Fritz-developed system activated for Red Cross/Red Crescent
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has activated a new logistics management software developed by the Fritz Institute.
The International Federation spent about a year working with the San Francisco-based Fritz Institute to develop the system, which it believes will speed up the relief process by 20 to 30 percent.
“This technology will ease the burden of tracking and delivering emergency supplies, and free us to focus more resources on saving lives and providing direct assistance to those in need,” said Abbas Gullet, director of disaster management for the International Federation, based in Geneva.
The Humanitarian Logistics Software (HLS) will gradually become the standard for Red Cross/Red Crescent operations around the world.
Lynn Fritz, director general of the Fritz Institute, and former chairman and chief executive officer of commercial logistics firm Fritz Cos. (now part of United Parcel Service), said this is an example of instilling much needed commercial logistics systems practices into the humanitarian aid supply chain. HLS specifically addresses logistics needs of humanitarian relief organizations operating during emergency phases of disasters, he said.
Through Web-based technology, HLS allows up-to-date tracking of food, non-food, gifts-in-kind and financial information about the commodities in the supply chain. It also allows for fast reconciliation of needs versus what has been pledged or purchased and does it at a demand level per project per item.
HLS will also be made available to other aid agencies. Implementation of HLS with the International Federation is “one example of synergy that I would like to see developing much more between the expertise and resources available from the private sector and the needs of aid agencies responding to humanitarian emergencies,” Fritz said.
“We need to encourage more partnerships such as the one that has developed between our institute and the International Federation,” he added.
For more detail about how and why Fritz created the Fritz Institute, read the June 2003 issue of American Shipper, pages 18-22.