Relief supply chain management (RelSCM)

Project: Externally funded project

Project Details


Project objectives: Relief supply chains are argued to be the most dynamic and agile supply chains, yet research in this area of supply chain management (SCM) is scant. Relief SCM has recently gained attention due to many natural and man-made disasters and the recognition of the central role of logistics in responding to these. Relief supply chains (SC) constitute a substantial industry that responds to over 500 disasters annually and result in loss of 75 000 lives and affect over 200 million people. SC costs account for over 80% of costs incurred in any disaster relief operation. The overall aim of the Relief Supply Chain Management (RelSCM) project at HANKEN is to further the understanding of SCM in disaster relief. The RelSCM project focuses on (1) Integration in the relief SC. The international humanitarian community has called for increased co-ordination in the delivery of aid in disaster relief. It is crucial that this community eliminates duplication efforts and improves communication and co-ordination. Improved SC integration is argued to lead to better SC performance. In relief SCM, integration is expected to lead to time efficiencies that translate to additional lives saved. (2) Agency co-opetition in disaster relief. Relief SCs have been criticised for a duplication of efforts across relief agencies. The problem is that agencies compete for the same resources, which results in collaboration problems. Collaboration and competition have received high interest in the field of SCM due to the expected outcomes on performance, yet, the concept of co-opetition, the joint occurrence of collaboration and competition, has not at all been researched in relief SCs. (3) Health care SCs in disaster relief. In disaster response, the provision of health care is crucial. Finland has been one main provider of emergency health care units and has a wide expertise in the field. Yet, there has so far not been extensive research conducted in the field of health care in relief SCs, especially on how integration and collaboration and logistical tools can be used in order to save more lives. In the exploratory phase, data is collected via case studies and subprojects are envisaged in order to investigate relief SCs in different types of disasters. Importantly, the exploratory phase will lead to a detailed research agenda and a framework for the main studies phase. During the main studies phase, the framework from the exploratory phase will be tested in larger empirical settings. The last phase of the project will concentrate on activities related to the dissemination of knowledge; but also on the finishing of doctoral theses within the RelSCM project. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.
Effective start/end date01.01.200831.10.2012