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Innovative Supply Chain Information Platform Will Help Prepare for Next Pandemic

2017-03-09 14:00
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TOKYO, Mar. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and NEC Corporation (NEC)announced on March 9 their collaboration for the development of the first ever information platform to provide end-to-end visibility of supply chains for pandemic interventions, on behalf of the Global Pandemic Supply Chain (PSC) Network. The government of Japan has provided US$1 million for the PSC Network, which will be used as seed funding for the new information platform.

The challenges faced during the 2015 West Africa Ebola outbreak included severe warehousing and distribution capacity constraints, limited visibility of the overall supply and demand of critical items, access constraints caused by border closures, and lack of public-private sector coordination resulting in duplicate efforts and an inefficient response.

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By bringing together information on supplies and logistics and enabling analysis of supply chain inefficiencies, the new information platform, which will be part of the Global Pandemic Supply Chain Network, will promote timeliness and cost efficiency as well as aiding in continuous improvement.

NEC was the first Asian company to join the PSC Network and remains the only information and communications technology (ICT) company in the Network. Together with the WFP, NEC will focus on designing a logistics visualization system that will enable end-to-end tracking of pandemic response items, such as protective clothing and medical equipment within a country facing an outbreak, helping to ensure quick and appropriate delivery of supplies to people in need.

"We are honoured to collaborate with the WFP and the other members of the PSC Network to strengthen the global supply chain for pandemic preparedness and response in order to more effectively fight the next disease outbreak," said Dr. Nobuhiro Endo, Chairman of the Board, NEC. "This is a perfect example of our commitment to creating safe, secure, efficient, and equal societies through the provision of innovative ICT such as artificial intelligence, which also contributes to the United Nations' SDGs."

As members of the PSC Network jointly advocated the need for more efficient pandemic supply chain, the Japanese government has since committed US$1 million to development of the Network, allowing NEC and WFP to begin work.

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Source: NEC Corporation

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