Technological Advancement And Survival Of SMEs In Ghana: The Case Of The Blacksmithing Industry In Kumasi Metropolis
The blacksmithing industry in Ghana is of significant antiquity, contribution to gratifying various socio-economic objectives of the country including, creating employment opportunities, encouraging the development of indigenous entrepreneurship and promoting effective resource utilization that are considered to be critical in the area of engineering economic development. That notwithstanding, research studies have indicated that the industry continues to suffer stagnation and their activities are largely unaccounted for. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate the determinants of survival of the blacksmithing industry vis-à-vis globalization and advancement in technology. The study was a work site based cross-sectional one, conducted among 109 blacksmiths in the Kumasi Metropolis. Data obtained were acquired through the use of questionnaire and personal interviews. Data collected included socio-demographic profile, expertise, marketing, advertising, record keeping, use of ICT, finance, TQM, as well as impact of covid. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Descriptive statistical tools such as frequency and percentage were used to analyze the facts sought from questionnaire. The study recorded an overall response rate of 96.5%. The general outcome of the study showed that the majority of the blacksmiths were battling with a myriad of challenges that impacted on the performance and growth of their business, with 44% and 18% experiencing lower demand or no change in demand of their products respectively. The study identified the influence of market competition from foreign products, low adoption of strategic modern technology, low modern communication tools, low customer knowledge management, difficulties in accessing finance and sourcing for operational inputs and impact of Covid-19 as some of the factors responsible for the observed low profits. The study recommends the need for Government and the private sector to put in place the necessary intervening performance strategies and stimulations of production activities that will enable the blacksmithing industry to survive in the current economic uncertainty and technology advancement.