Global Supply Chain Practices and Problems Facing Developing Countries: A Study in Tanzania

Kabossa A.B. Msimangira
Melbourne Polytechnic, Australia

Clemence P. Tesha
Procurement and Supplies Professionals and Technicians Board, Tanzania

Although global supply chain is widely discussed by practitioners and academics, and the widespread international recognition of global supply chain practices and problems, little is known in the literature concerning the global supply chain problems facing developing countries. This study aims to identify key problems affecting global sourcing processes in the global supply chain, with reference to the transport sector in Tanzania. We used a case-based research approach by conducting in-depth interviews with senior procurement and supplies managers. Secondary data were collected from the companies’ websites and annual reports. Also, direct observation on the companies’ operations helped to make the study empirically grounded. We used cross-case analysis to analyse the data. The findings reveal that the local end component of the global supply chain in Tanzania faces many problems compared to that of developed countries; for example, key problems facing Tanzania are: the use of out-dated technology in the domestic market, lack of trust, documentation problems, procurement of counterfeit products (e.g., spare parts), and lack of integrated computerised systems to link with the overseas suppliers in the global supply chain, and so on. The insights on problems and practices provide valuable information to researchers and practitioners on the challenges and opportunities in the global supply chain sourcing processes in developing countries. We provide recommendations to solve some of the global supply chain problems.

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