Driving for performance in supply chain management

Sandi Arnold, UNMIK CMS
15 May 2018

Driving for performance in supply chain management

To support the UN’s progress in supply chain management (SCM), the Logistics Support Division of the Department of Field Support (DFS) organised its fourth conference on the topic, held at UNHQ from 16-20 April 2018.

The theme of ‘Driving for Performance’ built upon last year’s conference, which focused on implementing the department’s SCM Blueprint.

In his opening remarks, Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, exhorted the gathered specialists: “Throughout your discussions, I challenge you to keep the theme of performance in mind.  How best can we measure it? How can we improve it? What are the benefits?”

Supply chain management incorporates roles among the Department of Field Support, the missions, and the Department of Management (DM).

“It is critical to collaborate on strategic planning to ensure that goods and services to the field are delivered on time and fit for purpose,” remarked Christian Saunders, Assistant Secretary-General for Central Support Services in DM, who oversees the Procurement Division.

“The takeaway for missions is to continue to align structures, processes, practices, and performance with global DFS priorities, while adapted to realities on the ground,” said Sandi Arnold, Chief of Mission Support in UNMIK

Included among the conference outputs, participants compiled mission best practices and challenges.

“Hearing how other missions face the same issues makes me feel less isolated – and hearing how others have tackled the problems we face gives me ideas to take back to improve Darfur’s challenging situation,” said Campbell Bright, Chief of SCM in UNAMID, the African Union/UN hybrid operation in Darfur.

The Global Service Centre in Brindisi, Italy, plays an integral role in supply chain management, and helped to facilitate several sessions. “We walk away with new programmes and actions in planning, environment, warehousing, performance delivery, Umoja, strategic deployment stocks, and more,” said Willem Zuidema, Chief of SCM at the Global Service Centre.

In closing out the week, AnneMarie van den Berg, Director of the Logistics Support Division, impressed upon those assembled: “While we at UNHQ strive to support you in the missions, the responsibility to implement – and ultimately our collective success – lies with you.”