Developing resilience in disaster relief operations management through lean transformation

Hussain, Amjad and Masood, Tariq and Munir, Haris and Habib, Muhammad Salman and Farooq, Muhammad Umar (2023) Developing resilience in disaster relief operations management through lean transformation. Production Planning and Control, 34 (15). pp. 1475-1496. ISSN 0953-7287 (

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The impact of disasters in terms of the loss of human lives, infrastructure, and economy has been increasing over time. Planning and management strategies for disaster relief operations (DROs) have got the attention of researchers and policymakers, particularly on how to achieve resilience in such operations. This research aims to investigate the use of the lean transformation approach, which in this context is the process of evaluating relief operations’ performance in terms of responsiveness and road mapping interventions, for achieving resilience in DROs. A systematic lean-based method instigated through DROs’ management initiative was developed. This was validated through an empirical industrial fire case study where selected lean concepts and tools like Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customer (SIPOC)-analysis, value stream maps (VSM), key performance indicators (KPIs), fishbone diagram, and plan-do-check-act (PDCA) were used to investigate DROs resilience in terms of their responsiveness. The VSMs were developed for ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ scenarios, and comparative analysis against standardized KPIs was carried out. The lean transformation approach was found effective in the studied case of industrial fire for developing resilience in DROs. Furthermore, lean tools could help in devising pragmatic strategies to prevent delays and achieve enhanced resilience through better coordination, communication, capacity building, and awareness. This research contributes to the operations management and disaster management fields through lean transformation.