Regional Distribution Centers
Most manufacturers of HIV/AIDS medicines are located outside Africa. The time required to process and deliver an order is typically three to six months under the best of conditions. For some purchasers procurements can take over a year.
In response, SCMS established regional distribution centers (RDCs) in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. The centers in Ghana and Kenya were the first world-class public health warehousing facilities of their kind in East and West Africa.
These modern warehouses hold strategic stock of commonly used products, provide regularly scheduled shipments to neighboring countries, and expedite emergency orders to prevent stockouts. The RDCs are placed close enough to the recipient countries to allow flexibility and rapid response, yet also to leverage economies of scale across multiple countries. A shipment of ARVs from one of these regional centers takes on average of just two to three weeks.
The continuing success of the SCMS RDCs can be attributed to the design of the RDC logistics model, which is based on sound supply chain principles, accommodating the specific challenges of a large-scale program such as PEPFAR and overcoming the risks of an extended international supply chain. The RDCs were created without United States Agencey for International Development (USAID) capital expense and are used on a "pay-as-you-go" activity-based costing model, with SCMS paying only for the actual pallets stored. In this way, the SCMS model has been designed to address the high-variance environment in which it operates, while minimizing costs.
To provide a sustainable resource, the centers function as independent commercial enterprises, attracting private-sector clients like AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Serono, and Pfizer.
To learn more about the RDCs and the impact of our global procurement model, go to Our Impact.