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Humanitarian Optimization through Research by Argusi – Envisioning Shorter Times of delivery

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HORA EST (Humanitarian Optimization through Research by Argusi – Envisioning Shorter Times of delivery)

Reporting period: 2017-09-29 to 2018-09-28

Project HORA-EST: Humanitarian Optimization through Research by Argusi – Envisioning Shorter Times of delivery
Argusi is a research driven SME that possesses deep knowledge about supply chain optimization and collaboration in mainly the commercial sector. Argusi’s expertise focuses on designing optimal supply networks in terms of minimized cost or time-to-consumer. This is done by using state of the art modelling tools and techniques, such as Llamasoft Supply Chain Guru and ESRI ArcGis. Argusi Aid is Argusi’s branch that is focused on the humanitarian sector, established with the mission to enable availability of basic needs for everyone at all times by creating better and faster supply chains.
There is a big gap between commercial and humanitarian supply chain management and logistics. In our western world and in commercial industries, logistics is well-established. Nowadays, it is possible to predict delivery times very accurately. When ordering something, you know in advance at what day and often even in what time window your order will be delivered. Humanitarian supply chains provide a completely different picture. For example, during the Ebola crisis, it took up to three months for the emergency tents to be delivered at their destination. Unfortunately, this is no exception – lead times of two to three months are common practice in the humanitarian sector while the urgency in this sector is usually much higher. People are actually dying during, and even because of these long lead times. The number and size of emergencies have increased over the last years. In responding to these emergencies, supply chain cost add up to about 60% of total response cost.
The problem that Argusi wants to solve is the late and inadequate delivery of relief goods. In general, delivery in the humanitarian sector falters because of a lack of efficient logistics and supply chain management. The contribution to the improvement of efficient logistics and supply chain management will be achieved by using the experience in and learnings from the private sector and translate these into models that fit the situation of the humanitarian sector.
Our Innovation Associate has a background in Post Conflict Peace Building. She has experience with the culture and difficulties that come with countries in or after a crisis. This is something we did not have within our company before she joined our team.

Within the HORA-EST project important steps have been taken. The similarities and differences in network design and optimization between commercial, emergency response and development supply chains have been researched. An analysis is done on global supply chain flows and the results have been visualized in an interactive dashboard to create insight in the specifics of the humanitarian sector and the current (in)efficiencies in the flows. Our technical supply chain models for the commercial sector have been translated to a model that fits the humanitarian sector. Both an internal and an external training package have been developed to ensure a toolbox for knowledge transfer to and capability building of humanitarian logisticians and other stakeholders on supply chain design, optimization and collaboration.

During the project, four external trainings have been delivered to Ministries of Health and NGOs in Myanmar, Malaysia, Rwanda and Kenya. Three projects have been executed for the Global Fund (Ivory Coast), Dutch Coalition of Humanitarian Innovation and the Global Logistics Cluster. The experiences from these trainings and projects were combined with the research and cross-learnings were actively pursued. Overall, the feedback from the trainings and projects was very promising. Unfortunately, the year did not deliver enough (potential) work to be able to offer our Innovation Associate further deployment.
Both the developed interactive dashboard on the global flow analysis and the technical supply chain models provide new and valuable insights for the humanitarian sector. The developed training package opens room for capacity building both internationally and locally. Within the training package we have also the option to use our Network Design Game, which has been adjusted based on the learnings from Hora-Est to better fit to the humanitarian sector. The game was selected to be presented at the Health & Humanitarian Logistics Conference, where it was perceived very well. Continuing effort on creating awareness on the relevance of network design and synergy, on building capacity in the humanitarian sector both internationally and locally and on executing projects to make supply chains better and faster is resulting in solving the problem of late and inadequate delivery of relief goods.