Improving end customers' satisfaction trough postponement in the South Africa automobile supply network

Polycarpe Feussi, Innocents E. Edoun, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Despite limited research into postponement strategy in the supply chain as customer's satisfaction enablers, there has been significant interest from the role players in adopting postponement strategy especially in the automotive industry. The digital age and the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution has change the business landscape substantially. Customers are more demanding and their demands are growing exponentially with technological advancement and globalization. Those changes has constrained business to compete over supply chain, which is the heart of many successful business strategic decision. As South Africa desperately need economic growth to curb the high unemployment (30%). As a major contributor to the GDP and employing up to 457 000 (Smith; 2019) people in South Africa, increasing the current market share and ensuring customer retention and loyalty is crucial in achieving these objective. This paper explore how customers satisfaction can be enhance by using their input at the customers decoupling points, so that the customers perceived value of the products and services can be equal or greater than the expected value. A cross sectional quantitative research was conducted among south Africa car owner, of which out of the two million registered owners, a random sample has chosen 484 respondents, which is slightly higher that the recommended size recommended by the Slovin's formula at 95% confidences level. It was hypothesized that more customer output in the supply chain service and product in the automobile increase customer satisfaction which hypothesis was accepted. More customer input trough the postponement strategy, at the customers decoupling point increases customers perceived value, leading to improve satisfaction. The main finding has shown that there is positive correlation all along between customers inputs trough the postponements strategy and customers satisfaction level, the association of the customers' input and the respondent genders was not significant and thus suggested that when correlating customers satisfaction and postponements strategy, the gender should not use as the mitigate variables. This study has found that postponements strategies in the automobiles supply chain in South African can be used as a main catalyser for services quality improvement, as more value gets added by customers inputs in the and the process leading to customers expectation been met, making them satisfied. The supply chain should thus grape the opportunity of the 4IR, the connectivity to establish better communications focusing on the end users, to grow the industry and achieved customers' satisfaction, retentions and loyalty. E-commerce is here to stay, and, everything can be purchased online; hence, globalization has removed the majority of trade barriers. The local market first, followed by the regional market as many south African neighbouring countries are still purchasing second hand and new vehicles from abroad and finally to their marketing to the continental level.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
PublisherIEOM Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781532359491, 9781532359514, 9781532359521
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event10th Annual International IEOM Conference, IEOM 2020 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 10 Mar 202012 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
ISSN (Electronic)2169-8767


Conference10th Annual International IEOM Conference, IEOM 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


  • Customer order decoupling point
  • Fourth industrial revolution
  • Postponement strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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