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Identifying Challenges and Improvement Approaches for More Efficient Procurement Coordination in Relief Supply Chains

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Department of Operations, Energy, and Environmental Management, University of Klagenfurt, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
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Institute for Production Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business, 1020 Vienna, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrea Appolloni
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042204
Received: 11 January 2021 / Revised: 5 February 2021 / Accepted: 6 February 2021 / Published: 18 February 2021
Coordinating humanitarian organizations in the procurement of urgently needed relief items is complex and characterized by decentralization and isolated decision-making. The decentralized coordination of associated tasks often results in the duplication of efforts and redundant/incorrect relief items supplies into single disaster regions, having negative impacts on the most vulnerable ones. This paper devotes attention to the challenges that exist in the coordination of procurement activities in relief supply chains and asks for improvement approaches to facilitate more efficient demand satisfaction in disaster situations. Therefore, the authors apply multiple case study research including expert interviews with procurement agents and heads of logistics from international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), humanitarian start-ups and military logistics centers. Results indicate that a lack of incentives to cooperate, poor communication, unclear division of competences and noncompliance to standards and regulations constitute substantial challenges in procurement coordination. Moreover, expert interview results show that social media integration, procurement flexibility, cluster and collaborative coordination have potential to support improving the coordination of NGOs’ procurement activities. By presenting several theoretical propositions, this paper complements already existing literature and provides a reference point for future research. Practitioners can benefit from findings as they are provided with a guide that allows redesigning certain processes in procurement coordination. View Full-Text
Keywords: humanitarian logistics; relief supply chain management; procurement coordination; case study research humanitarian logistics; relief supply chain management; procurement coordination; case study research
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wankmüller, C.; Reiner, G. Identifying Challenges and Improvement Approaches for More Efficient Procurement Coordination in Relief Supply Chains. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2204. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042204

AMA Style

Wankmüller C, Reiner G. Identifying Challenges and Improvement Approaches for More Efficient Procurement Coordination in Relief Supply Chains. Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):2204. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042204

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wankmüller, Christian, and Gerald Reiner. 2021. "Identifying Challenges and Improvement Approaches for More Efficient Procurement Coordination in Relief Supply Chains" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 2204. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042204

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