When natural or man-made disasters strike, getting the right supplies to the right location is a matter of life and death. International humanitarian relief organizations coordinate the distribution of relief supplies and personnel from around the world to disaster zones. These organizations often operate in areas where the public infrastructure is badly damaged and electricity, running water and basic services may be completely disrupted.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), is a leader in providing assistance during these crises. As the heart of their Humanitarian Supply Management System (SUMA), the Logistics Support System (LSS) manages the distribution of relief supplies. When PAHO needed an organization to replace their outdated system, they turned to FMS to create LSS. Deployed in 2005, LSS has been used in dozens of disaster zones in over 100 countries including the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Training is managed through PAHO and the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The volume of disaster relief supplies poses serious logistical problems for national authorities. PAHO needed an easily deployed and intuitive system for managing supplies throughout their arrival, warehousing and final distribution lifecycle. The system also needed to aggregate data from stock and pipeline supplies in order to provide a high level view for inventory management and planning.
In addition to logistics management capabilities, PAHO needed to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the supply chain. All stakeholders, including donors, national disaster coordinators, non-governmental organizations and government officials, needed to be confident that supplies were being managed properly and distributed correctly.
PAHO turned to FMS to create a system that is easily deployed and reliable in challenging environments and that often must run on substandard hardware. Assessing local needs, FMS created a solution that works on individual PCs, local area networks, and across the Internet while supporting future enhancements and extensibility.
We chose the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET platform to develop the Windows desktop and ASP.NET web application components of the system, which we built on a common business layer architecture, and Microsoft SQL Server for the database server. This allows PAHO to tailor deployments of the system as dictated by each disaster effort's unique environment. PAHO can mix and match desktop and browser-based instances of the application in a single warehouse so that older computers can simply connect to the warehouse web server using the ASP.NET browser-based application and newer machines can run the richer Windows-based desktop version of LSS.
Founded in 1986, FMS is a privately held, small business. Our clients include businesses of all sizes, non-profits, and local and federal government agencies. Our developers serve many local clients in the Mid-Atlantic, Washington DC metropolitan area. We also have clients across the country from California to Massachusetts, and Alaska to Florida, in addition to our international clients. Many of our custom solutions are deployed around the world with language localization support.
With our experience, extensive code library, and tested processes, FMS offers great solutions at very competitive prices. Email or call us at 703-356-4700 to learn more about our consulting services and how our staff of full-time professionals can help you. FMS is located in Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.