Purpose – To develop and test three different inventory management strategies as applied to the complex emergency in south Sudan. Design/methodology/approach – Quantitative modeling, simulation, and statistics. Findings – This research identified critical system factors that contributed most significantly to inventory system performance, and identified strengths and weaknesses of each inventory management strategy. Research limitations/implications – This research represents a first step in developing inventory management systems for humanitarian relief. Future work would include modeling correlation among relief items, multiple items, and considering the impact of information. Practical implications – In a domain that has seen limited application of quantitative models, this work demonstrates the performance benefits of using quantitative methods to manage inventory in a relief setting. Originality/value – This research has value for relief organizations by providing a real‐world application of quantitative inventory management strategies applied to a complex emergency, and demonstrated performance advantages of quantitative versus ad hoc methods. This research has value for researchers by providing a new application of simulation and mathematical modeling (humanitarian relief).
The International Journal of Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2006
Keywords: Inventory management; Emergency services; Simulation; Sudan
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