Effective medical surplus recovery

Atasu, A., Toktay, B., Yeo, W. M. and Zhang, C. (2017) Effective medical surplus recovery. Production and Operations Management, 26(6), pp. 1142-1162. (doi: 10.1111/poms.12641)

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We analyze not-for-profit Medical Surplus Recovery Organizations (MSROs) that manage the recovery of surplus (unused or donated) medical products to fulfill the needs of underserved healthcare facilities in the developing world. Our work is inspired by an award-winning North American non-governmental organization (NGO) that matches the uncertain supply of medical surplus with the receiving parties’ needs. In particular, this NGO adopts a recipient-driven resource allocation model, which grants recipients access to an inventory database, and each recipient selects products of limited availability to fill a container based on its preferences. We first develop a game theoretic model to investigate the effectiveness of this approach. This analysis suggests that the recipient-driven model may induce competition among recipients and lead to a loss in value provision through premature orders. Further, contrary to the common wisdom from traditional supply chains, full inventory visibility in our setting may accelerate premature orders and lead to loss of effectiveness. Accordingly, we identify operational mechanisms to help MSROs deal with this problem. These are: (i) appropriately selecting container capacities while limiting the inventory availability visible to recipients and increasing the acquisition volumes of supplies, (ii) eliminating recipient competition through exclusive single-recipient access to MSRO inventory, and (iii) focusing on learning recipient needs as opposed to providing them with supply information, and switching to a provider-driven resource allocation model. We use real data from the NGO by which the study was inspired and show that the proposed improvements can substantially increase the value provided to recipients.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yeo, Dr Wee Meng
Authors: Atasu, A., Toktay, B., Yeo, W. M., and Zhang, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Production and Operations Management
Journal Abbr.:POM
ISSN (Online):1937-5956
Published Online:03 September 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Production and Operations Management Society
First Published:First published in Production and Operations Management 26(6): 1142-1162
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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