Effects of business process re-engineering on competitive advantage of St. John Ambulance in Nairobi, Kenya
With the escalating health care costs, healthcare service providers are also continuously seeking ways to stay competitive and provide quality service to the customers. Healthcare industry has traditionally emphasized on breakthroughs in operating procedures and technology in the bid to stay competitive. Surprisingly, St John Ambulance has remained static in service delivery, using old ways of doing thing as her competitors are re-engineering their processes. This status of affairs has rendered St. John Ambulance less competitive to the extent that it is copying what newcomers are doing. In fact St. John Ambulance is losing business in Kenya and may be rendered redundant when no action is taken to correct the situation. It risks coming down on its knees, although it was the first organization to start these services in Kenya. Although many studies on Business Process Re-engineering and competitive advantage have been conducted globally, very few studies addressed the positive cultural change; effective structure change, efficient information technology, and effective resources as factors determining the improvement of competitive advantage at St John Ambulance. In fact there is scanty information on business process re-engineering as strategy to improve competitive advantage at St John Ambulance, Kenya in the industry. It is against this background that this study attempted to analyze business process re-engineering as strategy to improve competitive advantage at St John Ambulance, Kenya. This study specifically sought to establish how the internal factors of Business Process Re-engineering at St John Ambulance would improve its competitive advantage. This study used a descriptive survey and was conducted in Nairobi's on companies offering Ambulance services. The target population will be the 68 board of directors and Managers, and employees of these companies. A sample population of 34 respondents (50% of target population) was obtained using stratified sampling method to obtain the respective number of respondents in each stratum. The respondents from each stratum were selected using simple random sampling. Data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire which was pre-tested for reliability and validity during a pilot test. The data collected was classified, measured and analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques. Quantitative data will be analyzed using regression analysis while Qualitative data will be analyzed using content analysis. IBM Software Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20.0 will be used in quantitative data analysis. The study found out that positive cultural change, effective structure change, efficient information technology, and effective organizational resources influenced improvement of competitive advantage moderately. It also found out that Business process Re-engineering (BPR) ensured improvement in Productivity. The study recommends that St Johns Ambulance should; improve the process and organizational alignment towards the customer; ensure case for change in culture; effective investment in information technology; ensure effective process management geared towards direct cost reduction or productivity improvement; implementing BPR alone and just supplementing by other improvement techniques such as TQM, TPM, kaizen among others.