Thursday, July 10, 2014

Optimizing supply chain operations by creating elastic capacity

ntelligence-driven and informed decision-making processes are crucial in mitigating the adverse impacts of disasters and addressing emergency needs − especially to minimize the risks for supply chain operations.
The lack of organized informaTion systems to match the specific post-disaster needs related to emergency response, rehabilitation and recovery, provides opportunities for disaster risk reduction practices to converge and become operational with a focus on information, resources and personnel.
Fluent information dissemination as well as correct resource allocation and personnel placement require a stable pre-planned process. Pre- defined command strategies are of great importance in times of disasters when there will be an increased demand for communications, technology and resources involving several stakeholders. Operational collaboration with surge capacity is needed to implement efficient and effective incident response. This can be referred to as an optimization process with elastic capacity that is built within multi-stakeholder teams.
Until recently, the process of supply chain management has been ad hoc and slow. However, new technologies and adopted practices have helped mitigate operational risk in supply chain management. This has also helped improve the efficiency of communications through centralized planning and implementation ofinformation management systems at Emergency Operation Centers.
Communication technology and the importance of the private sector
Simple concepts such as providing efficient rescue and rehabilitation services for those in need, can often be the most challenging to execute. A defined and operational supply chain management process with a focus on communications, technology and partnerships with diverse stakeholders provides the answer to this challenging issue. It is crucial that the leadership and ownership for the supply chain roles and responsibilities are driven and enabled by the national and state governments.
An efficient supply chain together with clearly defined and well- communicated needs helps the private sector provide relief and services to supplement the government interventions. Having the private sector as a stakeholder and member of inter-agency groups further enhances the surge capacity planning and mitigates the challenges related with supply chain operations in times of disasters and emergencies.
An engaged private sector with functional roles predefined in the supply chain mechanism during non- emergency times will ensure that appropriate coordination is executed − thereby strengthening the elastic capacity to mitigate the supply chain operational risks. This private sector engagement further helps to provide a special emphasis on strengthening disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation in susceptible areas − and creates an ecosystem for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
The plan in action
The need to strengthen contingency planning for disruptive events was envisaged by National Disaster Management Authority of the Government of India. They wanted to create a public domain standardized process through the Corporate Disaster Resource Network. The aim of the system is to pro-actively engage stakeholders including the government, relief agencies, product and service suppliers, and other private sector actors to develop a supply chain management solution for real time information on needs and offers. One success of the platform is the provision of a transparent supplier- based procurement process where suppliers can match needs and offers. Through this process, they can identify the need of a certain product and deliver it to the specific location.
The Corporate Disaster Resource Network has responded to 16 disasters across India, and has over 6,000 private sector companies registered along with 2,370 civil society organizations. It is used as a supply chain management solution for ongoing humanitarian interventions and enables a surge capacity in times of disaster and emergency response. NGOs and civil society actors identify the needs of the disaster-affected communities and display these needs on the Corporate Disaster Resource Network website, thereby enabling the corporate sector, donors and other entities to ensure that these prioritized demands are addressed through the supplier databases in the network.
This engagement with the private sector strengthens the emergency operation centres’ integration, providing an opportunity to build elastic capacity to mitigate supply chain operational risk with the private sector being an active stakeholder.
Resilient supply chains New technologies and adopted practices have helped mitigate operational risk in supply chain management.
“an efficient supply chain together with clearly defined and well-communicated needs helps the private sector provide relief and services to supplement the government interventions.”
 Mr. Kuldip Nar (kuldipnar@ is Managing Director for Responsenet Development Services, Asia.
Mr. Vinod C. Menon (nvcmenon@gmail. com) is former member of the National Disaster Management Authority of the Government of India. 

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Tags: Supply Chain Management for Disaster Management - Incident Management and Communications - GIS Spatial Planning for Disaster Management -Emergency Operation Center - Unified Messaging System - Decision Making Models - Community collaborations - Community Participation - Community Partnerships - Socio Economic Resiliance - Disaster Managment Information Systems -