Secondary Titles (1)
- Grainger Faculty Fellow
Alfonso is the current president of the College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management at POMS. His award winning research on humanitarian operations management has informed the practice of logistics at the Red Cross Movement, World Food Programme and World Vision International.
Alfonso has published in academic journals such as Journal of Operations Management (JOM), Production and Operations Management (POM), and Disasters. He serves as Senior Editor at POM and is a member of the Editorial Review Board at JOM.
At the Kelley School Alfonso teaches logistics and supply chain management at the undergraduate, MBA and PhD levels. He holds a PhD in Management from INSEAD. Before doing his PhD he was a junior faculty at Universidad de los Andes School of Management in Colombia, where he taught optimization, simulation and data mining. He also has 5 years of working experience on humanitarian logistics and sustainable operations with the governments of Bogota and Colombia, respectively.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (4)
Global Supply Chains
Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management
Operations Management in Emerging Markets
Best Paper Award (professional)
Best Paper Award - "Global Vehicle Supply Chain Management in Humanitarian Operations" - Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management Track, POMS. 2014.
Best Paper Award (professional)
Best Paper Award - "Decentralization and Earmarked Funding in Humanitarian Logistics for Relief and Development" - Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management Track, POMS. 2012.
Best PhD Proposal Award (professional)
Best PhD Proposal Award -"Last Mile Vehicle Fleet Management in Humanitarian Operations"- College of Sustainable Operations, POMS, 2010.
Best Paper Award (professional)
Best Paper Award - "Vehicle Replacement in the International Committee of the Red Cross" - Ninth Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference, London Business School, 2009.
INSEAD: Ph.D., Management 2011
INSEAD: M.S., Management 2009
Universidad Nacional de Colombia: M.S., Economics 2004
Universidad de los Andes: B.S., Industrial Engineering 1998
Vehicle Supply Chains in Humanitarian Operations: Decentralization, Operational Mix, and Earmarked FundingProduction and Operations Management
2014 The work of international humanitarian organizations (IHOs) frequently involves operating in remote locations, decentralized decision‐making, and the simultaneous implementation of development and disaster response programs. A large proportion of this work is funded by “earmarked” donations, since donors often exhibit a preference for the programs they are willing to fund. From extensive research involving qualitative descriptions and quantitative data, and applying system dynamics methodology, we model vehicle supply chains (VSCs) in support of humanitarian field operations. Our efforts encompass the often‐overlooked decentralized environment by incorporating the three different VSC structures that IHOs operate, as well as examining the entire mix of development and disaster response programs, and the specific (and virtually unexplored) effects of earmarked funding. Our results suggest that earmarked funding causes a real—and negative—operational impact on humanitarian disaster response programs in a decentralized setting.
Vehicle Replacement in the International Committee of the Red CrossProduction and operations Management
2012 This article studies 4 × 4 vehicle replacement within the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), one of the largest humanitarian organizations. ICRC policy sets the replacement of vehicles at 5 years or 150,000 km, whichever comes first. Using field data collected at the ICRC headquarters and national level we study the ICRC policy. Our results suggest that the organization can make considerable savings by adjusting its replacement policy. This study contributes to the area of logistics and transportation research in humanitarian operations.
Field vehicle fleet management in humanitarian operations: A case-based approachJournal of Operations Management
2011 Transportation is the second largest overhead cost to humanitarian organizations after personnel. Academic knowledge about fleet management in humanitarian operations is scarce. Using a multiple case research design we study Field Vehicle Fleet Management (Field VFM) in four large International Humanitarian Organizations (IHO): the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Food Program and World Vision International. Our field research includes more than 40 interviews at headquarters, regional and national level in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The paper answers three research questions: (1) How do IHO manage their field vehicle fleets? (2) What are the critical factors affecting IHO Field VFM? (3) How does Field VFM affect in-country program delivery? The contribution of this research is twofold. First, it helps to fill the existing gap in the humanitarian literature regarding Field VFM. Second, it expands the fleet management literature to a new and virtually unexplored area.
Using OR to adapt supply chain management best practices to humanitarian logisticsInternational Transactions in Operational Research
2010 The demand for humanitarian aid is extraordinarily large and it is increasing. In contrast, the funding for humanitarian operations does not seem to be increasing at the same rate. Humanitarian logistics has the challenge of allocating scarce resources to complex operations in an efficient way. After acquiring sufficient contextual knowledge, academics can use operations research (OR) to adapt successful supply chain management best practices to humanitarian logistics. We present two cases of OR applications to field vehicle fleet management in humanitarian operations. Our research shows that by using OR to adapt supply chain best practices to humanitarian logistics, significant improvements can be achieved.
Last Mile Vehicle Supply Chain in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent SocietiesINSEAD Working Paper
2009 We study the last mile vehicle supply chain in the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The IFRC is one of the benchmark humanitarian organizations working in disaster response and development programs. We analyze the IFRC “better, faster and cheaper” last mile vehicle supply chain using Lee’s Triple-A framework of agility, adaptability and alignment. We identify the objective functions and main trade-offs for this supply chain. The objective of the last mile vehicle supply chain supporting disaster response is agility. The extra cost to achieve agility in disaster response programs is compensated with the objective of cost effectiveness in the last mile vehicle supply chain supporting development programs. Cost effectiveness is obtained sacrificing speed. We also identify challenges to the IFRC last mile vehicle supply chain. We suggest areas where operations research and management science can reduce costs which translates into increasing IFRC’s investment in social welfare of populations in need.