Logistimo is a fully mobile-enabled platform for supply chain management that enables a country to optimize supply chain performance across their network, from first-mile until the last-mile, and achieve optimal service quality. It enables inventory management, order management, demand forecasting, inventory optimization, remote temperature monitoring (for cold-chains) and transportation logistics management. This platform is already being used at scale in a few low- and middle-income countries in public health supply chains spanning immunization, essential drugs, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, and so on. The crisis due to COVID-19 has posed a real challenge for the COVID-19 supplies, given high demand volatility, supply shortages and transportation constraints. We highlight a few adaptations that we have made to the platform to enable effective management of an in-country COVID-19 supply chain.
Piggybacking on the existing deployment
In contexts where the Logistimo SCM system was already in use for an existing supply chain, our customers have been able to quickly extend this for COVID-19 across an entire state or country. For instance, a few states in India have added over 70 COVID-19 materials to the system and have been able to gain immediate visibility into supply, demand and stock at every node until the last mile. Since 2015, the Logistimo platform has been powering eVIN for vaccine supply chain management, which is a joint initiative by UNDP India and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. eVIN currently covers over 23,000 health facilities across 22 states in India. With other partners, supplies for COVID-19 diagnostic laboratories are being monitored.
COVID-19 Bulletin Boards
Using our drag-and-drop dashboard designer, we have been able to quickly deploy COVID-19 specific dashboards, or Bulletin Boards, that can be visualized on large-screen monitors in a command centre. Multiple dashboards highlighting distribution and trends of stock outs, overstocking or under stocking of COVID-19 materials are streamed continuously on a computer screen or a large-screen television monitor. An example of this dashboard is shown below:
Bio-medical waste management
COVID-19 Bio-medical waste poses a serious risk of infections to health workers and patients, if not managed carefully. Hospitals and health facilities handling COVID-19 patients have to have effective procedures and infrastructure such as designated bins, isolated waste storage areas, incinerators, designated vans to transport waste, and so on. Sanitary workers processing bio-medical waste have to be aware of the procedures for waste handling and also take sufficient precautions for protecting themselves using PPE. We had adapted Logistimo Snapshot, a data-collection and analytics tool, for enabling assessments of infrastructure, awareness and procedures for bio-medical waste in preparation for ensuring appropriate reverse logistics for such waste until the waste management centers.
Transporting COVID-19 samples to laboratories for testing
Logistimo Fleet is a platform for managing transportation logistics and provides visibility and management of packages in-transit, while ensuring timely delivery. In many countries, there are very few testing centers for COVID-19, and timely delivery of patient samples to diagnostic laboratories are essential. Logistimo Fleet is adaptable to a variety of distribution networks and transportation models, with an ability to track each sample or a box of samples. We are currently exploring deployments of Fleet to enable transporting samples.
Integrating demand forecasts from external models
Given the high demand volatility of COVID-19, traditional forecasting models that rely on population or consumption cannot be accurate. At this time, there are both in-country and globally defined COVID-19 demand sensing models (e.g. WHO’s forecast tool) that enable a daily forecast based on a predictive model for the number of expected COVID-19 instances, and an assumed distribution of cases in intensive, acute or supportive care. We have leveraged the Logistimo Snapshot tool to integrate data from external demand sensing models and supply data from Logistimo SCM to provide effective visualizations of supply and demand, along with forecast accuracy based on actual consumption.
Stock rebalancing to address short supply
Given shortage of supply, Logistimo’s stock rebalancing capabilities can be used effectively to ensure the optimal amount of stock is transferred across health facilities. Map-based dashboards showing distribution of under-stocked and over-stocked regions (say, districts on a State map) or facilities (on a Google map) help in visually assessing the imbalance. Predictive stock rebalancing can be used later on products that have a sufficient data and a better understood demand pattern.
Strengthening supply chains that help compromised patients
Existing patients suffering from diseases such as HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cancer, and so on, have either compromised lungs or compromised immunity. In such cases, it is essential to strengthen such supply chains as quickly as possible. Given the ease of learning and the fast time-to-deploy of the Logistimo platform, the platform is being evaluated for strengthening such supply chains.
We are constantly looking for ways in which our platform and our services can help countries manage the COVID-19 crisis, and we would be happy to hear other contexts and use cases where we could be helpful. Please share your ideas or comments on this article below, or write to us at info [at] logistimo [dot] com for more information.