Logistics & Supply Chain Management
CommCare Supply is designed to inform and empower supervisors and supply officers with key supply information.
CommCare for Logistics & Supply Chain
The need for systematic approaches to inventory management and informed resupply is chronic across multiple sectors serving the last mile. To help organizations address unique problems related to supply chain, Dimagi has developed a specialized CommCare Solution called CommCare Supply, which is designed to inform and empower supervisors and supply officers with key supply information.
By proactively tracking stock among a workforce, anticipating stockouts, suggesting reorder quantities, and facilitating resupply, CommCare Supply has played a crucial role in reducing stockouts for frontline workers in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. To date, CommCare Supply has received nearly one million stock reports from over 7,250 active facilities and more than 3,000 community health workers (CHWs) using the system.
Problem: Many frontline workers provide supply to a community, but have no reliable method of resupply; workers spend long periods without adequate stock, decreasing beneficiaries’ access to quality services and essential products.
- Mobile applications enable consistent reporting of stock on hand and requisition orders.
- Average consumption and suggested reorder quantities are automatically calculated, helping users to place more accurate orders and reduce reducing time spent on complex logistics calculations.
- Automatically inferred stockout dates guide resupply scheduling, reducing wasted travel to pick up supplies that are not ready.
- Streamlined requisition process helps workers monitor the delivery schedule and improve the rationing of supplies between deliveries.
- Tracking orders through to delivery enables accurate communication with beneficiaries on stock availability, increasing trust and quality of service.
Problem: Supply Officers often lack visibility of supply chain data and stock management at the community level; Supply Officers are unable to provide fast, accurate resupply for community frontline workers.
- Mobile reporting reduces calculation and reporting overhead by managing worker information over time, automatically calculating each worker’s consumption level.
- Order status can be effectively communicated between Supply Officers and frontline workers, digitally tracking new requisitions, filled orders, and confirmation receipts upon delivery.
- Mobile applications increase availability of key decision-making data, made available both offline and through a web-based interface.
Problem: There is a lack of visibility of supply chain data and stock management at all levels of the system; inefficiencies lead to high losses and decreased impact of services and products.
- All data generated at the last mile either through SMS or mobile applications is automatically made available in real-time through a web-based interface.
- The system reduces organizations’ calculation and ordering burden, displaying current stock on hand for different programs and locations, and streamlining the requisition process.
- Data collected through the interface of scheduling resupply and tracking order delivery enables organizations to see and predict loss.
- Real-time data reports stock on hand and expected future consumption, identifying products in highest demand to inform purchasing.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Tanzania, with support from JSI through the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT has deployed the ILSGateway on a national scale, with over 4,600 Tanzanian facilities active today. In Tanzania, 93% of facilities are reportedly counting stock and managing bin cards more regularly and 97% of facilities are submitting requisition reports more regularly. 82% of districts reported improved visibility into tracer commodities. Users responding to the pilot evaluation in Tanzania indicated that the increased recognition and real-time nature of the SMS system was as powerful an incentive as monetary rewards, and reporting rates for the pilot were comparable with other systems that provided a monetary reward for reporting, demonstrated the feasibility of maintaining high and consistent user reporting rates without the need for supplementary monetary incentives.
Early Warning System
The EWS system was designed to provide real-time stock status information on reproductive health commodities to decision-makers at all levels and to provide early warning of a drop in supplies.
The cStock system is scaled nationally to calculate just-in-time stock needs of the over 3,000 community health workers (CHWs) in Malawi as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded JSI Supply Chains for Community Case Management (SC4CCM) initiative. In Malawi, CHWs provide Community Case Management (CCM), carrying and prescribing a defined list of essential medicines such as Oral Rehydration Salts, anti-malarials, antibiotics, and family planning commodities. Built on CommCare Supply, cStock allows CHWs to use their personal phones to submit SMS with stock information, allowing community level data, previously unavailable, to be visible to decision makers at all levels of the system. A recent paper in the Journal of Global Health found that the use of cStock in Malawi contributed to significant reductions in stockout rates and lead times for resupply, as well as improvements in overall stock management [Shieshia, 2014].
Focus Region Health Project: Reducing Stock Outs for Reproductive Health Products
JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
ILSGateway: CommCare for Improving the Supply Chain
cStock: Supply Chains for Community Case Management
JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.,