Supply Chain Management

A supply chain is the network of organizations—be they military, government, or private sector—involved in creating and delivering a product or service to a customer or consumer. RAND research on the management of supply chains has focused on both the efficiency and the security of civilian and military supply chains, with reports covering freight modernization, rail capacity and security, fuel taxes, and container inspection at ports.

  • Employees assemble ventilator components behind a plastic curtain at a GE Healthcare manufacturing facility in Madison, Wisconsin, April 21, 2020, photo by Daniel Acker/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chains and National Security

    While the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic will be sorted through for years, one thing seems very clear: the United States is not ready in a policy or infrastructure or even physical capacity sense to respond to major shocks to its supply chains. This vulnerability stretches across whole sectors of the U.S. economy and is a national security issue in the broadest, but most basic sense.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • Nurse Nicole McCurrach draws up COVID-19 vaccinations at Richmond raceway in Richmond, Virginia, March 4, 2021, photo by Julia Rendleman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Target Vaccine to 'High-Contact' People

    Actively seeking out people with lots of contacts for vaccination could bring the epidemic under control much more quickly than vaccinating people at random. Vaccinating just 15 percent of the population would be enough to crush the epidemic—so long as it was the right 15 percent.

    Apr 9, 2021

  • People wait in line in a Disneyland parking lot to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Anaheim, California, January 13, 2021, photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Game Theory Could Solve the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Puzzle

    The health systems behind the vaccine rollout are attempting to create order from chaos, sometimes with mixed results. Rather than relying on on-the-fly decisionmaking, state authorities should consider turning to game theory as a tool that could be the key to more efficient, faster vaccine distribution.

    Mar 11, 2021

  • A digital image of the globe with red point-to-point paths

    Report

    Managing Risk in Globalized Supply Chains

    This report addresses the challenges the U.S. Air Force faces in mitigating the risks associated with an increasingly globalized weapon supply chain and suggests ways to improve how it addresses such risks.

    Feb 5, 2021

  • Nurses prepare to vaccinate people at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site in Detroit, Michigan, January 15, 2021, photo by Emily Elconin/Reuters

    Commentary

    Keep the Vaccine Moving to Save the Most Lives

    The United States is waiting to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and millions of doses wait for arms. Policymakers at the national, state, and local levels have been stockpiling the shots for many reasons. While supply ramps up, policymakers could push to deliver vaccine to people instead of freezers.

    Jan 19, 2021

  • COVID-19 vaccine in a medical syringes at IU Health Bloomington, in Bloomington, Indiana, December 18, 2020, photo by Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Getting COVID-19 Vaccines to Pennsylvania Residents

    Pennsylvania state and county health departments have a number of options that could speed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to make sure Pennsylvania residents at high risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes are vaccinated as soon as possible.

    Jan 19, 2021

  • A C-17 from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, sits on the ramp here while food and cold weather supplies prepare to be loaded onto another C-17 (not pictured) from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Feb. 8., photo by Senior Airman Jeremy McGuffin/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Analysis of Global Management of Air Force War Reserve Materiel to Support Operations in Contested and Degraded Environments

    The Air Force's current system of war reserve materiel management is positioned more for efficiency than effectiveness. What do case studies reveal about the trade-offs and best practices for a centralized versus decentralized management approach?

    Jan 14, 2021

  • COVID-19 vaccination stations inside Hillcrest High School, a designated New York City priority vaccination center for people in group 1B, in Queens, NY, January 11, 2021, photo by Anthony Behar/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Options for 2021

    The disorganized public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States helped ensure that the nation led the world in infections nearly from the beginning of the pandemic. With vaccines now becoming available, are we over the problem? Not necessarily.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is administered during a drive through event at InclusivCare in Avondale, Louisiana, January 9, 2021 photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Blog

    As the Vaccines Arrive, So Do the Questions

    As the first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the United States, countless questions have arisen about what comes next. Is one vaccine better than another? Can the United States both speed up inoculation and overcome some people's hesitance to get the shot? RAND experts offer insights into the historic vaccine rollout.

    Jan 11, 2021

  • Healthcare workers take part in a rehearsal for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, December 11, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Vaccination: Expect the Unexpected

    With emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 vaccine now in place, states and localities have turned their focus to the logistics of dispensing it as quickly as feasible. Still, uncertainties abound. It is essential to build a process of learning into the plan.

    Dec 15, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    International Postdisaster Recoveries: Lessons for Puerto Rico on Supply-Chain Management and Recovery Governance

    The authors analyze supply-chain management and recovery governance in four disaster-ridden countries. Research was conducted in Puerto Rico to assess recovery after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, recommend restorative measures, and improve resilience.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Logistics Analysis of Puerto Rico: Will the Seaborne Supply Chain of Puerto Rico Support Hurricane Recovery Projects?

    Puerto Rico's seaborne logistics capacity is assessed in the context of recovery efforts following the Hurricane Maria. Key constraints are identified along with actions to mitigate potential bottlenecks.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    The Strategic National Stockpile and COVID-19: Rethinking the Stockpile: Addendum

    Document submitted August 21, 2020, as an addendum to testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24, 2020.

    Aug 24, 2020

  • A man attends the “2020, The Year of 5G for Europe” conference at the the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels, Belgium, January 16, 2020, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Coronavirus Spotlights a National Security Supply Crisis

    During emergencies, it can be crucial for governments to maintain an uninterrupted supply of essential goods and services. As the world faces an unprecedented demand for supplies and services to tackle the pandemic, it may be important for governments to take stock of the national security risks that could accompany their choice of vendor.

    Jul 27, 2020

  • Daniel Gerstein

    Multimedia

    Rethinking the Role of the Strategic National Stockpile

    An overview of testimony by Daniel M. Gerstein presented before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24, 2020.

    Jun 29, 2020

  • Oklahoma National Guardsmen check medical supply orders for quality while conducting warehouse support operations at the Strategic National Stockpile in Oklahoma City, April 20, 2020, photo by Tech. Sgt. Kasey Phipps/OK Air National Guard

    Testimony

    The Strategic National Stockpile and COVID-19

    The United States maintains a stockpile of drugs, vaccines, and other medical supplies to provide for the nation's emergency health security. COVID-19 has highlighted the need to update current stockpiling capabilities to help prepare for future biological events, including pandemics.

    Jun 24, 2020

  • Wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept, photo by marchmeena29/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Don't Waste This Crisis: How America Can Begin Building a System of Health

    COVID-19 is shining a harsh spotlight on long-recognized but under-addressed gaps in the U.S. health system. There may never have been a more pressing time to think differently, broadening from health care services to a health-producing System of Health.

    May 4, 2020

  • Laura Ng, who has lupus and had to recently call at least five pharmacies before she could find a place to fill her hydroxychloroquine prescription, in Seattle, Washington, March 31, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Unintended Consequences of a Proposed Cure for COVID-19

    The very discussion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as therapeutic options against COVID-19 has decreased their availability for proven treatments, exacerbated global shortages, fueled a rampant counterfeit drug market in Africa, and worsened trade tensions. What can be done to deal with these unintended consequences?

    Apr 29, 2020

  • Commercial trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge at the international border crossing during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Detroit, Michigan, March 18, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chain Disruptions Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing

    There are significant epidemiological and economic risks and uncertainties with physical distancing policies put into effect in the United States to reduce the growth of COVID-19. We have estimated the economy-wide impacts of a set of these policies to provide a sense of their likely economic toll.

    Apr 28, 2020

  • Blog

    Medical Supply Shortfalls, Parenting Through the Pandemic, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reducing medical supply shortfalls, understanding who's in charge during a pandemic, North Korea's nuclear blackmail, and more.

    Apr 17, 2020