Throughout the month of December 2015, the IAPHL community engaged in a discussion called “Supply Chains and GIS: How Geography Can Strengthen the Analysis of Supply Chains.” In this conversation IAPHL members looked at how the mapping of geographic and development data can be linked with logistics data to improve our supply chains. This discussion was led by IAPHL member Andrew Inglis, GIS Team lead at USAID | DELIVER PROJECT.
“One of the benefits of linking GIS with logistics would be the need to monitor commodity consumption patterns by health facility, detecting pending stock-outs especially in hard to reach areas where health facilities may not be able to refill frequently, and generating working figures when estimating transport costs.” –Victoria Masembe (Uganda)
“Having an interactive map makes the supply chain much more real, particularly to people who are only looking at the big picture of the supply chain and aren’t the ones driving the trucks.” –Wendy Prosser (USA)
“I will want to agree with the view that LMIS can be a good source of data for GIS analysis. Managing a national LMIS linked with a GIS requires technical depth of officers concerned. Nonetheless, GIS application to routine immunization has great potentials. Stock data from the field can easily be manipulated on a GIS platform to show trends and patterns over time and across the study area of interest.”– Segun Adetunde (Nigeria)
“I am fully convinced of the immense benefits such modern applications like GIS would bring about in the health sector for the benefit of the people. But unfortunately demographic data in developing countries around which GIS would mainly revolve is highly unreliable. In Pakistan, a census has not taken place since 1998. The available demographic data is very much inflated resulting in wastage of meager resources.”– Muhammad Younus Khokhar (Pakistan)
“I think the GIS allows logistics manager to better understand the supply chain in terms of product shipment. It allows one to know the distance between a basic health center and the health district for example. Thus, we can evaluate the product routing costs (delivery, transportation means to be used, the supply frequency ..). Having elements on GIS allows us to respond rapidly to natural disasters (distribution of emergency kits), assess areas where health center extensions or opening a new one can be considered.” –Karine (IAPHL Member)
“There are quite a few challenges that may hinder the deployment of GIS namely but not limited to: 1. Poor/non-existent road network 2. Limited satellite coverage for GIS. 3. Poor means of household identification i.e. when someone describes a Primary Health Centre (PHC) as being behind the chief’s palace or by the market square.
For now, Nigeria system currently will better benefit from using GIS technology to locate and triangulate Health Facilities.”—Ikenna Igwe (Nigeria)
Principal uses of GIS in supply chains- summarized by moderator Andrew Ingils:
OPERATIONAL/MONITOR AND EVALUATION
– Monitor commodity consumption, stock status and stock out patterns. Use of interactive mapping (web maps)
– Route planning, available distribution routes, and transport costs
SUPPLY CHAIN DESIGN
– Where to place regional stores? Study efficiencies of distribution systems
– Correlation of stock distribution against demographic indicators