University of Twente Student Theses


Food logistics at Academic Medical Centre

Haas, J.W. (2013) Food logistics at Academic Medical Centre.

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Abstract:Background: The challenge for health care organizations during the upcoming decades is to deliver more patient care of at least the current quality, while efficiently allocating less financial and human resources. The bad reputation of food in the health care sector and the increased expectations of the customers makes food service an important issue for many healthcare facilities. AMC, one of eight academic hospitals in the Netherlands, wants to improve their quality of care, by achieve a higher food service level among others. They aim for hospitality and providing optimal nutrition to the patient through efficient logistic functions, in order to accelerate the recovery of patients and prevent complications. Research problem, scope and objective: To identify problems in the logistic processes concerning food in AMC, we have conducted a preliminary research in which we have analyzed the characteristics of AMC’s food logistics on process, performance, and planning and control, by performing interviews, observing, and participating at a unit. We have used the framework of Hans, Van Houdenhoven & Hulshof (2011) to structure planning and control functions and their interactions. We have assessed the current performance by operationalizing AMC’s eleven KPIs into measurable units and found that the main problem is whether to hold or arrange products centralized or decentralized. On the basis thereof, we scope our research on AMC’s inventory management of wholesale products for inpatients. The objective of this research is to measure the current performance of AMC’s food service regarding wholesale products and to improve this performance by organizing the logistics concerning food more efficiently. To achieve the objective of this research we have investigated what steps should be taken to improve AMC’s current food logistics of wholesale products measurable and to make an informed choice about the organization of interventions. Research approach: As in the preliminary research, we have identified the characteristics of AMC’s inventory management on the process, performance, and planning and control. We have defined twelve indicators, operationalize these into measurable units, and collected relevant data to perform a baseline measurement. We have carried out a performance measurement using the operationalized KPIs. Based on the literature study, expert opinions, and our experiences, we have presented and discussed interventions for AMC and evaluated these based on acceptance and evaluation criteria. We have identified and discussed why one intervention is most suitable to improve the inventory management of AMC’s wholesale products. Furthermore, we have analyzed and discussed the limitations in the availability of AMC’s data. Eventually, we have designed a roadmap to manage AMC’s logistic function concerning wholesale products. We have generalized the outcomes to other hospitals, so that they may also benefit from this research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
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