The impact of mean time between disasters on inventory pre-positioning strategy

Tezar Yuliansyah Saputra, Olaf Pots, Karin S. de Smidt-Destombes, Sander de Leeuw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Originality/value: The authors introduce relevant factors in humanitarian organizations practice that have not yet received attention in literature (i.e. MTBD, inventory swap, and trade-off decisions in transport modes and end-of-shelf life policies).

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to address the impact of Mean Time Between Disasters (MTBD) to inventory pre-positioning strategy of medical supplies prior to a sudden-onset disaster.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors developed a trade-off model based on the operations of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and implemented this in a spreadsheet-based platform to show the impact of MTBD on determining the pre-positioning strategy. This spreadsheet model identifies the most cost-efficient scenario out of a set of predefined pre-positioning scenarios. The authors implemented the model using a case study of a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.

Findings: The authors are able to show the impact of MTBD on determining the pre-positioning strategy. In addition, the authors also capture the trade-off decisions in transport modes and end-of-shelf-life policies. Moreover, from financial perspective, the authors show that an interaction between relief (emergency) and development (regular) programs can be beneficial.

Research limitations/implications: The authors have some limitations on data access and availability. Some data (e.g. uncertainty in needs and lead-time) have to be collected for future research and, then, used to refine such decisions.

Practical implications: The model can be used as a justification for selecting an inventory pre-positioning strategy based on MTBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalDisaster Prevention and Management
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Inventory pre-positioning
  • Inventory swap
  • Mean Time Between Disasters (MTBD)
  • Shelf life
  • Zimbabwe

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