The increasing number of natural disasters has increased the attention on emergency plans aimed at providing fast support to affected communities. In this context, inventory pre-positioning management, which involves positioning the materials required to meet the affected community's needs early, has been increasingly acknowledged, but many challenges persist. The purpose of the paper is to provide a decision support system for the optimal quantification and location of humanitarian aid, trying to enhance and extend the existing literature on this topic.
The paper develops a numerical model for inventory pre-positioning of humanitarian aid to reduce both emergency response times and costs connected to goods procurement for seismic events. By examining the characteristics of the territory and the affected population, the model defines the optimal stock levels for four basic need items (hygienic sanitary kits, beds, blankets and camp tents) to be pre-allocated in the territory.
The model was validated using data obtained from the two severe earthquakes that occurred in Italy. The case study showed how the simulated outputs differ from the real case data and the economic benefits of adopting inventory pre-positioning considering the cost reductions (purchase, storage, transport and fulfilment of requirements).
The proposed decision support system allows the pre-positioning of emergency supplies in local areas in order to reduce response times and increase the speed of intervention in the event of seismic events, exploiting the advantages of a simulation model. Numerical and graphical results can easily support improvements in humanitarian logistics, providing those affected with rapid, cost-effective and better-adapted responses.
Di Pasquale, V., Fruggiero, F. and Iannone, R. (2020), "A numerical approach for inventory pre-positioning in emergency management", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-07-2019-0043Download as .RIS
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