Mission and Values
Reliable access to life-saving commodities should be an expectation, not a privilege. Read moreRead more
To increase the end-to-end visibility of commodity location throughout distribution, the Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement Supply Management project in Cameroon, Haiti, and Niger began tracking last-mile distribution in January 2021 using global positioning system technology installed in third-party logistics vehicles.
In an effort to reduce malaria and HIV morbidity, and to improve access to maternal and child health and family planning commodities, the Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project delivers key life-saving medicines to the last mile across the world. Distribution of commodities in Cameroon, Haiti, and Niger is often inhibited by extreme weather conditions, political unrest, poor or nonexistent road conditions, crime, and the lack of a trained workforce. These complexities require creative problem-solving and forward-focused solutions to create a proactive, efficient supply chain. Tracking last-mile distribution (LMD) with real-time global positioning system (GPS) data has provided end-to-end visibility of movement of commodities and the data necessary to improve efficiency and address problems in real time.
Although each country faces unique challenges, by implementing the GPS tracking methodology concurrently, the three GHSC-PSM teams have collaborated, problem solved, and adapted to the new procedures more effectively and efficiently. In many countries, it is common for GPS tracking requirements to be added to third-party logistics (3PL) transportation requests for proposals and eventually flow to contracts. Adherence to this arrangement is inconsistent, however, and the project often underutilizes the software. Challenges — including using multiple platforms, acquiring usernames and passwords, ensuring that accounts are active and invoices are paid, and creating custom reports — lead to an inability to incorporate real-time tracking effectively and efficiently into standard management practices. Having one GPS tracking platform across the 3PL providers’ and Chemonics’ project vehicles in these countries streamlines and centralizes accurate and consistent tracking. The data collected provides insights into several areas for improvement:
Limited documentation of the state/status of the roads and delivery routes.
Lack of oversight/visibility of commodities once they leave GHSC-PSM and partner warehouses.
Lack of understanding on timing and duration of commodity distribution.
Reduction in the duplication of efforts in commodity distribution Efficiency of distribution routes.
Evidence that can be used for root-cause analysis, process improvement, and policy compliance documentation.