for items 6. How has ICT helped to improve your which are taken-off the shelves will help Mine SCM? - It has virtually cut a lot of to improve and sustain standards of paperwork, improved understanding of the SCM through ICT in the Mining SCM activities and helped in reducing Industry? - Real time is the order of the turnaround time. day. Decisions need to be taken not on very 7. Has the presence of ICT in your Mine old transactions that might be detrimental SCM helped provide information to the Mines. This can only be achieved if availability, created material visibility we are capturing data as and when events and enabled a single point/location of happen. contact for data? Please explain - Yes, 15. What is your take on the view that, expediting report, for instance, has made it reducing overall production costs by possible for all end user departments to streamlining the products flow within know the progress of their orders. the production process and improving 8. How has ICT helped to improve and information flow between business sustain your Mine SCM performance? - partners will help improve and sustain Reduction of the processing time/time to standards of SCM in your Mine through handle transactions. ICT? - Every Mine wants as much as 9. How has the presence of ICT in your possible to reduce cash cost per ounce, a Mine SCM help improve demand positive sign to investors that the Mine is response time and that of the operating efficiently. It is therefore development of high valued supply chain imperative that ICT supports SCM in this relationships? Please explain. - Because direction to make workprocesses flow retrieval of information is not far-fetched freely at no extra cost. and easily assessable response time has been tremendous. ICT has also enabled Appendix B - Interview with the HSE Manager other user departments to understand and 1. Please give a brief description about appreciate SCM better. your role in the Mine and how long 10. What is your take on the notion that the you’ve been working with the Mine as presence of ICT in your Mine SCM will well as the industry? - My role involves help in creating quick approach to managing and controlling the health and contacting vendors on issues regarding safety aspect of the Mine operations. The late deliveries and changes in scheduled health aspect is being handled by the shipment dates to improve speed (fast medical doctors; I just facilitate his delivery) & on-time delivery? - Positive operations (i.e. helping providing the as reaching out to clients just by the press necessary logistics). The safety aspect is of a button is a lot easier and enjoyable. my specialization area. I ensure all 11. What do you think can be done to operations staffs, contracts and any other improve and maintain standards of your group of people are not affected by our Mine SCM through ICT? - All must be operations. All these are done in encouraged to continue its usage whilst conjunction with the line manager – they embracing new ICT methods or technology have the responsibility of taking care of the as and when they emerge. employees and contractors working under 12. What is/are your view(s) on the them. I have over a decade (1999) statement that, continuous information experience in the industry. sharing, transparency & visibility on 2. How would you describe the presence of your inventory and purchase orders will ICT in your Mine’s SCM? - The presence help improve and sustain standards of of ICT in the Mine SCM has helped SCM in your Mine through ICT? - It‟s a shorten the processes, created transparency healthy sign and should be continued. 667 | P a g e
  • 28. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 and visibility of information and increased 10. What is your take on the notion that the the fastness of the process. presence of ICT in your Mine SCM will 3. What role does ICT plays in your Mine help in creating quick approach to SCM? - ICT plays a major role in the contacting vendors on issues regarding Mines operations including broadening the late deliveries and changes in scheduled scope of operations (i.e. sourcing for raw shipment dates to improve speed (fast materials) and helps integrate information delivery) & on-time delivery ? - I strongly between and within the various actors. agree that, the presence of ICT and it tools 4. In your view, has the infusion of ICT such as mobile phone (i.e. BlackBerry) into your Mine SCM brought about which has the facilitates to send and some form of improvement to the SCM? receive e-mails makes it extremely easy to - Yes, it has really brought about lots of contact vendors from anywhere and at improvements to the SCM. It has increased anytime the pace of data processing, data collection 11. What do you think can be done to and transactions within and between improve and maintain standards of your various parties involved in the SC Mine SCM through ICT? - Keep abreast 5. Is ICT really an imperative tool to your with technology by adapting developing Mine SCM operations and why? - trends, i.e. Mobile phone to receive e- Extremely imperative! In fact, it is a mails and send while out of site…acquire necessity and a business tool which is new technology, there should be training to needed to be integrated into all businesses. keep up to the use of the new technology. 6. How has ICT helped to improve your 12. What is/are your view(s) on the Mine SCM? - It has improved the Mines statement that, continuous information operations – created effective sharing, transparency & visibility on communication, transparency, reduced the your inventory and purchase orders will volume of works done within the shortest help improve and sustain standards of possible time. SCM in your Mine through ICT? - Of 7. Has the presence of ICT in your Mine course yes! Information sharing on a SCM helped provide information continuous basis, transparency& purchase availability, created material visibility, order & inventory visibility are the key to and enabled a single point/location of process improvements. These are most of contact for data? Please explain - key improvement areas that businesses are Perfectly! With ICT in our Mine SCM, dying to achieve with the help of ICT. every department including my department 13. What is your opinion on the use of ICT can access and find whatever they need for by your Mine SCM enhances internal their departments operations from the customer services level to the warehouse and request the materials achievement of high level competitive without even being physically present at advantage in the resources and finances the warehouse. competitive business environment that 8. How has ICT helped to improve and the Mine finds itself - As a matter of fact, sustain your Mine SCM performance? - ICT cannot be underestimated. The essence Highly sustainable, and can improve Mine of the whole SCM operations is the operations so far as we keep updating the customer and since the Mine does not have ICT systems that we use to meet the ever any external competitive market, its focus changing needs. is on how the internal customer service 9. How has the presence of ICT in your level can be improved. Mine SCM helped improve demand 14. What is your take on the view that real- response time and that of the time posting of requisitions for items development of high valued supply chain which are taken-off the shelves will help relationships? Please explain - To a large to improve and sustain standards of extent! Just to mention a few, with the SCM through ICT in the Mining introduction of a comprehensive ERP Industry? - Interestingly, we do not run system which comes with electronic manual requisition. Every requisition is requisition powered by ICT, once issued electronically by end user/requester materials/spares requisitions are initiated through the ERP system. Once the by end users and accepted by issuing staffs, requisitions are issued, signals are sent to an automatic issuing of the item from the the warehouse team and once accepted, it system is made. There are errors created automatically issues out from the system through manual posting. quantities and a picking slip is used to collate the items requested. 668 | P a g e
  • 29. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 15. What is your take on the view that, 5. Is ICT really an imperative tool to your reducing overall production costs by Mine SCM operations and why? - Yes, streamlining the products flow within ICT is an extremely imperative tool. It is the production process and improving because it comes with lots of benefits when information flow between business adapted. Such benefits include production partners will help improve and sustain cost reduction through tightly control standards of SCM in your Mine through inventory control process coupled with ICT? - I go by the statement. Production excellent maintenance planning system cost is a headache for most managers. If a which leads to the balance of demand and seamless production can be realized by supply. Less downtimes or more plant using ICT to close these gaps through the uptime/availability! provision of consistent and timely 6. How has ICT helped to improve your information, then our business will never Mine SCM? - ICT has helped us achieve be the same. We will see massive business improvements through variety of improvements to the Mine SCM and those ways. It has sped up the way we used to improvements will be sustainable. operate our business, change our thinking style on inventory holdings and improveAppendix C - Interview with the Maintenance our way of sharing information which usedManager to hinder the progress of our operations. 1. Please give a brief description about 7. Has the presence of ICT in your Mine your role in the Mine and how long SCM helped provide information you’ve been working with the Mine as availability, created material visibility, well as the industry? - My role involves and enabled a single point/location of the coordination of the maintenance contact for data? Please explain - Yes, of activities between operations, supplies, course. In fact, it has made our work maintenance, financial and external extremely easy. Information is everywhere contracts. and easily accessible, making my work Maintenance - Schedule and plan all very easy and smooth. maintenance activities. 8. How has ICT helped to improved and Supplies – liaise with suppliers to ensure sustained your Mine SCM performance? spare availability and qualities are - Facilitated our operations by simplifying maintained. our operational transaction. Operations – collate jobs and deliver to 9. How has the presence of ICT in your maintenance staffs. Mine SCM help improve demand Financial – processing and management of response time and that of the purchase requisitions and service orders development of high valued supply chain that are channeled through my hands to relationships? Please explain – ICT has financial via the supplies department. broken most of the communication barriers External Contract-liaise with external between our department and the other contractors for maintenance support departments as well as other clients. service. I have worked in this industry for 10. What is your take on the notion that the over 9years. presence of ICT in your Mine SCM will 2. How would you describe the presence of help in creating quick approach to ICT in your Mine’s SCM? - The presence contacting vendors on issues regarding of ICT in the Mine has massively improved late deliveries and changes in scheduled the entire SCM operations and smoothened shipment dates to improve speed (fast the processes. delivery) & on-time delivery? - ICT has 3. What role does ICT plays in your Mine come to change the way we operate our SCM? - ICT help in coordinating the Mine. As I speak, my office phone line is activities within and between all parties of linked to my mobile phone line so in case the SCM of the Mine and beyond. somebody wants to reach me through any 4. In your view, has the infusion of ICT of the lines and not successful, the call is into your Mine SCM brought about automatically diverted to the other line. some form of improvement to the SCM? Interestingly, I can now work from - ICT has facilitated maintenance planning anywhere using just my phone to response activities through the creation of visibility to urgent or critical e-mails. of materials in stock. It has also helped in 11. What do you think can be done to good records keeping, it simplifies task, improve and maintain standards of your brings about effective communication and Mine SCM through ICT? - Upgrading the reduces cost. system from time-to-time, ensuring full 669 | P a g e
  • 30. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 utilization of the system, by training staffs Appendix D - Interview with the Process on effectively use of the system, by Manager ensuring compliance of system procedures, 1. Please give a brief description about there should be a system administrators to your role in the Mine and how long manage the entire system of the company, you’ve been working with the Mine as link up system within and between various well as the industry? - I am the Process Mines to create visibility with necessary Manager and my role involves managing making changes. The system should be the production and engineering operations friendly to all uses. of the Mine. I have been working in the 12. What is/are your view(s) on the industry for over 17years statement that, continuous information 2. How would you describe the presence of sharing, transparency & visibility on ICT in your Mine’s SCM? - In the past, your inventory and purchase orders will calculators were used in calculating help improve and sustain standards of samples taken from CIL/CIP tanks. We SCM in your Mine through ICT? - needed to drive down to the contract Information availability helps eliminates laboratories just to pick up a lab report. In greater amount of inventory. Once fact, the presence of ICT has really information is continuously shared among improved our operations processes, all parties, not only will inventory be made reduced the transport cost and time used to visible to everybody but will be reduced pickup reports – as reports are sent drastically… information will indeed electronically, easy reporting has surfaced, replace inventory. and simplified processes. 13. What is your opinion on the use of ICT 3. What role does ICT plays in your Mine by your Mine SCM enhances internal SCM? - ICT acts as a catalyst to our customer services level to the operations. In fact, it plays a major achievement of high level competitive part/role in the Mine SCM operations by advantage in the resources and finances improving communication between and competitive business environment that within all operational partners. the Mine find itself - The internal 4. In your view, has the infusion of ICT customer‟s satisfaction is the reason for the into your Mine SCM brought about whole process. Enhancing these internal some form of improvement to the SCM? customer service levels is the key to - Major improvements have shown up in achieving sustainable growth leading to the the SCM - from the manual way of immense gains in the arena we find our conducting business and its associated business. transactions, to electronic approach which 14. What is your take on the view that real- makes everything extremely easier and time posting of requisitions for items faster. which are taken-off the shelves will help 5. Is ICT really an imperative tool to your to improve and sustain standards of Mine SCM operations and why? - SCM through ICT in the Mining Extremely imperative to our SCM Industry? - I agree perfectly with the operations! Reduces the workload, notion. In our case, requisitions are not improves efficiency, helps monitor the even manual they are all electronically processes, reduces labour and associated generated and so posting are done real-time costs, enhances labour utilization, improve all the time. It indeed helps a lot. safety by reducing accident and incident 15. What is your take on the view that, occurrences. reducing overall production costs by 6. How has ICT helped to improve your streamlining the products flow within Mine SCM? - Massive improvements! the production process and improving Cost control, transparency and visibility information flow between business have all improved over the years with the partners will help improve and sustain use of ICT. Indeed, cost is something that standards of SCM in your Mine through is dragging our operations into the ditch, ICT? - Cost is something that is killing our and hence drastic cost reduction through operations slowly. If an attempt is made to transportation cost elimination in the case streamline the flow of products within the of sample collection and proper inventory production stream and improve partnership control have led to sustaining our Mine information flow using ICT system, it is of SCM operations. course obvious that massive improvement 7. Has the presence of ICT in your Mine and sustainability will be achieved. SCM helped provide information availability, created material visibility, 670 | P a g e
  • 31. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 and enabled a single point/location of your Mine SCM through ICT? - contact for data? Please explain - Yes, Intensive Education and training to all with the use of ICT, every department and staffs. section of the Mine are synchronized 12. What is/are your view (s) on the making information about every aspect of statement that, continuous information the operations known to everybody that sharing, transparency & visibility on works not only with the department or your inventory and purchase orders will section but any other department. help improve and sustain standards of Materials/spares in stock in the warehouse, SCM in your Mine through ICT? - Yes in transit, and cleared at the port on and its to a large extent, i.e. purchase orders way to the Mine site are all made known/ created by procurement are made know to available to all us at any point in time. each end user for verification through the Information is just available everywhere! electronic system before approval is given. 8. How has ICT helped to improve and 13. What is your opinion on the use of ICT sustain your Mine SCM performance? - by your Mine SCM enhances internal ICT has brought about green supply chain. customer services level to the All transactions that take place within the achievement of high level competitive various departments of the Mine are advantage in the resources and finances conducted electronically. All end user competitive business environment that departments as well as the supplies the Mine find itself - Internal customer department manage invoices received from service level enhancement is the key to contractors and suppliers by keying in production success. Therefore the use of those invoices into the ERP system for ICT will really help to improve our payment by financial. This has really operations to achieve higher competitive brought about speed towards the processing stand in our business environment. of invoices as they monitor the process and 14. What is your take on the view that real- comments about the process as well. This time posting of requisitions for items has made the contractors and suppliers to which are taken-off the shelves will help continuously support our business. to improve and sustain standards of 9. How has the presence of ICT in your SCM through ICT in the Mining Mine SCM helped improve demand Industry? - With the use of ICT, material response time and that of the requisitions have been made possible development of high valued supply chain electronically and hence postings are done relationships? Please explain - Yes and in a real-time manner. This has really even beyond that! Automatic update of brought about great improvement and materials or spares issued from the sustainability to our SCM operational warehouse are done as soon as the standards – i.e. inventory control systems. electronic requisitions initiated by the user 15. What is your take on the view that, departments are accepted by the warehouse reducing overall production costs by and picking slips printed for the issue staffs streamlining the products flow within at the warehouse to pick the materials or the production process and improving spares for staging for collection by the information flow between business users. ICT has made it possible for major partners will help improve and sustain contractors and suppliers to be linked up to standards of SCM in your Mine through our system to enable visibility which ICT? - With the use of ICT, of course makes them also plan our demand, hence production cost can be controlled by improving our demand response time. streamlining products flow within the 10. What is your take on the notion that the production system and improving presence of ICT in your Mine SCM will information sharing among the trading help in creating quick approach to partners leading to total SCM improvement contacting vendors on issues regarding and sustainability. late deliveries and changes in scheduled shipment dates to improve speed (fast Appendix E - Interview with the Supply and delivery) & on-time delivery? - I strongly Logistics Manager agree with the notion! The presence of ICT 1. Please give a brief description about in our Mine SCM has really improved our your role in the Mine and how long response speed to our vendors, contractors you’ve been working with the Mine as and even within the various departments. well as the industry? – I am the supply 11. What do you think can be done to and logistics manager and have worked improve and maintain the standards of 671 | P a g e
  • 32. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 with the Mine for 3 years with 18 years in tools and the ability to communicate to the Mining Industry. vendors about any change whatsoever can 2. How would you describe the presence of be made at anytime and anywhere as far as ICT in your Mine’s SCM – ICT Enhances there is network available in the area. the ability to obtain goods and services 11. What do you think can be done to from a wider range of suppliers. improve and maintain standards of your 3. What role does ICT plays in your Mine Mine SCM through ICT? – Just two key SCM? – ICThelps in inventory visibility, things! Training and consistent system track and trace order status. upgrade. 4. In your view, has the infusion of ICT 12. What is/are your view (s) on the into your Mine SCM brought about statement that, continuous information some form of improvement to the SCM? sharing, transparency & visibility on – For sure! ICT has helped in identification your inventory and purchase orders will and measurement of service providers. help improve and sustain standards of 5. Is ICT really an imperative tool to your SCM in your Mine through ICT? – Mine SCM operations and why? - Yes! Information is one of the SCM key Because without ICT into our SCM, tracing enablers and creates lots of transparency and tracking of purchase orders would have and visibility within the SCM. been very difficult. Transparency and visibility between and 6. How has ICT helped to improve your within the SC partners helps to improve Mine SCM? – ICT has helped us to and sustain standards of the Mine SCM. improve on our orders delivery turnaround 13. What is your opinion on the use of ICT time. by your Mine SCM enhances internal 7. Has the presence of ICT in your Mine customer services level to the SCM helped provide information achievement of high level competitive availability, created material visibility, advantage in the resources and finances and enabled a single point/location of competitive business environment that contact for data? Please explain. – Our the Mine find itself – Once the internal end users sit in the comfort of their offices customer services are fully satisfied or to access our stock inventory to process higher services level are achieved, then stock issues and dispatch to warehouse there is that high possibility that, the Mine issuing counters for action. will be competitive in the resources and 8. How has ICT helped to improve and finances arena and hence can attract lots of sustain your Mine SCM performance? – investors. Information as the basis of supply chain 14. What is your take on the view that real- controls. time posting of requisitions for items 9. How has the presence of ICT in your which are taken-off the shelves will help Mine SCM helped improve demand to improve and sustain standards of response time and that of the SCM through ICT in the Mining development of high valued supply chain Industry? – Real-time posting of relationships? Please explain – By requisitions are what we are currently enabling the implementation of the practicing in our operations. Of course, electronic requisition (purchase and since it insertion into our SCM operations, material requisitions) system and through it has increasingly brought about great the building of close contact and sharing of improvement and has helped sustainSCM. real-time information between and within 15. What is your take on the view that, partners. reducing overall production costs by 10. What is your take on the notion that the streamlining the products flow within presence of ICT in your Mine SCM will the production process and improving help in creating quick approach to information flow between business contacting vendors on issues regarding partners will help improve and sustain late deliveries and changes in scheduled standards of SCM in your Mine through shipment dates to improve speed (fast ICT? – Overall cost of production is what delivery) & on-time delivery? – we are all striving to reduce drastically! Absolutely, ICT has brought about lots of Any cost effective approach thatcan be improvement to our operations! With the adapted to reduce the over cost of presence of ICT in the Mine SCM, production is most welcome. However, difficulties involved in communicating streamlining products flow across the with vendors are the things of the past. In production line and improving information fact, access to all forms of communicating flow among partners, I strongly believe 672 | P a g e
  • 33. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675 will lead to improved and sustained SCM SECTION 2. What is the Role of ICT in SCM in standards through ICT. the Mining Industry? This section of the survey questionnaire attempts toAPPENDIX F- Research Survey QuestionnaireThe gather information on the role ICT plays in the SCMRelationship and Role of Information & in the Mining Industry. Please read carefully theCommunication Technology (ICT) in the content of each question to enable you answer theMiningIndustry: An Analysis of the Supply Chain question accurately. (8-questions) 2.1 OnManagement (SCM) a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ and 5SECTION 1.General Respondent Information being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent do youThis section of the survey questionnaire attempts to agree or disagree with the concept that, the presencegather some general information about the of ICT in SCM in the Mining Industry will providerespondents. Please read carefully the content of information availability and visibility?each question to enable you answer the question ……………………………………..…………….accurately. (6-questions) 2.2On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’1.1 What is your current employment type? and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent do(Please check (X) in the appropriate box) you agree or disagree with the notion that, thea. Permanent staff presence of ICT in SCM in the Mining Industry willb. Contract Staff enable a single point of contact for data?c. Other ……………………………………..…………….(specify)………………………………………1.2 Gender (Optional) 2.3On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’(Please check (X) in the appropriate box) and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent doa. Male a. Female you agree or disagree with the notion that, the presence of ICT in SCM in the Mining Industry will1.3 What is your full job title? (Optional) allow decisions based on total supply chain……………………………………………………… information?………. ……………………………………..…………….1.4 What is your designated department?(Please check (X) in the appropriate box) 2.4On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’a. Finance and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent dob. Human Resources and Security you agree or disagree with the notion that, thec. Engineering presence of ICT in SCM in the Mining Industry willd. Processing enable collaboration with supply chain partners?e. Community Relationship ……………………………………..…………….f. Health, Safety & Environmentg. Mining (Open Pit & Underground) 2.5 Does the presence of ICT in SCM of the Mineh. Other (specify) help improve demand response time? …………………………………………… a. Yes b. No c. Other …. (specify)………1.5 How long have you been working for thecompany? 2.6 Do you agree that ICT presence in SCM helps in(Please check (X) in the appropriate box) the streamlining logistic activities across the supplya. Less than 1year chain to reduce cost and improved efficiency?b. 1-5years a. Yes b. No c. Otherc. 5-10years (specify)………d. 10-15yearse. 2.7 Does ICT presence in SCM help in developing Otherspecify…………………… high valued supply chain relationships? ………………..……………. a. Yes b. No c. Other1.6 How long have you being working in the mining (specify)………industry?(Please check (X) in the appropriate box) 2.8 The presence of ICT in SCM has helped to attaina. Less than 1year global standards and access to the world market?b. 1-5years a. Yes b. No c. Otherc. 5-10years (specify)……….d. 10-15yearse. Other SECTION 3. How has ICT Helped to Improve (specify)………………………………… SCM in the Mining Industry? …..……………. This section of the survey questionnaire attempts to gather information on how ICT has helped to 673 | P a g e
  • 34. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675improve SCM in the Mining Industry. Please read 3.8 ICT in SCM of the Mining Industry has enabledcarefully the content of each question to enable you the SCM employees of the Mine becoming moreanswer the question accurately. (8-questions) responsive (reduce response time) to internal3.1On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ customer service problems and reduce service costs.and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent do a. Yes b. No c. Otheryou agree or disagree with the notion that, the (specify)……presence of ICT in the SCM in the Mining Industryhas enabled greater material availability and SECTION 4. What can be done to improve andvisibility which has immensely improved materials sustain standards of SCM through ICT in theand maintenance planning processes with many Mining Industry?significant cost reduction and service improvements This section of the survey questionnaire attempts to………………………… gather information on what can be done to improve and sustain standards of SCM through ICT in the3.2 ICT has helped improve SCM in Mining Mining Industry. Please read carefully the content ofIndustry by enabling a quick approach to contacting each question to enable you answer the questionvendors on issues pertaining to customer service accurately. (8-questions)problems such as late deliveries and changes in 4.1On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’scheduled shipment dates which has improved speed and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent do(fast delivery) & on-time delivery. you agree or disagree with the notion that,a. Yes b. No c. Other continuously decreasing inventory costs by(specify)……… matching production to spares and materials demand in consistent goal with the concept of Just in Time3.3 ICT has helped to improve SCM in the Mining (JIT) will help improve and sustain standards ofIndustry by helping to receive instant updates on SCM through ICT in the Miningorders placed with vendors which subsequently help Industry?…………………………in the production and maintenance planning.a. Yes b. No c. Other 4.2 Continuous information sharing, transparency &(specify)………. visibility on inventory and purchase orders status are ways that can lead to improved and sustainable3.4On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ standards of SCM through ICT in the Miningand 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent do Industry?you agree or disagree with the notion that, the a. Yes b. No c. Otherability to notify vendors of changes in (specify)……configurations in products that are produced to orderhas been made possible with the presence of ICT in 4.3 Reducing overall production costs bythe SCM which has led to an improved SCM in the streamlining the products flow within the productionMining Industry…………………………………. process and improving information flow between business partners will lead to improved and3.5 The ability to track ordered spares and raw sustainable standards of SCM through ICT in thematerials on a continuous basis by the Mine‟s Mining Industry?supply chain has been made possible with the a. Yes b. No c. Otherpresence of ICT in the SCM in the Mining Industry. (specify)……a. Yes b. No c. Other(specify)………. 4.4On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), to what extent do3.6 ICT in SCM in the Mining Industry has created you agree or disagree with the notion that,the ability to directly communicate with vendors and improvement of internal customer satisfaction byinternal customers regarding supply issues on a 7- offering increased spares and materials purchasedday/24-hour basis. delivery speed, inventory visibility and flexibility ina. Yes b. No c. Other operations through the seamless cooperation with(specify)……… both the internal customers and key suppliers/vendors is considered an approach that3.7 The ability to schedule pickups and deliveries will lead to improved and sustainable standards ofhas been made possible and even improved with the SCM through ICT in the Mininginfusion of ICT into the SCM of the Mining Industry?..................................Industry.a. Yes b. No c. Other 4.5 Developing high valued supply chain(specify)……… relationships and enhancing internal customer services level will lead to the achievement of high 674 | P a g e
  • 35. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 3, Issue 1, January -February 2013, pp.641-675level competitive advantage in the resources and Simonov Kusi-Sarpong earned his Undergraduatefinances competitive business environment. University Diplomain Mine Mechanical Engineeringa. Yes b. No c. Other from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana in 2001 and(specify)…… MSc in Operations & Supply Chain Management from University of Liverpool, United Kingdom in4.6On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’ 2011.Simonov is also a Chartered Member (MCIPS)and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), what is your take of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, United Kingdom. He has over ten (10) years mixon the view that real-time posting of requisitions for working experience in the Supply Chain Managementitems which are taken-off the shelves will help to and Engineering Environments as well asConstructionimproved and sustainable standards of SCM through and Mining Industries with additional couple years inICT in the Mining Business Development Management in the Mining/Oil &Gas, Mining and Industrial with relation toIndustry?..................................................................... Procurement Services. Simonov is self-motivated Engineering, Business Development, Logistics, Operations and Supply Chain Professional,4.7 Do you agree or disagree with the point that whose objective, is to apply and utilize his ingenuity and knowledge inSCM standards can be improve and sustain through the field of Engineering, Business Development, Logistics, Operationsthe use of ICT in the Mining Industry with a and Supply Chain while working and learning with good qualities of team work and leadership to achieve greater heights. His researchconsistent stock analysis to eliminate stock-out of interest cut across Engineering, Business Development, Logistics,critical raw materials or parts at the warehouse Operations and Supply Chain with greater focus on topics related toa. Yes b. No c. Other logistics &supply chain management processes improvements. His is(specify)…… currently pursuing PhD in E-Business & Logistics Management at School of Management & Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, P.R China. He has a couple of academic publications in his name4.8On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Strongly agree’and 5 being ‘Strongly disagree’), what is your takeon the view that an increase in the SCM operationalperformance through a prompt action in handlingrequisitions at the issuing point will lead toimprovedand sustainable standards of SCM throughICT in the Mining Industry…………AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES Nana Yaw Asaberereceived his BSc in Computer Science from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana in 2004 and MSc in ICT from Aalborg University, Denmark in 2010. He has eight (8) years of teaching/lecturing experience at tertiary level of education in Ghana and is currently on Lectureship Study Leave granted by Accra Polytechnic, Ghana pursuing his PhD in Computer Science at School of Software, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, P.R China. He has a number of journal publications in International Journals. His research interests include: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Software Engineering, Expert Systems, Mobile Learning, E-learning, ICT in Education, Information Systems, Multimedia, Recommender Systems, Social Computing, Wireless/Data/Mobile Communication and Computing Technologies. 675 | P a g e