Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Team Designs Optimal Supply Chains for Disaster Relief

31.01.2011
A major new study on the most efficient design of supply chains for products needed in disasters, major emergencies and pending epidemics has been published by a team of researchers at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The team includes Anna Nagurney, the John F. Smith Memorial Professor of Operations Management, and Min Yu, a doctoral student in management science at the Isenberg School. Nagurney says the research was inspired by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haitian earthquake of 2010. In both cases, getting humanitarian relief supplies of water, food, medicines and needed services to the victims was a major challenge because of the absence of well planned and coordinated logistics.

These problems are uniquely challenging since the needs of the affected population should be met as closely as possible. An undersupply of food, water and medicines quickly leads to loss of life and at the same time, an oversupply of products may also carry costs, due to unnecessary waste and even, possibly, environmental damage.

To address these issues, the research team developed a computer-based mathematical model that allows for the optimal design of such supply chain networks at minimal total cost and with the satisfaction of the product demands at the demand points, as closely as possible under conditions of uncertainty. The model also enables the evaluation of trade-offs associated with in-house production versus outsourcing. The research has relevance to organizations from government-based agencies to humanitarian groups that are involved in decision-making in disasters, emergencies, and pending epidemics.

Nagurney says, “A company can, using our model, prepare and plan for an emergency such as a natural disaster in the form of a hurricane or earthquake and identify where to store a necessary product such as food packets, water and medicines, so that the items can be delivered to the demand points in a timely manner and at minimal total cost.”

She notes that in the case of Wal-Mart and Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart had existing capacity in the form of its large distribution center and numerous stores in the southern U.S. where Katrina had its greatest physical impact. “It was able to distribute needed supplies and, in addition, achieved an enormous amount of goodwill,” she says.

The paper, “Supply Chain Network Design for Critical Needs with Outsourcing,” was co-authored by Patrick Qiang of Pennsylvania State University Malvern. Qiang earned his doctorate from the Isenberg School in 2009. It is available online from the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, in the journal Papers in Regional Science.

Partial support for this research was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation through its Bellagio Centers Program through the workshop “Humanitarian Logistics: Networks for Africa,” that was organized by Nagurney and took place at the Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Italy. Additional support was provided by the John F. Smith Memorial Fund.

Anna Nagurney
413-545-5635
nagurney@gbfin.umass.edu

Anna Nagurney | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.umass.edu

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Laser rescue system for serious accidents
29.11.2016 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

nachricht Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>