Monday, September 23, 2013
Supply Network: Red Cross
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. It is made up of Red Cross, Red Crescent, and Red Crystal societies around the world in 187 countries, totaling 13 million volunteers. They categorize their services into three areas: disaster response & recovery, development, and promoting social inclusion and peace. The IFRC is most known for disaster response & recovery but their development services focus on health, food security, and water sanitation. Their social activities center on community harmony and bridging differences between religions and cultures. The IFRC usually relies on local volunteers in target communities to provide services but for major disaster response & recovery, volunteers usually come in from outside immediate communities.
The IFRC is so large that they have launched Global Logistics Service (GLS) to provide for their needs and other groups that share their humanitarian view. GLS provides all logistical services for moving supplies like food, water, medical supplies, drugs, shelters, and other basic needs throughout the world including procurement and transportation, warehousing and handling, contingency stock, fleet services, and insurance. With group buying power, they can reduce the cost of goods for purchased supplies. Their warehousing and handling and fleet services around the world can move supplies from where they are stored to where they are needed and contingency stocks in strategic locations ensure that needed supplies can reach their destination within 24-48 hours.
The IFRC is so large that it makes sense that they created their own logistical service but is there a benefit to creating and managing their own when they can outsource the services?