Title: A consideration of the relevance of lean supply chain concepts for humanitarian aid provision

Authors: David Taylor, Stephen Pettit

Addresses: Logistics and Operations Management Section, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, UK. ' Logistics and Operations Management Section, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, UK

Abstract: Supply chain activities connected with providing humanitarian aid (HA) are often treated as a series of discrete activities. The view that each aspect should be seen as part of a continuum has not generally been a priority, often leading to large amounts of waste (McGuire, 2001). Much of the theory underpinning commercial supply chain processes is similar, although not necessarily directly transferable to HA due to a variety of factors including funding, employment, location, political and physical instability, a lack of logistics knowledge and the urgency inherent in emergency situations. This paper addresses the notional applicability of lean logistics techniques such as value chain analysis (VCA) to the requirements of HA supply chains, discussing the theoretical basis for its use and how it could be used to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The paper concludes that there is significant scope for the application of such techniques which could have a fundamental bearing on how HA supply chains are implemented.

Keywords: humanitarian aid; lean logistics; VCA; value chain analysis; assessment; lean supply chains; supply chain management; SCM; humanitarian logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2009.025817

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.12 No.4, pp.430 - 444

Available online: 24 May 2009 *

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