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Centralized vehicle leasing in humanitarian fleet management: the UNHCR case

Nathan Kunz (Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA AND INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group, Fontainebleau, France)
Luk N. Van Wassenhove (INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group, Fontainebleau, France)
Rob McConnell (Asset and Fleet Management Section, UNHCR, Budapest, Hungary)
Ketil Hov (Asset and Fleet Management Section, UNHCR, Budapest, Hungary)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Article publication date: 7 December 2015

891

Abstract

Purpose

Fleet management is a key function in humanitarian organizations, but is not always recognized as such. This results in poor performance and negative impacts on the organization. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrates how the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) managed to substantially improve its fleet management through the introduction of an Internal Leasing Program (ILP), in which headquarters procures vehicles and leases them to field offices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a framework for fleet management based on a longitudinal case study with UNHCR. It compares fleet performance indicators before and after implementation of an ILP.

Findings

At UNHCR, vehicle procurement was driven by availability of funding. Fleet management was highly decentralized and field offices had limited awareness of its importance. These systems and behaviors led to major challenges for the organization. The introduction of the ILP positively impacted fleet management at UNHCR by reducing fleet size, average age of fleet and procurement costs.

Practical implications

This paper provides fleet managers with a tool for analyzing their fleet. The frameworks and actions described in this paper contain practical recommendations for achieving a well-performing fleet.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to analyze fleet management before and after introduction of an ILP. It describes the benefits of this model based on empirical data, and develops frameworks to be used by researchers and practitioners.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Othman Boufaied, INSEAD, the Internal Leasing Program staff for their help in the research, and to UNHCR for its financial support.

Citation

Kunz, N., Van Wassenhove, L.N., McConnell, R. and Hov, K. (2015), "Centralized vehicle leasing in humanitarian fleet management: the UNHCR case", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 387-404. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-07-2015-0034

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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