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About Humanitarian
Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Having the right items available when needed is the heart of supply chain operations.  Humanitarian supply involves activities from procurement and shipping for delivery to the beneficiary.  Supply chain management (SCM), however, is much broader.  SCM is a process (not a function) that is interdependent with other functions and must be integrated seamlessly in order to provide support for programs.

In 2005, Fritz Institute’s Anisya Thomas and Mitsuko Mizushima published the definition below, and it is still generally accepted as the industry standard today:

Humanitarian Supply Chain Management is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow and storage of goods and materials as well as related information, from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of meeting the end beneficiary’s requirements.

Since its inception in 2003, Fritz Institute’s Humanitarian Logistics Conferences (HLC) have provided a forum for senior humanitarian logistics and supply chain professionals to discuss common issues at a strategic level and define specific action steps that the sector can take to address those issues. 

Issues initially identified at HLC, and subsequently validated with numerous studies and surveys, became the core of Fritz Institute’s work
going forward.