Featured Journal Content
International Journal of Production Research
(In Press) 2020-04-20
The potential of emergent disruptive technologies for humanitarian supply chains: The integration of Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 3D Printing
O Rodríguez-Espíndola, S Chowdhury, A Beltagui…
The growing importance of humanitarian operations has created an imperative to overcome the complications currently recorded in the field. Challenges such as delays, congestion, poor communication and lack of accountability may represent opportunities to test the reported advantages of emergent disruptive technologies. Meanwhile, the literature on humanitarian supply chains looks at isolated applications of technology and lacks a framework for understanding challenges and solutions, a gap that this article aims to fill. Using a case study based on the flood of Tabasco of 2007 in Mexico, this research identifies solutions based on the use of emergent disruptive technologies. Furthermore, this article argues that the integration of different technologies is essential to deliver real benefits to the humanitarian supply chain. As a result, it proposes a framework to improve the flow of information, products and financial resources in humanitarian supply chains integrating three emergent disruptive technologies; Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and 3D Printing. The analysis presented shows the potential of the framework to reduce congestion in the supply chain, enhance simultaneous collaboration of different stakeholders, decrease lead times, increase transparency, traceability and accountability of material and financial resources, and allow victims to get involved in the fulfilment of their own needs.