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The impact of Mean Time Between Disasters on inventory pre-positioning strategy

Tezar Yuliansyah Saputra (School of Business and Management, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia AND Department of Information, Logistics, and Innovation, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Olaf Pots (Field Support Unit, Department of Logistics, Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Karin S. de Smidt-Destombes (Department of Information, Logistics, and Innovation, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Sander de Leeuw (Department of Information, Logistics, and Innovation, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

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.

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).

Keywords

Citation

Saputra, T.Y., Pots, O., de Smidt-Destombes, K.S. and de Leeuw, S. (2015), "The impact of Mean Time Between Disasters on inventory pre-positioning strategy", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 115-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-11-2013-0197

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited