I interviewed Adebayo Adeleke who discussed Humanitarian Supply Chain Management.
It’s good to speak with you today, Bayo, and today I’m looking forward to hearing your views on the
topic of humanitarian supply chain management. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?
Thank you, Dustin. It’s nice to talk to you again. My name is Adebayo Adeleke. I’m a professional soldier. I’ve been in the U.S. Army for the past 15 years, and I’m a logistics and supply chain officer as my specialty in the military. Over the course of the years, I’ve learned different ways of how the military actually operates and suppliers sustain its forces on the battlefield, which is somewhat related to how it is done in commercial—which we’ll refer to as commercial, the mainstream of supply chain. During the process of doing that, I heard there’s a lot of knowledge pertaining to military supply chain and our passion kind of…I’ve been deployed a few times in combine operations. Being in the military, as you know, military operations, some are kind of synonymous with humanitarian supply chain as well, so I have that kind of keen interest in it. But my background has been, I’ve studied at University of Maryland, Webster University, and also the University of San Diego, where I got my master’s in supply chain management.
Thank you. My first question is: What is humanitarian supply chain management?
Humanitarian supply chain management is somehow, sometimes quite difficult to define because most people would think it is a supply chain in humanitarian form. Though it is somewhat of that nature, at the same time humanitarian supply chain is fixed with a task, just developing and executing more of our supply chains to bring goods to the services, to disaster-struck areas under critical time and pressure. It brings a unique set of supply chain challenges * (2:17—unclear) surrounding every disaster. Most of these challenges normally are not seen in mainstream supply chain.
Can you talk about why it’s important?
It’s quite important, I can say. Over the last few years, for example, in 2001 the total U.S. expenditure for humanitarian economic assistance was about $1.4 billion, of which about 9.7 percent represented special supplements for victims of foods and typhoons in all parts of the world. Between the period of 2000 and 2004, the whole world experienced an average number of disasters that was about, give or take, about 55 percent higher than the period between 1995 and 1999. What we’re starting to see, the trend of natural, both manmade and also disasters is going to increase, and if we do not find a way to preserve life and not to preserve property, we’re going to find ourselves as a whole in bad shape. That is where humanitarian supply chain comes in, by providing critical goods and services where these disasters strike.
My last question is: Can you talk about how it’s done and how you address some of the challenges that you mentioned?
Yes, some of these challenges over the years, critical supply chain is faced with numerous challenges. For example, the demand pattern, the lead time, the distribution network configuration in * (4:11—unclear) information system, some of these things are, over the years, these are the same reoccurring challenges. But we believe with the new frontier of technology streaming in, with the new training, with the new life mission of humanitarian supply chain, like before most disaster-relief workers are not well-trained or they’re not experts in humanitarian supply chain, but with numeral * (4:40—unclear), we have a lot of subject matter experts in humanitarian supply chain with different ideas, from different walks of life and different parts of the world. They help bring more awareness to how to combat those challenges. Also, with this newfound technology and different arrays of technology that’s flooded the market, it will help alleviate some of the setbacks and challenges we’ve had in humanitarian supply chain and where I think with these technologies, with this new expertise being kind of streaming into humanitarian supply chain, we have a better view and we have a better handle on how to combat the next disaster relief.
Thank you, Bayo, for sharing your views on humanitarian supply chain management.
Thank you, Dustin.
About Adebayo Adeleke
Director of Operations