Supply chain resilience : interconnectedness of disruptions, strategies and outcomes in the South African FMCG industry

S.M. Magagula, A. Meyer, and W. Niemann

Vol 16 | Issue 2, pp. 64-79


Background: Organisations face greater competition and exposure to disruptions and risks due to an increase in globalisation, and as a result, they must continuously seek strategies to improve their supply chain resilience (SCRES). However, in the pursuit to achieve effective and efficient supply chains, organisations have acted and reacted in different ways to enhance resilience, which in some cases have also increased vulnerability to other possible disruptions.

Objectives: This study investigated the predominant sources of disruptions in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in South Africa. Additionally, the study investigated the strategies adopted to overcome the sources of disruptions and the interconnectedness of the resulting outcomes.

Method:  A generic qualitative research methodology was employed. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with 12 participants appointed within middle and top management positions in the South African FMCG industry.

Results: The study found that regular strike actions and unionism were the predominant endogenous threats, while bad weather and political instability are the predominant exogenous disruptions to the South African FMCG industry. The findings also indicate that the majority of SCRES strategies adopted by South African FMCG retailers are mostly reactive.

Conclusion: The study suggests that it is important for the South African FMCG industry to build proactive SCRES strategies to be able to better respond to disruptions before it disrupts their supply chains. By incorporating resilient supply chain strategies, organisations can better prepare for potential supply chain disruptions but also respond to and recover from disruptions.

Keywords:        Supply chain resilience, globalisation, disruptions, strategies, interconnectedness, FMCG industry, qualitative research, South Africa

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