TABLE 1.

Key Modeling Tool Design Decisions for Facilitating Rapid Supply Chain Analyses

Simplifying modeling assumptions: Reducing data requirements and enable real-time calculationAssumptions:
  • All facilities at a given tier have the same demand quantity per order period

  • Demand is the same for every order period and does not vary over time

  • Facilities within a tier are evenly distributed throughout a given region and, thus, are the same average distance to their nearest re-supply point

Standardizing design levers: Providing flexibility to model diverse global health distribution strategies
  • Storage: At which levels do you hold and manage inventory? How much safety stock does each level hold, and how frequently is it replenished?

  • Transportation: What types of vehicles are used to transport replenishment shipments? What type of distribution model is followed at each level (e.g., hub and spoke or multi-stop distribution loops), and are there any travel constraints (e.g., administrative boundaries)?

  • Management: Who is responsible for performing key ordering, transport, and storage functions? What types of technology supports people at each level?

Proxying data and worksheets to fill gaps: Enabling quick estimation of missing data pointsSupporting worksheets and datasets:
  • A model for estimating immunization and/or reproductive health demand volumes and product value, by combining available demand planning methodologies with publicly available demographic and product data

  • A general model for converting the number of units of a health product into a cubic-meter volume using historical product unit volume data

  • Common commercial heuristics for estimating storage capacity of a warehouse based on its overall dimensions

  • A database of typical costs for assets like vehicles, warehousing space, and cold chain equipment

Using Excel-based platform for broad accessibility