Inventory Management Practices and Operational Performance of Flour Milling Firms in Lagos, Nigeria

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Business Management ,University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria

2 Department of Business Administration, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria

3 Department of Management Science University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

Abstract

This study examines inventory management practices of flour milling manufacturing firms and their effects on operational performance. Five flour milling manufacturing firms in Lagos were used for this study. Structured questionnaire was the major instrument for the collection of relevant primary data while descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation was deployed to analyzing the data gathered. The results obtained showed that exception of the large manufacturing companies, most of the medium-sized flour milling firms adopts different inventory management strategies from the scientific and best practice models. Their inventory management strategies and policies were rather based on factors such as changing level of customer demand, prevailing industry practices, forecast estimates and guesses, and available production capacity. Findings also revealed significant differences between the effective management of inventory and optimal operating performance. For instance, while firms that adopt best practice inventory management approaches reported efficiency in capacity utilization, increased service level, and reduced lead time, others with different strategies had minimal utilization of material resources. There is need for flour manufacturing firms to implement scientific inventory management models to adequately handle material shortages, product stock outs situations, component pile up and their associated penalties.

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