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close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
close this folder18. Supplies and Transport
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOverview
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOrganization of the Supply Chain
View the documentSupplies
View the documentTransport
View the documentReception of Goods
View the documentStorage
View the documentStock Management
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes

Stock Management

· Effective stock management and security are imperative and must cover the whole supply chain through to the final distribution to families or individuals;

· Report on stock levels, movements, losses, damage and distribution using the UNHCR Commodity Tracking System (CTS).

75. The stock management system should ensure that initial low quantities of goods can be put to best use and quickly into distribution.

A sound stock management and distribution system is essential in order to identify potentially critical shortages in time and assure final delivery to the beneficiaries.

Levels of relief may not meet total requirements of the beneficiaries - the agencies involved must identify what goods should be immediately distributed and to whom.

76. The stock management and distribution system should identify what has been ordered, where the goods are, when they will be delivered, and where they have been distributed. This information must be available to those responsible for the operation.

77. Control mechanisms include verifying the bulk consignments on arrival, physical stock checks in the warehouses, individual ration cards or distribution checks at the sites and carefully calibrated measures (scales) for final distribution. The nature of these mechanisms will depend on the circumstances, but they must be in place from the start and they must provide real and not just theoretical control. The supplies actually distributed to the refugees must be reconcilable with those known to have been delivered, those remaining in storage, and those which are lost or damaged.

78. In the emergency phase certain basic controls should be established at once, in addition to the controls over actual distribution. These are described in Annex 3.

79. The UNHCR Commodity Tracking System (CTS) is a computerized tool for stock management, which uses information from purchase orders and shipping and warehouse documentation (described in Annex 3), to track goods from their arrival at the port of entry of the country of operation, to the final distribution point. An additional module ("pipeline management module"), which can be attached to the CTS, tracks goods from the point of source (globally) to the port of entry.

80. The stock control and distribution system (including CTS) provides information to fulfil reporting obligations - ensure the system takes account of reporting needs as specified by Community Services, Field and Programme Officers. See UNHCR Commodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for field staff for further guidance, in particular on setting up a reporting system for distribution.

81. A Motor Item Management system, (MIMS) is a computerized tool for fleet management, which keeps track of the maintenance and repair of vehicles, generators, etc., of fuel consumption, vehicle insurance, and the registration of vehicles, their re-deployment and disposal.

82. Assistance with setting up the CTS or MIMS can be obtained from Supply and Transport Section, Geneva.