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Adaptive logistics: Conceptualising strategies and best practices from humanitarian emergency supplies distribution
In today’s globally driven marketplace, the endurance of supply chains is becoming increasingly critical for them to withstand long-term and short-term fluctuations of market forces. Many of the products necessary for basic needs and consumers’ discretionary spending come from complex global supply chains that face frequent external challenges and disruptions. So how can global providers build more efficient logistics practices and enduring supply chains? Humanitarian aid supply chains have discovered best practices and formulas for building resilient programmes to effectively do their work and could serve as a model. This paper explores how one organisation, Direct Relief, employs an innovative adaptive distribution strategy backed by smart maps, dashboards, other location technology tools powered by modern GIS (geographic information systems) technology. The authors provide a definition of adaptive logistics, share key examples of how it was implemented, and provide steps other organisations can take to improve their own supply chain and logistics operations.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Andrew Schroeder , PhD, MPP, is the Vice President of Research and Analysis for Direct Relief, a non-profit organisation that provides humanitarian assistance without regard to race, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, gender or ability to pay. In his role, Andrew leads the organisation’s geographic information system (GIS) mapping, epidemiological analysis and humanitarian informatics efforts. Over the last 13 years his instrumental work helped Direct Relief’s ability to monitor supply chains and analyse demand versus capacity to direct supplies where they are needed. Additionally, he co-founded NGO WeRobotics in 2015 and recently co-founded the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Andrew earned his PhD in social and cultural analysis from New York University and his Master of Public Policy (MPP) and certification in Science, Technology and Public Policy (STPP) from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
Cindy Elliott heads Esri’s commercial industry marketing team. She helps to shape the role of geospatial analytics within the manufacturing industry related to new market analysis, supply chain operations and advanced services. For more than 15 years Cindy has worked with global manufacturers and enterprise class technology companies to influence customer-focused business transformation. Her work has been pivotal in building awareness for location technology’s ability to meet the growing complexities in global networks. Cindy is an advisory member of the USC Marshall Center Global Supply Chain Management Program (MCGSCM) and of the TCU Neeley School of Business Center for Supply Chain Innovation (CSCI). She is an established thought leader on the digital supply network and manufacturers’ advanced services. She earned a Master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird Graduate School and completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development.
CitationSchroeder, Andrew and Elliott, Cindy (2021, September 1). Adaptive logistics: Conceptualising strategies and best practices from humanitarian emergency supplies distribution. In the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement, Volume 4, Issue 1.