Supply Chain Coordination and Collaboration in Haiti: A Case Study of The Salvation Army’s Use of the UPS Trackpad®

Salvation Army

Every supply chain faces challenges in delivering the right quantity and type of product to the right place at the right time. However, the circumstances faced when designing and managing the systems that deliver goods to people affected by natural disasters create additional challenges. In these scenarios, both demand and supply are highly uncertain. Response plans must be developed quickly and be able to accommodate changing conditions. Frequently, planners must deal with limited or damaged infrastructure in such systems. There are often a wide range of entities involved in these supply chains, including government, military, private, and nongovernmental organizations and individuals. Such systems exhibit decentralization in decision making, because it is difficult for a single centralized decision maker to create plans when infrastructure limits communication or when there are so many parties with differing objectives and information.

This case study examines the use and potential impact of technologies like the UPS Trackpad® in managing a Salvation Army IDP camp in Port-au-Prince following the January 2010 Haiti earthquake. The case addresses the capability of the tool to address resource distribution, facilitate data sharing, and enable more accurate tracking of the population being served. Critical to the success of these efforts were the UN cluster system, the complementary expertise of collaborating organizations, and a novel application of existing technology. This scenario also points to many of the challenges faced in any supply chain disruption, as well as the opportunity to address these challenges through coordination and collaboration.

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Authors: Özlem Ergun, Luyi Gui, Jessica L. Heier Stamm, Pinar Keskinocak, and Julie L. Swann

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