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Abstract

This case presents the scenario faced by a British logistician who worked for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Bukavu, Zaire, for three months in late 1994. It illustrates both the underlying difficulties of operation in the Third World, where much of the Western infrastructure is absent, and the additional problems that come with a refugee emergency. Apart from pressure for quick results, and the absence of opportunity to consider alternatives to any first working option that presents itself, the experience highlighted one central proposition of modern logistics - that information is a substitute for inventory. With poor communications and far too many data gaps, it was possible to do a satisfactory job; but there was no chance of fine-tuning the resources to the job that had to be done. The teaching objectives of the case are to reinforce the general underlying principles of logistics, and to develop insight into some of the particular requirements for managing logistics in emergencies. Those participating should learn how to set up practical solutions of logistical problems for which normal support is not available.
Location:
Size:
Immense
Other setting(s):
1994

About

Abstract

This case presents the scenario faced by a British logistician who worked for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Bukavu, Zaire, for three months in late 1994. It illustrates both the underlying difficulties of operation in the Third World, where much of the Western infrastructure is absent, and the additional problems that come with a refugee emergency. Apart from pressure for quick results, and the absence of opportunity to consider alternatives to any first working option that presents itself, the experience highlighted one central proposition of modern logistics - that information is a substitute for inventory. With poor communications and far too many data gaps, it was possible to do a satisfactory job; but there was no chance of fine-tuning the resources to the job that had to be done. The teaching objectives of the case are to reinforce the general underlying principles of logistics, and to develop insight into some of the particular requirements for managing logistics in emergencies. Those participating should learn how to set up practical solutions of logistical problems for which normal support is not available.

Settings

Location:
Size:
Immense
Other setting(s):
1994

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