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Selected Case

published: 30 Jan 2017

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: Global

Abstract:
Decentralized supply chains - with a greater number of hubs and depot locations – are designed to be more responsive to disasters around the globe by getting primary relief items such as food, water and medicines to beneficiaries quickly. This case explores the centralized vs. decentralized tradeoff for the secondary support supply chain of an international humanitarian organization (IHO). Using data from a real organization (unnamed), it asks whether supply chains for secondary support items should be the same as those for primary relief goods, and how earmarked funds impact the supply chain configuration. It presents information on donations, secondary support demand and response in mega disasters, and optimized data and simulation results. These allow for extensive data analytics, interpretation, and Excel modeling skills to be utilized, as well as students’ intuition.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Understanding the trade-offs between centralized and decentralized humanitarian supply chains; 2. The impact of earmarked funding on humanitarian supply chains and decision making; 3. Differences between humanitarian and commercial supply chains; 4. Variations in humanitarian demand: the supply chain for food and water may differ from that of 4WD support vehicles and building supplies.

Keywords:
Humanitarian Logistics, Global Supply Chain, Global Facility Location, Global Supply Chain Network Configuration, Temporary Hubs, Earmarked Funding


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