We design, tailor, test, and scale tools and approaches to improve supply chain decision-making, optimize resources, and empower local supply chain actors in the most complex environments.
Optimizing and streamlining global and in-country supply chains to provide life-saving commodities is critical to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. Every dollar we save in supply chain operations is reinvested in commodities procurement and advisory services. Through our health and education supply chain management projects, we design, tailor, test, and scale proven technologies and innovations that are streamlined and optimized to work in the most complex environments. We work with stakeholders to design and adopt solutions that improve end-to-end supply chain data visibility for decision-making, increase cost efficiencies, empower local counterparts for self-reliance, and expand our reach to the last mile. Our goal is to develop global scalable tools that can be easily adapted and replicated to fit different and complex contexts while building in-country actors’ capacity and strengthening global supply chains.
Banner photo: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, used for last-mile deliveries in Malawi. Photo by: Moving Minds Multimedia for UNICEF Malawi
End-to-end data visibility allows countries, donors, and implementing partners to better manage performance and build sustainable supply chains. Access to data leads to better decision-making at every stage. From forecasting accurate quantities of medical supplies and equipping warehousing managers with effective commercial practices to addressing delivery challenges and reaching to the last mile, we collaborate with partners to develop innovative forecasting and supply planning tools to help ensure the right quantity of medical commodities are received at the right place and the right time. Our voice over internet protocol call center and web-based database helps capture facility stock status by having staff log into the application, call a mobile phone, and enter data, leveraging local cellular networks to connect with health facilities.
To enhance successful data collection and data use, we have successfully selected, designed, rolled-out, and maintained integrated Logistics Management Information Systems (LMIS) in more than 20 countries around the world. As endorsers of the Principles for Digital Development, our teams design LMIS solutions that are user-friendly, take into consideration the existing ecosystem, and allow scaling and sustaining operations at a global scale. Our Commodity Order Management System (COMS) aims to improve the Nigerian government’s ability to attain visibility throughout its supply chain network of more than 20,000 health facilities. This control tower platform provides end-to-end visibility into the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project’s supply chain—from purchase and distribution to storage at in-country distribution centers and final delivery at health facilities.
Last Mile Delivery Innovations
Our tools use cutting-edge technology to ensure vital health commodities reach the last mile safely, collecting data and tracking the whereabouts of medications to help supply chain actors make informed decisions. We introduced an “internet of things” technology to monitor temperatures via remote sensors, addressing lack of visibility in storage and transportation conditions and ensuring the maintenance of stable conditions critical to guaranteeing the safety of health supplies. The sensors collect routine temperature and humidity data from warehouses, trucks, and everywhere else in the supply chain, giving supply chain managers the ability to monitor continuously via web applications for the first time.
To address historic gaps in delivery management in low-resource settings using paper-based data collection, Chemonics developed TransIT, a management system which aggregates transportation data. It uses cloud-based software to track performance, location, and costs as commodities move through in-country distribution networks. Through the USAID GHSC-PSM project, we piloted the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to deliver commodities to the last mile, bypassing more traditional methods of transportation and delivery that could increase delivery time by weeks.
Supply Chain Optimization Solutions
We conduct cost-benefit analysis to inform decision-making and allocate the efficient use of resources to ensure that every dollar is spent where it is needed most in the supply chain. In an unprecedented effort to streamline operations and improve the use of regional distribution centers (RDCs), Chemonics and its partners designed and implemented a consolidated global supply chain network to focus on higher delivery performance and cost effectiveness. For the USAID GHSC-PSM project, we completed a thorough modeling exercise covering 51 countries, 40 major products, and 12 supplier countries to determine the optimal placement of our regional distribution centers, resulting in an estimated $2.9 million in warehouse and freight costs.
Ensuring that shipments will be enough to meet community needs, while having the capacity to store, transport, and distribute commodities, is a complex undertaking. Chemonics, through the GHSC-PSM project, developed the application of Volumetrics, which brought a new level of insight to global and international health supply chain actors, enabling data-driven decisions based on measuring and sharing the dimensions of expected shipments from the point of procurement through storage and distribution.
Solutions for Building Self-Reliance
Working with local governments, the private sector, and community-based organizations is a key component to achieving self-reliance. Our solutions increase local actors’ commitment and capacity to plan, finance, and implement tools and approaches that address supply chain challenges.
When facing global disruptions such as natural disasters and pandemics like COVID-19, agility is key to ensuring life-saving commodities continue to reach communities worldwide. Chemonics and its partners create and share actionable supply chain tools and resources such as the Emergency Supply Chain Preparedness Playbook. Developed under the USAID Global Health Supply Chain–Technical Assistance (GHSC-TA) Francophone Task Order, this tool has been implemented in 16 countries to ensure the global health community is ready to face these disruptions.
To build sustainability, we empower governments to design and manage public-private sector collaborations and use commercial approaches for increased supply chain network effectiveness. Country ownership of decisions to outsource key operations such as inventory management and transportation represent progress toward self-reliance. We have supported 11 countries in the adoption of outsourced private third-party logistics (3PL) service models. In Zambia, our team supported central medical stores in subcontracting a private 3PL provider to distribute 43 percent of the commodities, covering an estimated 409,000 HIV/AIDS patients. In Nigeria, with USAID and Global Fund support, Chemonics assisted the government in launching a public-private partnership to establish two privately operated industry-grade pharmaceutical warehouses, reducing storage costs and resulting in approximately $1.25 million in annual savings.