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Supply chain innovation supported by the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT in Bangladesh receives award


Program managers learn how to use the new web-based logistics management information system in Bangladesh.
John Snow Inc., implementing partner for the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, proudly announces that the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) logistics management information system (LMIS) website (www.dgfplmis.org) received an award for the best government initiative. At the same time, in the e-Health category, the LMIS was awarded the runner-up prize. The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, managed by JSI,  conceptualized the entire process, conducting a pilot test of the LMIS then implementing the web-based LMIS with the Directorate General of Family Planning, MOHFW in Bangladesh.

Between 2004 and 2005 in Bangladesh, the project managed the design process for a web-based LMIS; the software was developed locally to ensure sustainability and ready assistance when changes or modifications were needed. Because the DGFP would implement the LMIS, the project held a series of meetings and presentations to ensure that the directorate completely agreed with the concept. In September 2007, after the project in Bangladesh conducted a series of trial runs and modifications, the MOHFW began using the web-based LMIS. By the end of 2009, the DGFP had institutionalized the LMIS—a unit of the DGFP now controls all operations and they require only minimal external support.

Before the system was introduced, all LMIS reports in Bangladesh were mailed to the MOHFW, where staff entered the data electronically. In generating and disseminating national reports, at least two months might elapse between the time the staff received the reports, compiled the data, and corrected mistakes. However, to quickly respond to stock imbalances, which require critical supply chain decisions, staff must have accurate, complete, and timely logistics data. Because of the enormous requirements of supplies—in demand at 26,000 service delivery points—the supply chain must be constantly monitored. Plus, there are potentially delicate supply situations at service delivery points and occasional procurement delays. With the supply data instantly available for all service deliver points in districts, this new system enables districts to ensure an uninterrupted supply at the last mile.

Although the MOHFW’s previous paper-based system was usually accurate and complete, any new system had to improve the timeliness of reports and ensure instant accessibility of data online. Only the appropriate technology would make the system more responsive. The emergence of the Internet in Bangladesh led to the web-based solution and a more efficient LMIS. Authorized users can now  access data instantly online, ensuring the availability of supplies by monitoring them during procurement and during any supply decisionmaking.

With the new system in place, timely reporting rates rose to 99 percent for upazilas (sub-districts) and 100 percent for regional warehouses; the turnaround time for national LMIS reports is only two weeks. Additionally, entering data closer to the source has reduced errors. A web-based LMIS saves time and money when data is electronically transmitted. Timely and accurate data has enabled program managers, donors and stakeholders, regional warehouses managers, and planners to quickly make supply decisions, avoiding stock imbalances that could result in stockouts or wastage.