OSTKonline, OSTK, outsourcing toolkit


Introduction to workforce development

In this section you will learn:

  • What workforce development is
  • Why does developing the health supply chain workforce matter?
  • About the Human Resources for Supply Chain Management Theory of Change
  • What assessment tools and guides exist for workforce development

What is workforce development?

Workforce development involves systems, settings and people. It aims to improve the functioning of the entire workforce by addressing the systems and structures that shape it (such as recruitment, retention and support mechanisms). At the individual level, it means improving personal professional functioning through education, training, mentoring, etc. Capacity building is central to workforce development, building the system’s capacity to maintain programs and deliver new ones.

Why does developing the health supply chain workforce matter?

Health supply chain management is complex and requires appropriate staff, organisational structures, skills, working conditions, and resources. Public and private sectors draw from a similar, limited pool of skilled workers to staff supply chains for various commodity types, and this shortage continues to expand as economies grow.

Introduction of workforce development for outsourcing

When logistics and supply chain management operations are newly outsourced, building contract management capacity may require hiring new staff or additional training for staff who previously directly managed operations. The internal staff transitioning to a contract management role need to understand the shift in mindset from direct management to contractor oversight and relationship management.

Managing a supplier relationship may require additional training or capacity building. Staff who once directly managed a warehouse or scheduled transport will now need to be equipped to handle a supplier relationship and ensure that operations are running smoothly and customers’ needs are being met. There will be a shift toward oversight that includes checking, approving and processing invoices, information management, and ensuring service levels are met (quality monitoring).

Other key areas are financial oversight, conflict management and relationship building. Governments must have sufficient technical capacity to write clear and complete technical requirements and terms for the service agreements and assess the proposals.

After award, the government must have systems and capacity to manage the service provider’s performance – i.e., monitor performance and take corrective action when prescribed performance expectations are not met. The government must also understand that it still has the ultimate responsibility for performance – fault for underperformance will rightly fall on the ministry of health or the central medical store if they cannot award and manage the contract successfully.

People that Deliver building human resources for supply chain management theory of change

People that Deliver developed the Human Resources for Supply Chain Management Theory of Change (HR4SCM TOC) in 2018. The HR4SCM TOC analyses the conditions needed to ensure that workers at every level of the supply chain are performing optimally to fulfil all the necessary functions of an effective supply chain system.

The HR4SCM TOC states four pathways—Staffing, Skills, Working Conditions, and Motivation—are necessary to build human resources for effective supply chain management. The next page will apply Staffing, Skills, Working Conditions and Motivation considerations across the Process Steps.

The long-term outcome of the HR4SCM TOC is a competent, adequately staffed workforce with the skills to operate the supply chain effectively, which is a key performance driver of supply chains.

Human Resources for Supply Chain Management Theory of Change

Workforce resources

People that Deliver Outsourcing Roadmap: workforce considerations

The People that Deliver roadmap allows users to assess the maturity of their supply chain and their current people practices and defines the steps needed before outsourcing can be adopted. The roadmap builds on People that Deliver’s maturity model for human resources in supply chain management and Kotter’s 8-step process for leading change. It also suggests how to manage internal processes and human resources as well as develop evidence to allow an organisation to plan strategically and develop a beneficial relationship with the top-level management and the political level. The roadmap offers guidance for managing three key aspects:

  1. Having managers who gather information
  2. How to manage obsolete personnel
  3. How to obtain backing from the highest political level

People that Deliver HR4SCM TOC diagnostic tool

A diagnostic tool for the rapid assessment of the supply chain workforce applying People that Deliver’s HR4SCM TOC methodology.

Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) 2.0

The EVM provides the platform needed to monitor and assess the vaccine supply chain system. The recent launch of the EVM 2.0 app has a dedicated category for Human Resources and management.

National supply chain assessment toolkit (NSCA)

The National Supply Chain Assessment is a comprehensive toolkit that assesses the capability and performance at all levels of a health supply chain or can focus on a specific level or site within the system. The NSCA has a dedicated module on HR.

How to conduct supply chain management competency gap assessments

A recorded webinar providing an overview of a range of supply chain management competency assessment tools that are available with considerations for how these approaches may be applied to your country context.

Outsourcing the distribution component of vaccine and medicine supply chains

The framework has been designed specifically to assist government-operated central medical store vaccine and medical supply chains in outsourcing distribution services. It also includes the Transaid third-party logistics management capacity assessment tool.

Managing access to medicines and health technologies (Management Sciences for Health)

Managing Drug Supply (MDS) is the leading reference for managing essential medicines in developing countries. The Human Resources chapter covers Human Resources Management and Capacity Development and Designing and Implementing Training Programs.