Delivering blood components through drones: a lean approach to the blood supply chain the blood supply chain



Linha de Pesquisa
Tomada de Decisão, Comportamento e Ética

Paula Mora, Claudia Affonso Silva Araujo


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Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, v. 23, n. 2, pp. 113-123. Abstract: This research explores how drones can improve the blood supply chain (BSC) in the delivery of blood components. This analysis is done considering the lean principles, and the aim is to understand challenges and wastes present in the BSC and map the drone advantages. Through a literature review and the use of in-depth interviews, data is collected from seven BSC experts. Main challenges were identified related to high wastage level, ability to predict demand for blood, low level of centralisation in developing countries, unexpected short-term changes in demand, and sanitary, environmental, and infrastructural risks. Wastes were identified mainly due to improper temperature during transportation, compromising blood bags’ safety, lack of equipment maintenance, leading to higher depreciation rates, and waiting time for the delivery of biomolecular testing results. The use of drones can represent gains in delivery time, allowing a ‘just-in-time’ model of distribution of blood, operating through a ‘pull’ system, reducing the need for inventories and costs.

Keywords: Blood supply chain, Drones, blood distribution, Lean principles.

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