Quick Response Service: The Case of a Non-Profit Humanitarian Service Organization

Arda Alp, Gerald Reiner, Jeffrey S. Petty

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


The focus of this paper is to explore and discuss the applicability of traditional operations management principles within the context of humanitarian service operations (HSO), illustrated by a nonprofit humanitarian service organization (HNPSO). We want to make two major contributions related to performance improvement based on lead time reduction and performance measurement. First, we develop an improvement framework to analyze and reduce the service lead time in parallel with provision of an improved capacity management. The results of this study show that lead time reduction strategies in combination with queuing theory based modeling techniques (Suri, 1998, 2002; Reiner, 2009) help the HNPSO managers effectively manage their service providing processes. Such an integrated and profound capacity management enables organization to deal with short-term demand fluctuations and long-term growth. In this way managers can find the balance between the provision of daily operations as well as the maintenance of monetary income to secure the growth of the organization and continuous improvement. Furthermore, we highlight the benefits and challenges of an aggregated performance measurement approach in a HNPSO. Our approach links operational, customer oriented, and financial performance measures, gives management competitive advantage more relevant than that of a traditional performance system. Considering the relatively limited operations management applications in nonprofit performance measurement systems, this paper contributes to both research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRapid Modelling and Quick Response – Intersection of Theory and Practice
Editors Gerald Reiner
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages91 - 104
ISBN (Print)978-1-84996-524-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102009 Computer simulation
  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502012 Industrial management
  • 211
  • 502017 Logistics
  • 502032 Quality management

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