Optimizing Supply Chains for Improved Performance
(2014; 6 pages)



Effective supply chains must be flexible and responsive to the changing dynamics in the marketplace, in manufacturing and technology, and in consumer expectations. This is also true for public health supply chains, which must respond and adapt to dynamic environments. But, change must be planned and based on today’s demands and tomorrow’s opportunities and risks. Supply chain optimization is a powerful, practical tool that can improve performance now and position supply chains for the future.

Optimization is a commercial-sector approach to designing, strategic planning, and continuous improvement in supply chain operations. It can be used to design new supply chains, or to redesign existing supply chains. In public health, optimization helps address common policy questions, such as—

What would be the impact if a new vaccine was introduced in the supply chain?

Can I unify multiple distribution systems into one?

How many warehouses do I need and where should they be located?

What type of vehicles do I need and how many?

Using simulation software and routine data, the optimization process identifies flexible strategies for increasing the performance and cost effectiveness of each supply chain function.

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