Supply Chain Management

Warehousing and Distribution

Reaching major global health goals such as Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths, achieving an AIDS-Free Generation, and protecting communities from infectious diseases depends on effective supply chains for medicines and health care commodities. However, many countries with the greatest public health challenges also have some of the greatest supply chain constraints, including a lack of human resources, high turnover, inadequate leadership, poorly defined operating procedures, insufficient infrastructure, limited funding, suboptimal storage conditions, and inaccurate or unavailable data for effective decision making.

Through its supply chain management capabilities, SIAPS helped countries strengthen their pharmaceutical systems to ensure the continuous availability of quality pharmaceutical products. SIAPS helped analyze options and design appropriate and locally relevant supply chain interventions, including those related to the management of logistics information. Our supply chain management activities focused on selection, procurement planning and management, quantification (forecasting and supply planning), warehousing, inventory management, distribution, transportation, logistics management information systems, quality assurance, and dispensing.

SIAPS addressed these areas by working with in-country partners and stakeholders to explore innovative solutions through stakeholder mapping, assessments of supply system performance indicators, cost analyses, and evaluation of forecasting processes.  The results from these assessments helped inform the design and implementation of identified solutions, including establishing viable private-sector partnerships; applying emerging and innovative technologies, such as web-based and mobile solutions, to manage supply chain information; improving local competencies and task-shifting; promoting system integration; seeking supply chain standards certification; and monitoring supply chain system performance.

With the aim of strengthening health systems in the long term, SIAPS focused not just on bolstering the components directly related to a country’s supply chain, but also considered the interrelated factors that affect supply chain performance, including governance, capacity building, financing, and information systems. By embedding efforts to strengthen supply chain management in the building blocks of a health system and integrating vertical supply chains for disease-specific programs into comprehensive and coordinated systems, interventions were not only responsive, feasible, and effective, but also scalable and sustainable.