The dissertation "Alignment of supply and demand within a supply chain: a qualitative study” determines the causes of the misalignment between the supply and demand within a supply chain, with specific focus on Kraft Foods South Africa. The costs of a mismatch between supply and demand are growing in many industries. Companies have tried various approaches, however these approaches, while useful, have failed to address a number of the drivers of supply-demand mismatch. The literature study starts with an overview of supply chain management. The study covers the various concepts of supply chain management, the importance of supply chain performance, the challenges of managing supply chains, demand management, supply management, as well as the relationship between supply and demand. The literature study continues to cover the various concepts related to the alignment of supply and demand within a supply chain. The study covers the effects of the misalignment between supply and demand within a supply chain, traditional approaches to align supply and demand and the transformation to a more responsive organisation. The various approaches to decrease the supply and demand lead time gap are also discussed. The literature study concludes with an overview of the supply chain of Kraft Foods South Africa, as well as the global Kraft Foods organisation. The review covers the challenges, the sustainable growth plan, the organisational set-up, sources and product range, geographical layout, people, functions and technology involved in Kraft’s supply chain. The review concludes with an overview of the current alignment between supply and demand within Kraft Foods South Africa’s supply chain. Chapter five discusses the details of the research design and methodology that was followed in conducting the research. Chapter six indicates the findings of the structured interviews with the key players in Kraft Foods South Africa’s supply chain. Chapter seven makes certain recommendations for the supply chain of Kraft Foods South Africa that will assist in improving the alignment between supply and demand.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2006.