Using Interviews

The RUTF project conducted mostly in-person stakeholder interviews (in Nairobi, Copenhagen and New York), supplemented by some telephone interviews when necessary. Partners were asked questions around the following topics:

Demand planning:
  – How does UNICEF conduct demand planning/forecasting for RUTF needs? How do you feel about the accuracy of this process? Efficiency?
– How do you participate in demand planning/forecasting for RUTF? What type of inputs do you provide? What sorts of challenges do you face in this process?
– How do other stakeholders participate in the planning process?
– How much do actual versus projected requirements usually differ?
– What changes would you recommend to the process for generating forecasts from the field, to make those numbers more accurate?
– How are seasonal effects captured in the planning/forecasting process?
– {If relevant:} What kind of systems changes could help alleviate forecast mismatches?
– How is forecasting shared with other supply chain participants?
– Please tell us about some challenges in creating forecasts of RUTF demand.
        – How do you think some of these challenges might be overcome?
        – Are there issues particular to RUTF, compared to other health or nutrition products for example?
        – Are there best practices followed for demand planning for other products that you might want to use for RUTF?
        – Are there any issues particular to Somalia or Kenya?
Supply planning / Sourcing:
– How do you conduct supply planning? When does this occur? What does it entail?
– All RUTF for Kenya and Somalia comes from Nutriset in France. What are some of the benefits of working with a single producer? What are some of the challenges?
– How might you address some of these challenges? How feasible are these approaches for Somalia and Kenya?
– What are some challenges arising around new options for RUTF sourcing?
– What lessons might be learned from UNICEF’s sourcing of other food commodity products (e.g. CSB, etc.)?
Flow Process, Funds:
– What is your role in the budgeting process? How are inputs from other stakeholders taken as part of the budgeting process?
– How are budgets allocated for different nutrition objectives? How are funds allocated for the procurement of RUTF? How are funds allocated for the storage & transportation and delivery of RUTF?
– Do you think budgets are allocated effectively across different projects? What do you think would help ensure that budgets are effectively allocated for RUTF?
– Are there unexpected costs that arise in the transport/shipment of RUTF? Are there unexpected costs that arise in the distribution of RUTF?
– How are donors involved in the supply chain of RUTF?
– Please walk us through the process for RUTF financial transactions (cash flow, invoicing and payments).
Flow Process, Product:
– Please walk us through the delivery process of RUTF for UNICEF.
– Under what circumstances does the actual process deviate from what you just described?
– How do changes in regular demand and seasonal demand affect the delivery timelines for RUTF?
– How do COs and ROs handle stocking and delivery? How much do they keep in inventory? Is any emergency stock kept at the regional or country offices?
– Are nutrition officers involved in the monitoring of storage and distribution of products at local offices or warehouses?
– How is inland distribution and distribution to other country offices achieved?
– What are the main challenges in inland distribution and distribution to other country offices?
– Is RUTF often transferred between COs? Under what circumstances? Approximately how often?
– What are the advantages and challenges of different delivery systems– i.e., the MOH-coordinated system in Kenya, versus the direct-to-NGO system in Somalia?
– Are there any special transportation agreements with other Third Party Logistics providers for transportation of RUTF products?
– Do you have KPIs for your delivery of RUTF? What measures do you think can be taken to improve the delivery performance for the RUTF supply chain?
– How much time does it take from request of products to actual delivery of products for regular demand and emergency demand?
– How are expired or unused products handled?
– To what extent does wastage or early expiry of products affect the supply chain?
– For implementing partners: How do you receive the product? Do you receive other products as well? How do you store and track RUTF after you obtain it? How do you then route RUTF to the final end destination? What is the timeline for this transfer? Do you monitor for their storage and delivery of RUTF?
– What are challenges that you see in the delivery of RUTF? Are any of these unique to RUTF? Any particular to Somalia or Kenya?
– What sources of uncertainty do you face in delivery of RUTF? Are any of these unique to RUTF? Are any of these unique to Kenya or Somalia?
Flow Process, Information:
– What is the information system is in place to track orders/inventory (including: in-transit, storage/warehouses)?
– Are there any suggestions you might have for improving this information sharing mechanism?
– What is the review and trigger process for orders of RUTF?
– How do you make your needs known to UNICEF? What is the mechanism for placing your order? How do you communicate emergency versus regular need?
– How do you receive inputs and information from your partners?
– Can you please tell us more about the following stages in the production process: Materials Requirement Planning, Scheduling.
– How would you describe your ability to meet current and future RUTF demand?
– Please describe any short-, medium- or long-term capacity expansion plans to meet ever-growing demand for RUTF.
– What are the procurement costs and sourcing arrangements for raw materials?
– Are there differences between short-term and long-term sourcing?
– How do you adjust procurement of raw materials in response to variance in demand?
– How do you adjust production processes in response to variance in demand?
– What are the production lead times for regular and emergency orders? Are there any challenges being faced around production lead times?
– How do you allocate (or plan to allocate) capacity for production between RUSF and RUTF?
– How do you allocate (or plan to allocate) capacity for production between UNICEF and non-UNICEF orders?
– What are the uncertainties associated with production of RUTF?
– What are the main constraints on procurement? How would you propose to alleviate them?
– What are the main constraints on production? How would you propose to alleviate them?
Supply chain performance and effectiveness:
– How is the tracking and monitoring of performance measures done for the RUTF supply chain?
– Who gathers this data? How often? Where is it maintained? With whom is it shared? Who decides on the indicators? What consequences do the indicators have–in other words, what depends on good performance?
– What are the current KPIs (key performance indicator) for RUTF? How are they collected and monitored?
– Are KPIs measured with respect to the whole supply chain or measured individually for each stakeholder (SD, CO, and RO)?
– Are there organization-wide KPIs that are collected and reported across all nutrition projects? How about all health projects?
– Are there end-to-end supply chain performance measures that are currently monitored and reported?
– What are your expectations from RUTF supply chain partners?
– What surprises do you encounter in dealing with other members of the supply chain?
– With whom do you most frequently discuss issues around the supply chain of RUTF?
– In addition to what we’ve already discussed, are there any other challenges that you face with the supply of RUTF in Kenya and Somalia?
– What changes do you think can be made to make the supply chain more efficient?