Relief Supply Chain Planning: Insights from Thailand

Relief Supply Chain Planning: Insights from Thailand

Ruth Banomyong (Thammasat University, Thailand) and Apichat Sodapang (Chiangmai University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-824-8.ch003
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide a framework for the development of relief supply chain systems. An illustrative case study is presented in order to help relief supply chain decision makers in their relief supply chain planning process. Developing simulation models to test proposed relief supply chain response plans is much less risky than actually waiting for another disaster to happen and test the proposed relief supply chain model in a real life situation. The simulated outcome can then be used to refine the developed relief supply chain response model.
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A Generic Relief Supply Chain Response Model

The work of Jennings et al. (2000) detailed some of the basic principles surrounding the movement of food and commodities into areas where assistance is required. The authors developed a response model expressed in terms of the selection of transport modes and networks required for effective delivery of assistance to refugees. Pettit and Beresford (2005) expanded the earlier Jennings model with the purpose of developing a better understanding of relief supply chain needs by splitting a specific emergency into different stages or phases. In their model, the focus was on the participation of military and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in emergency situations. During the initial stages following any disaster, the body playing a pivotal role is the relevant government, often initially activating military resources but as the situation stabilises so the importance of military assistance declines; NGOs then take over, commonly leading specific aspects of the relief operations. Other situational factors that could either facilitate or hinder relief operations were also accounted for in the model such as, for example, the underlying political situation or physical geography/accessibility.

Although each crisis is unique in its characteristics, most crises exhibit similar logistical elements. These elements allow the relief logistician to follow a structured response pattern when dealing with the majority of crisis. This response pattern is illustrated in a generic disaster response model.

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