Supply Chain Management

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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.

  • An eighteen-wheeler entering one of the main shipping container corridors at the Port of Houston in Houston, Texas, October 12th, 2021, photo by Reginald Mathalone/NurPhoto/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chain Disruptions: The Risks and Consequences

    Nov 15, 2021

    With interdependence comes risk, and in the case of supply chains, these risks often are not fully appreciated. A systematic effort, cutting across agencies and public and private sectors, could be one way to ensure that vulnerabilities are understood and mitigated.

  • Gasoline tankers pass by Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Austell, Georgia, May 10, 2021, photo by John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM

    Commentary

    Supply Chains Have a Cyber Problem

    Jun 22, 2021

    We are entering a world in which cyber disruptions easily become supply chain disruptions, and where supply chains for hardware and software create new cyber risks. Managing these will demand digital-era solutions, including updating tools, regulations, and reporting requirements.

Explore Supply Chain Management

  • A person getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Santiago de Chile, Chile, on August 25, 2020, photo by Rodrigo Balladares/Handout/Reuters

    Commentary

    Thinking Through Rapid and Scalable Rollout of Healthcare Innovations for Public Health Challenges

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that rapid innovation in the face of public health emergencies is possible. In only 15 months, 15 vaccines have been approved or authorized for use in various parts of the world. What thinking is required to support uniform rapid rollout for future public health emergencies?

    Jun 14, 2021

  • Margaret Keenan, 90, receives Britain's first Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccination at University Hospital in Coventry, UK, December 8, 2020, photo by Jacob King/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Pivotal Role of Remote Working in the Journey to Jab the Nation

    Pulling the UK COVID-19 vaccination program together was an immense logistical and technical effort. Had it not been for the working practices mandated by the lockdown, it would have been even more difficult. What changed over the pandemic to allow this to happen?

    May 13, 2021

  • An employee works on final assembly of ventilators at Ventec Life Systems, in Bothell, Washington, March 18, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chains and National Security

    The many pandemic-related shortages that occurred in the United States and elsewhere provide a clear warning. Serious supply-chain vulnerabilities exist. We need to learn much more about this potential threat to national security.

    May 11, 2021

  • The SolarWinds logo is seen outside its headquarters in Austin, Texas, December 18, 2020, photo by Sergio Flores/Reuters

    Commentary

    Unconventional Supply Network Operations: A New Frontier in Global Competition

    The technological advances of recent decades that have made supply networks drastically more efficient, valuable, and essential to every element of our daily lives have also created a highly interdependent, largely unsecured portfolio of potential attack surfaces.

    Apr 19, 2021

  • Blog

    COVID-19 Demographic Trends, Vaccinating 'High-Contact' People, the Iran Threat Network: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the pandemic is shaping demographic trends, targeting vaccines to "high-contact" people, the Iran Threat Network, and more.

    Apr 16, 2021

  • 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

    Lessons from the pandemic will be sorted through for years. But 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.

    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