FMCG: Supply Chain Management Practices

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This research project is going to examine the key dimensions of supply chain management that can contribute to the development of FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) beverages in Johannesburg. Pursuant to this goal, this paper will pay close attention to the competitive advantages available to applicable organizations and the connection between organizational performance and supply chain management (SCM) practices (Wisner, Tan & Leong 2014). The first research question is the association between the level of competitive advantages of FMCG companies in Johannesburg and the level of effectiveness of SCM practices. The second research question will revolve around the idea of whether SCM practices may lead to an increase in organizational performance among the FMCG small- and medium-sized (SME) companies located in Johannesburg. The third research question concerns the benefits of competitive advantages and whether they influence organizational performance (Walker & Jones 2012). In order to answer these research questions, the investigator intends to produce a comprehensive review of instruments that can contribute to the enhancement of existing SCM practices. The researcher expects to obtain empirical evidence and critically evaluate the impact of SCM practices on FMCG organizations in Johannesburg (Beske & Seuring 2014). In addition to the research questions stated above, the author of the research study will also investigate the influence of contextual factors. These factors may include the size of the organization, the length of its supply chain, and the type of supply chain (Seuring & Gold 2012). The hypothesis is that SCM practices may substantially contribute to the output of FMCG SME organizations located in Johannesburg.

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Research Theory

The research theory of the current proposal is based on the idea that SCM and logistics may derive significant benefit from employing the theories and principles of other disciplines (Janvier-James 2012). The context for SCM in Johannesburg is rather complex, so there is no possibility to address this phenomenon adequately through the use of a single theory. Therefore, the researcher will consult a number of sources so as to understand the background of the issue and compare different theoretical frameworks (Huo 2012). The authors believe that there are several questions associated with SCM practices that have to be addressed. These practices include social sciences, marketing, and strategic management (Monczka et al. 2015). One of the frameworks relevant to the research theory used here is social network analysis. This type of analysis is expected to influence the process of SCM research positively. This expectation is supported by the fact that there are several related concepts that contribute to the successful implementation of a qualitative approach such as this (Myerson 2012). The current research theory also revolves around the idea that the concept of strategic management may be used by FMCG organizations interested in improving their SCM practices. On a bigger scale, Johannesburg-based FMCG beverage distributors will have the possibility to rework their organizational structures and improve critical processes. In the future, this kind of association between the organizational structure and the strategy applied is expected to contribute to the level of performance of these FMCG beverage distributors (Christopher 2016). This theory can be validated by the existence of processes that will ensure that the chosen strategies will be implemented correctly. This framework can also be expanded further so as to explain the context of SCM practices in Johannesburg. The current research project is based on several ideas related to SCM. One of them revolves around the hypothesis that competition takes place at the level of supply chain management and not at the company level (Prajogo & Olhager 2012). At the same time, the researcher was able to identify that an appropriate organizational structure can extend the boundaries of Johannesburg-based FMCG beverage distributors. These beverage distributors will be able to apply different SCM structures depending on the situation (Seuring 2013). The researcher will investigate the question of whether the process of integration might contribute to the success of SCM. Within the framework of the current study, the researcher will assume that the organizational structure of Johannesburg-based FMCG beverage distributors includes their external relationships as well (Ashby, Leat & Hudson-Smith 2012). The distributors can also be perceived as distinct resources that increase their competitive advantages by means of developing distinctive organizational capabilities. In the case of Johannesburg-based FMCG beverage distributors, the research theory heavily relies on the application of these resources in practice (Barney 2012). The discussion will also focus on the allocation and utilization of the available resources that may critically affect the functional areas of Johannesburg-based FMCG beverage distributors (Winter & Knemeyer 2013). The researcher plans to investigate the development of unique logistics capabilities with the intention of providing a possibility for gaining a more competitive position in the market. In order to make sure that the research theory is in line with the SCM practices of FMCG organizations, the investigator will review the available external resources and integrate the social network into the discussion (Naslund & Hulthen 2012). Within the current research theory, it is hypothesized that the success of the SCM practices of Johannesburg-based FMCG beverage distributors is dependent on the external relationships of these organizations. The relevance of this hypothesis will be tested throughout the research project so as to generate evidence regarding the benefits of an integrative approach to SCM.

Dissertation Context

The context of the current dissertation revolves around the idea that the application of SCM practices in Johannesburg may critically improve the distribution of FMCG beverages. The rationale for this decision is an increase in beverage consumption among South Africans. This niche has to be explored further because it may prove to be a necessity to apply SCM practices to other business areas as well. Nonetheless, the challenge of distributing FMCG beverages is expected to be resolved not only by means of SCM. The niche of FMCG beverages is rather competitive in Johannesburg. There is a need to integrate existing knowledge about it into the framework of the current study so as to generate growth in the segment. A number of relevant SCM practices may be used to extend the customer base and distribute products more effectively. In Johannesburg, FMCG beverages have become quite popular, and that leads the researcher to the conclusion that it may be profitable to explore a number of different options. Even though the FMCG segment is not one of the fastest-growing in South Africa, it may be necessary to review the SCM practices because the inventory has to be reduced. The number of customers that want FMCG beverages is growing daily. Another point that can be included in the context of the dissertation is increasing awareness of SCM practices that are appropriate for the limited resources of Johannesburg. There is no need to rework existing procedures, but it may be critical to review them and make evidence-based decisions so as to reduce downtime and increase the level of competitiveness.

Reference List

Ashby, A, Leat, M, & Hudson-Smith, M 2012, ‘Making connections: a review of supply chain management and sustainability literature’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 497-516.

Barney, J 2012, ‘Purchasing, supply chain management and sustained competitive advantage: the relevance of resource‐based theory’, Journal of Supply Chain Management, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 3-6.

Beske, P & Seuring, S 2014, ‘Putting sustainability into supply chain management’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 322-331.

Christopher, M 2016, Logistics & supply chain management, 5th edn, Pearson, London.

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Huo, B 2012, ‘The impact of supply chain integration on company performance: an organizational capability perspective’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 596-610.

Janvier-James, 2012, ‘A new introduction to supply chains and supply chain management: definitions and theories perspective’, International Business Research, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 194.

Monczka, R, Handfield, R, Giunipero, L, & Patterson, J 2015, Purchasing and supply chain management, 6th edn, Cengage Learning, New York, NY.

Myerson, P 2012, Lean supply chain and logistics management, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

Naslund, D & Hulthen, H 2012, ‘Supply chain management integration: a critical analysis’, Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 481-501.

Prajogo, D & Olhager, J 2012, ‘Supply chain integration and performance: the effects of long-term relationships, information technology and sharing, and logistics integration’, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 135, no. 1, pp. 514-522.

Seuring, S 2013, ‘A review of modeling approaches for sustainable supply chain management’, Decision Support Systems, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 1513-1520.

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Seuring, S & Gold, S 2012, ‘Conducting content-analysis based literature reviews in supply chain management’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 544-555.

Winter, M & Knemeyer, 2013, ‘Exploring the integration of sustainability and supply chain management: current state and opportunities for future inquiry’, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 18-38.

Walker, H & Jones, N 2012, ‘Sustainable supply chain management across the UK private sector’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 15-28.

Wisner, J, Tan, K, & Leong, G 2014, Principles of supply chain management: a balanced approach, Cengage Learning, New York, NY.

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