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A disaster can be defined as a severe disruption of the functioning of a community involving widespread human, material, economic and environmental losses (Spans & Kovacs, 2012). The impacts caused by a disaster exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using its resources. The humanitarian sectors like health and non-profit organizations have “follow on” supply chain intended to respond to emergencies that occur after disasters. Follow on chain supply in the emergency units is of great importance.
First, the victims of disasters may not have the ability to cope with life after the disastrous event. There is the loss of property; sometimes the only breadwinners die in the disaster events. The survivors need financial support, food, clothing, and medical care. Organizations like Red Cross have a well-managed post-disaster supply chain that looks upon the victims like the physically and mentally injured (Spens & Kovacs, 2012).
Secondly, society and humanitarian organization need to have healthy and strong relationships. Coordination, collaboration and good communication between the community and the emergency response teams helps in preparedness of such units as it creates trust and flow of information. It also assists in creating awareness. Its sole purpose is to purchase supportive tools and materials for the survivors (Spens & Kovacs, 2012).
Lastly, the humanitarian organizations have a particular concern on human welfare; for example, the emergency response teams have social and legal responsibilities to plan disaster-recovery programs. The victims should be provided with basic needs, psychological and physical support. For example, physically injured persons need wheels and other supporting tools. Post-Disaster patients due to disease-outbreak should receive medical treatment (Spens & Kovacs, 2012). Emergency response teams should focus on follow on activities and manage the supply chain well. Running out of resources sounds awkward because the teams must be prepared all the time.
Spens, K. M., & Kovacs, G. (2012). Relief supply chain management for disasters:
Humanitarian aid and emergency logistics. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.
All projects often face a number of challenges associated with resources and supplies which are ever scarce. Of the stated plans Kosovo and FYROM, reconstruction works face myriads of setbacks especially considering the idea that projects need to be completed for purposes of recovery as fast as possible. Challenges can be humanmade, and they, therefore, call for the allocation of more resources efficiently and at a higher frequency. In the context of reconstruction after a disaster, this paper focuses on the significance of maintaining a follow up on the resource supplies which is an integral part of all construction and reconstruction works. It is very imperative to keep close monitoring of the supply chain of materials especially in the context of humanitarian reconstruction which is the focal point of this paper.
According to Kovacs and Spens (90), the primary objective behind maintaining a closer look at the supply chain is to continually check on-time deliveries, to keep cost efficiencies, customer service levels, and the process quality. In the context of humanitarian reconstruction processes in Kosovo and FYROM, if any of these factors runs short in the products undersupply, then a relief supply chain may need to be introduced to cover up the shortcomings arising from the original string of supplies.
One of the most critical factors in the supply chain is the security of products or goods involved. It is one of the contractual requirements imposed by the contracting authorities to ensure that products reach the customer in the stipulated time and the original quantities. Related activities such as maintenance and repair, availing spare parts and availing proper defense in case of crisis situations.
Customer service is mandatory in every business. Kovacs and Spens (91) state that there should always be strategies that ensure that customers are protected, lest the supplier loses a competitive position in the market. In the present world, customer expectation for timely service before, during and after the termination of a contractor after the product sale, continue to increase. Of late, websites are used to relay nonproprietary information such as the service bulletins, maintenance manuals, and responses to frequently asked questions. This is one provision that enables customers from all over the world to place orders without having to worry about the challenges associated with international calls. In the United States, for example, spare parts of electronic can be delivered overnight just because of a reliable communication network in the supply chain. As for the case of supplies, a technical challenge may occur during the transportation process, and the delay of the product entirely fails to reach the consumer. The existence of customer service whose specific task is to monitor the flow of supplies is essential. Therefore, Kovacs and Spens (94) recommend a proper means to track the supplies, or else the supplier may fail to address challenges arising from the chain, and in the long run, customers will run away.
Quality is one of the considerations that customers ask in every other market. They go for suppliers whose products are of sufficiently high quality in the humanitarian housing reconstruction in Kosovo and FYROM. Constructions in the modern word last far longer than they used to do about two decades ago. They are orders of higher complexity which in a real sense should have a high propensity to failure, but that’s not the case. Besides, they are more reliable. The product quality, therefore, determines the success of the supply chain along with many other factors. Participants of the supply chain need to maintain high-quality products to ensure that they meet the standards and hence improve the overall performance of the supply chain. The reason why there is a need to keep a closer look at the supplies is to ensure quality. As for the reconstructions in Kosovo and FYROM, Kovacs and Spens (96) argue that the supply chain needed a constant follow-up to ensure that quality procedures are well-performed. The result of such activities includes the reduced repetition of work and improves on-time deliveries. Likewise, the process will minimize schedule variances and optimize savings.
Aside from quality, delivery is an integral element of supply. As the supply chain integration level rises, the levels of inventory reduction and on-time deliveries become very critical for success. According to Kovacs and Spens (99), significant production capacities and inventories ought to ensure on-time delivery. However, very sophisticated logistics systems and flexible tools, integrated supply chain no longer require large inventory buffers to respond effectively to emergencies and unexpected variations in the consumer demand. To make a follow on supplies is therefore essential to ensure that the products arrive at the consumer base even if unforeseen events and variations occur along the way. Likewise, should there be a change in the product/service, the supplier can be able to make necessary adjustments to remain immune to imminent losses and at the same time maintain a good relationship with customers.
Kovacs, G., and K. Spens. “Relief supply chain management for disasters humanitarian.” Aid Emerg Logist (2011): 90-102.