Asset Supply Networks in Humanitarian Operations: A Combined Empirical-Simulation Approach

Journal of Operations Management, forthcoming.

Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2960307

45 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017 Last revised: 1 Aug 2019

See all articles by Jon M. Stauffer

Jon M. Stauffer

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School

Alfonso Pedraza Martinez

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Lu (Lucy) Yan

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Luk N. Van Wassenhove

INSEAD

Date Written: August 6, 2018

Abstract

International humanitarian organizations (IHOs) respond to mega disasters while maintaining development programs in the rest of the world (ROW). This means an IHO’s asset supply network must perform the challenging task of supporting a fast disaster response while simulta- neously maintaining cost-effective ROW development programs. We study how supply network asset flows are impacted during a mega disaster response and find that resource fluidity, the capability to reallocate resources quickly, impacts both mega disaster and ROW program asset flows within these supply networks. Using data from a large IHO’s response to a mega disaster and econometric models, we find a dependency between ROW asset flow and mega disaster asset flow in IHOs with resource fluidity. As mega disaster flow increases, there is a decrease in hub-to-hub ROW asset flows and an increase in other ROW asset flows. This is contrary to most humanitarian operations research, which typically assumes independent asset flows. Because of resource fluidity, the combination of these flows does not compromise ROW operations. We use these empirical results to feed a simulation analysis that extends our research to IHOs without resource fluidity and provides actionable insights for varying types of IHOs in various demand scenarios. Simulation insights illustrate that resource fluidity impacts IHO asset supply network costs and optimal configurations.

Keywords: Humanitarian Logistics, Simulation, Network Analysis, Exponential Random Graph Models, Dependent Supply, Secondary Support Resources

Suggested Citation

Stauffer, Jon and Pedraza Martinez, Alfonso and Yan, Lu (Lucy) and Van Wassenhove, Luk N., Asset Supply Networks in Humanitarian Operations: A Combined Empirical-Simulation Approach (August 6, 2018). Journal of Operations Management, forthcoming.; Mays Business School Research Paper No. 2960307. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2960307 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2960307

Jon Stauffer (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School ( email )

TAMU4217
College Station, TX 77843-4217
United States

Alfonso Pedraza Martinez

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Business 670
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Lu (Lucy) Yan

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Department of Operations and Decision Technologies
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Luk N. Van Wassenhove

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77 305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France
(33) (0)1 60 72 42 66 (Phone)
(33) (0)1 60 72 40 49 (Fax)

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