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  1. 1. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 2. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 3. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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 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. 4. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 5. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 6. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 7. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 8. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 9. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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 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) 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. 10. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 11. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 12. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 13. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 14. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 15. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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. 16. Nana Yaw Asabere, Simonov Kusi-Sarpong / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 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