CHAPTER THREE 3.

0 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction Under this section the chapter will show the methods and techniques that will be used to collect and analyze data during research. The research to be carried out is on enhancing effective inventory management to a small-scale business. Areas to be touched on include research design, target population, types of data, sources of data, tools to be used to collect data and the sampling design to be used.

3.2 Research design The research will use a case study. This design shows the analysis of the variables relevant to the subject under study because it will focus its attention on the individual study and not the whole population of small scale businesses.

3.3 Target Population The study targets the employees, the records keepers and the directors of A-One Electronics. Primary data will be collected through questionnaires which will be the main source of data and secondary data will be used to assist the evaluation of data to be collected in the field. Data collected in the field will be tested and results will help to write a report upon completion of analysis. The table below shows population of the study. Target population Category Employees Records keeper Directors Total Source (Author 2010) Population 24 4 2 30 Population % 80% 13.3% 6.7% 100%

3.4 Sample size and sampling design The sample of the study will consist of employees from six branches which will include; one branch in Nairobi, two branches in Athi River and three branches in Machakos town. A convenience sampling technique is used to select the sample due to proximity of the branches to the researcher. The questionnaires will be issued, one to each of the branches of the selected outlets.

3.5 Data description and collection methods The study will use both primary and secondary data. The primary data will be collected through a structured questionnaire administered on a drop and pick basis. The questionnaire will have two parts A and B which are open-ended questions. The questionnaires are aimed at collecting data on awareness of the concept of inventory management as well as the level of application in the target population. The secondary data will be from published sources such as the journals, books and online available information.

3.6 Data analysis method The data will be checked for accuracy and completeness of recording of the responses, this data will then be coded and checked for coding errors and omissions. The data will be single entered into a Microsoft Excel packages. Once all the data would have been entered, we will verify the Excel for accuracy and completeness of the entry. The data will then be run through the statistical package for social science (SPSS). SPSS helps in summarizing the data by use of descriptive statistics such as tables and percentages and prediction for numerical outcome using linear regression. It will then be presented in form of pie chart, bar graphs and line graphs where possible. Data analysis provides an easy way of interpreting information and hence arriving at more accurate conclusions.

We, Anthony and Terrence are students from Catholic University of Eastern Africa undertaking research. This study is a partial fulfillment of our academic requirement for the award of Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Accounting option). The information provided will be confidential and strictly for academic purposes only. We request your full co-operation.

QUESTIONNAIRE SECTION A: GENERAL INFORMATION 1. Name (optional) -------------------------------------------------------2. Position held------------------------------------------------------------3. Age: Below 20 ( ) 30-39 ( ) 50-59 ( ) 4. Gender 5. Level of education Primary ( ) Secondary ( ) Diploma ( ) Graduate ( ) Post Graduate ( ) 6. How long have you worked at A-ONE electronics «««««««««««««««««««««««.. «««««««««««««««««««««««.. PART B: INVENTORY/ STOCK MANAGEMENT ISSUES Success of inventory management systems 1. Does your firm have inventory/ stock management policies? Yes No [ ] [ ] Doctorate ( ) male ( ) 20-29( ) 40-49 ( ) 60-69 ( ) female ( )

2. What inventory/ stock management system do you practice? (please tick where appropriate) a) Classification system b) Counting system c) Internal control systems d) Accounting system e) [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Others (specify) _____________________________________________

3. Who oversees inventory/ stock systems in your firm?

a) Supervisor b) Peers c) Group supervisor d) Branch manager

[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

e) Others (specify) __________________________________________ 4. Do you have written guidelines on inventory/ stock management for managers and individual? a) Yes b) No [ ] [ ]

5. Who developed the inventory/ stock management in your firm? a) The stores and purchasing manager b) A project team from within c) Departmental managers d) Employees themselves [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

e) Any other (state) _________________________________________

6. What role does stock management achieve? a) To keep track of the available inventory/ stock b) To increase sales c) As an internal control tool d) To make a requisition for more inventory/ stock [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

e) Any other (specify) ________________________________________

Lowering holding and carrying costs 7. Is the inventory/ stock planning process clear and formalized? Yes No [ ] [ ]

8. Who is in charge of stock keeping? a) A store keeper b) A clerk c) An accountant [ ] [ ] [ ]

9. Does the business have storage facilities? Yes No [ ] [ ]

10. How is inventory stored? a) Stored within the shop outlets b) Stored in a warehouse in a different area c) Stored in the owners residence 11 How is stock transported to the business premises? a) By handcarts b) By saloon cars c) By pick up cars d) By Lorries [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

12 How is payment for transport done? a) When goods are delivered b) Before goods are delivered For a period of time in a year c) Once in a year [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Challenges that bar adoption of effective inventory management

Please tick where appropriate using the following scale: 1-Very strongly agree 3-Agree 4-Disagree 5-Strongly disagrees

2-Strongly agree

1 Challenges experienced in the adoption of inventory/stock management systems 13. Do the systems you use in your company conflict with each other? 14. Do your suppliers supply goods on time? 15. Do customers shop lift stock/inventory from the shelves? 16. Loss of inventory though theft by employees 17. Does it take time to reconcile the systems that you use? 18 Are there damages of inventory/stock by employees and customers?

2

3

4

5

Please tick where appropriate using the following scale: 1-Very important 2-Important 3-Not important

What can be done to

1

2

3

improve inventory/stock management systems in the company 19. Have strong security controls to avoid shop lifter and theft by customers and employees 20. The managers and team members should coorporate 21. The lead time for stock should be short to avoid stock out and damages 22. Dealing with inventory/stock problems quickly as they occur 23. Use of computers at the sales, purchasing points and stock taking 24. Handling inventory/stock with care by all concerned

25. How can inventory management at A-One electronics be improved?_____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________

Research questions This study will address the following questions:

1. What extent has the adoption of inventory management contributed to success at A-One Electronics? 2. How do we lower holding costs and carrying costs of stock in SMEs? 3. What challenges bar adoption of effective inventory management strategies?

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