Introduction to System Design

Analysing and modifying the Supply Chain design to improve performance, reliability and resiliency
Supply Chain systems must adapt to changing requirements, challenges, technologies and opportunities.


System Design is a process which creates the plan, or blueprint, for how the immunization supply chain should run, including how all of the components of the supply chain system (program requirements, distribution network, storage, human resources, equipment, planning, monitoring, and data) fit together and interact.

Evidence-based, continuous improvement approach towards Supply Chain performance.


Is it possible to introduce a new vaccine next year with the existing immunization supply chain? What needs to change? What happens to the planned availability of vaccines if there is an earthquake? Can the health programme support greater outreach efforts, or do other areas of the supply chain need to be more efficient to support reaching the last mile? These kinds of decisions require data, analysis, and a clear picture of the end-to-end supply chain, including the inherent relationships between storage, distribution, inventory, and presentation.

Behind each of these questions is whether the current supply chain system is “fit for purpose” and answering these questions is the subject of Supply Chain System Design.

System design is critical for the required transition to and sustainment of new supply chain models which can better meet the rapidly changing needs of current immunization programs.

The recommended approach to properly analyze the supply chain system design follows a series of stages from problem definition, through analysis, into proposals, implementation, and evaluation.

Case Studies

Improving the availability, quality and efficiency of supply chains is a priority in all programs. Country case studies enable programs to learn from each other about the strategies, metrics and improvements made within a system design approach.

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