Key Actions by:

Standard 12: Effective management of goods throughout the supply chain.

Manage the supply chain effectively and efficiently, through close collaboration among program, finance, and other operations teams, to source, store, maintain, and deliver project goods either to beneficiaries or for internal consumption.

Monitor implementation of supply chain activities to share key information with stakeholders and make improvements where needed.

  • Why

    Project goods are a critical part of project implementation, enabling CRS to deliver services and ensure staff have the necessary equipment to effectively implement and manage project activities. Project goods often represent a large portion of the project budget and as a result, many internal and external stakeholders often seek periodic updates about the management and status of these goods. Monitoring and documenting the status of project goods as they move through the supply chain:

    • Makes available key information for stakeholders on project performance.
    • Helps the project team to identify ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
    • Contributes to overall project stewardship.
  • When
    • Monitor supply chain KPIs on an ongoing basis, with quarterly analysis and decision-making on performance improvement.
    • Monitor supply chain-related data within the project MEAL system per the frequency established in the project MEAL plan and operating manual.
  • How

    Follow these steps to monitor implementation of supply chain activities and make decisions accordingly:

    Monitor supply chain KPIs

    1. The supply chain manager (or equivalent) establishes KPIs related to supply chain performance based on the nature of the project.

    What are supply chain KPIs? KPIs are internal indicators monitored by supply chain staff to collect information about the entire supply chain system and identify areas for improvement. KPIs are essential for large distribution programs; however, even for smaller programs, maintaining KPIs about supply chain efficiency (e.g. processing rates for procurement requests) can help to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

    1. The supply chain manager develops or modifies existing data collection forms to collect information on supply chain KPIs. 
    • The MEAL coordinator may offer guidance if the supply chain manager does not have sufficient experience in form development.

    Collaboration among programming (including MEAL), supply chain, and other relevant stakeholders on data collection forms can help avoid redundancies across departments and ensure that data collected is integrated into existing tools for maximum efficiency rather than creating separate tools and analysis.

    1. Per the adaptive management approaches highlighted under Standard 11, key action 4, the PM/CoP, supply chain manager, and FM adjust plans (detailed implementation plan, pipelines, distribution plans, dispatch plans, spending/cash flow forecasts, etc.) as needed based on collaborative analysis and decision-making, creating a cycle of planning and monitoring (see Standard 12, key action 1).

    To increase cross-discipline efficiency and collaboration, link supply chain management review with quarterly project review and planning meetings. These meetings are opportunities to review progress and refine plans based on an analysis of the full project picture from programmatic, finance, and other operations perspectives. In some projects, particularly projects with large supply chain management teams, it may be more appropriate to organize a supply chain management-focused meeting prior to the quarterly project review meeting, with the PM/CoP or supply chain manager then sharing the key points from this meeting in the wider quarterly meeting.

    Monitor supply chain elements in the wider project MEAL system

    1. Per the requirements defined during the MEAL system development workshop (see Standard 7, key action 4), supply chain staff, distribution staff, and monitoring staff collect data on indicators and produce quantitative and analytical reports for the project team and the supply chain team. These reports should inform regular project analysis and decision-making, and may also feed into external donor reports, such as progress reports on participants served.
    2. The PM/CoP and MEAL coordinator work with supply chain staff to share relevant information with external stakeholders through reports following stakeholder information needs and requirements (for guidance on reporting to donors, see Standard 15, key action 3).
  • Partnership
    • Partners often perform critical portions of project supply chain management and data collection. Therefore, for both KPIs and other data collection activities, wherever possible, involve partners in indicator writing and data collection design. 
    • Provide partners with sufficient training to manage project goods and collect data.
    • Engage partners in supply chain management analysis and reporting on data.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • When CRS is a sub-recipient, the process becomes consultative with the primary recipient for the distribution for which CRS is responsible. If CRS maintains primary procurement and distribution responsibilities, follow the process above.
  • Emergency projects