Our Supply Chain solution, HELM, is a variation on standard SCM. Our solution is a blend of Supply Chain Management, Warehouse Management, and Gift In Kind processing – with a dash of Reverse Logistics added to the mix.
Humanitarian Software Foundation is a solution provider focused on the needs of the non-profit, gift in kind sector. Putting specific product labels, like Supply Chain Management, on solutions in this market sector is close to the mark, but not exactly accurate. The humanitarian aid and disaster relief organizations we work with typically have some very unique business models and challenges that are not well covered under the traditional definition of SCM.
By definition, Supply Chain Management is the integration of the flow and management of goods, and related information, from raw materials through to the end user using managed systems and relationships to achieve a competitive advantage.
In the humanitarian world, we loosely follow this definition, but also have significant differences. Key differences include the intake of unexpected and donated materials, utilizing materials at hand rather than purchasing or manufacturing set finished goods, and dealing with new challenges in meeting donor restrictions and international shipping requirements on a daily basis.
The part of the traditional definition regarding achieving a competitive advantage certainly does apply in the humanitarian aid sector. While often this is not openly discussed in the mission statements of humanitarian aid organizations, the reality is that Donors give products to organizations that can do two things: Effectively use the products, and give good reporting back to the Donors.
HELM is specifically designed to address these unique needs and challenges of the gift in kind, humanitarian and disaster relief supply chain management. Our inbound processes are designed to work well with both purchased and gift in kind products. Our order building and shipping systems have multiple methods and validations to address Donor restrictions, country and region blocks and allocations, and detailed end to end traceability. While this is happening, the HELM data warehouse is bringing together a wealth of data to offer superb Donor reporting.
Of course, HELM can handle traditional Supply Chain and Warehouse Management functions. HELM is the result of a 30 year product evolution. The roots of which started in traditional, for-profit manufacturing and warehouse management. Over the decades the product line has grown more robust as the scope of installations and client needs has driven development.
The core of HELM is a WMS (warehouse management system) featuring modules for inventory control, purchase orders, gift in kind, advance shipment notifications, gift valuation, order entry, picking, shipping, and history. Other optional modules include kit building, display pack handling, client management, RF (radio frequency) barcoding. These modules are designed to be FDA compliant and support the handling of pharmaceutical and medical supply donations and material handling.
Because HELM has been designed from the ground up to be flexible and easily customized (much without programming) the actual applications are vast. Using the WDF tools, an administrator can add, remove, rename fields, tables, menus, data types, etc. Different user groups can have different menus and field access. The applications have multi-language support with English, French, and Spanish as the primary options, and the ability to generate many other language profiles on the fly.
HELM is a full featured Supply Chain Management solution for the unique needs of the humanitarian aid and disaster relief sectors.