Supply Chain

Hi Forum,

I am interested to hear from anyone from witin the supply chain for Mercy Ships.

Just a generalised 'state of the nation' so to speak. Also any system descriptions such as planning through to procurement then consumption of materials.




  • heatherpetersonheatherpeterson Senior Director of Talent Acquisition Administrator Posts: 92 admin
    Hi Darren; welcome to myMercy! I've asked that a member of our Supply team respond to your request for information. You should see a reply soon. Watch this space! :)

    Have a great weekend!

  • DarrenHoughtonDarrenHoughton Member Posts: 4

    Darren Houghton:

    Hi Forum,

    I am interested to hear from anyone from within the supply chain for Mercy Ships.

    Just a generalised 'state of the nation' so to speak. Also any system descriptions such as planning through to procurement then consumption of materials.




  • CurtisBushCurtisBush Member Posts: 1
    Hi Darren - great question, thank you for asking. I'm Curtis Bush, the Supply Demand Manager located at the International Operations Center (IOC) in Texas. We have a warehouse located here and in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and each of us send a 40' container full of supplies to the ship each month, sent via ocean freight. Demand planning is handled by supply personnel onboard and here at the IOC, and procurement is handled at both warehouse locations and a few additional offices. We're focused on improving and scaling our processes in preparation for the second ship, and inventory management and usage of supplies is a key focus.

    I've visited the ship twice and have a familiarity with supply activities on the ship, but if you have more specific questions about how it's handled today, someone from the Africa Mercy could join the discussion.


  • DarrenHoughtonDarrenHoughton Member Posts: 4
    Hi Curtis,

    Thanks for the reply. I have been involved in manufacturing production planning and inventory control for over a decade now, so if the opportunity arises whereby I can volunteer, it would most likely be in this sector. Therefore I was interested to hear from someone involved. I appreciate you taking the time to reply.


  • Jeff ClementsJeff Clements Member Posts: 3
    Good day Darren,

    First, thank you for your interest in serving with Mercy Ships.  My name is Jeff; I'm the Supply Manger on board the m/v Africa Mercy.  My wife and I have been following Mercy Ships for over 20 years, and felt the call to full time missions earlier this year.  We joined the ship in July of this year, and we're very excited to be where God called us to serve at this time.  

    Curtis provided a great overview of our supply chain, and he could not overstate our focus on inventory management.  I'm sure you would agree good inventory management is the bedrock of a supply chain, from which all improvements would flow.  Inventory management is critical whether it is our suppliers with reliable inventory (which we have very limited control over), or our own warehouses, regardless if they are on land in Texas or the Netherlands, or a world away on a ship.  

    Do you have a timeline of when you would be available to volunteer?  Do you have a length of time you would be available?  The reason I ask is we have a current opening for a Supply Demand Planner on board, and have the Inventory Controller position available next June 2016.  Both of these positions have a preferred minimum committment of two years.  If interested, you can find out more about these positions by clicking on "Current Opportunities" under Volunteer at the site header.

    Please let me know if you have any questons.

    Thank you again for your interest in Mercy Ships.      

    All the best,

    Jeff Clements

  • DarrenHoughtonDarrenHoughton Member Posts: 4
    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    I have sent you a private message, to describe my circumstances in a bit more detail. (as well as ths post)

    Firstly, I do not have a firm time of availability at this point. I see your need, and have it in mind. If I become available, i will definitely be in touch.

    In the meantime, to give me a better understanding of the scale of African Mercy's logistics, can you describe some of the management systems?

    Some of these questions will probably sound stupid, or even anoying, but will give me a better idea of my original question about a description of the 'state of the nation' so to speak.

    How many sku's are handled by these positions? (If known)

    What kind of systems are used, and how many systems are used for supply planning? e.g. One for engineering, another for medical, or one huge Excel spreadsheet. that kind of thing.

    The reason I am asking is that 'system arcitecture' so to speak has a huge impact on system capability, and the subsequent effort to manage such systems. ( I am sure I am preaching to the choir)

    Is the medical equipment / supplies handled by the same people & systems as everyday items such as consumables, and or mechanical ( food, fuel, toiletries etc)?

    Does the ship have facilities such as bar coding, RFID? 

    Do these positions at times, require some negotiating / thinking outside the box, skills to ensure critical items are available?

    Or are the ships needs managed totally through the designated channels such as Texas & the Netherlands.

    There is no urgency on these requests, just for my own curiosity at this point. 

    If it is more appropriate to repond away from the forum, please feel free to contact me via my email. ( In the message I sent you).



  • Jeff ClementsJeff Clements Member Posts: 3
    Good day Darren,

    I trust this note finds you doing well.  I did recieve your private message as well.  

    The questions you pose indicate excellent forward thinking, and obviously come from someone who has experience with supply chain, and it's pinch points.  Sounds as if you might have lived and worked through some of those pinch points yourself on an intimate level.  :)  

    With our mission being a medical operation, including screening, OR, recovery, training, capacity and infrastructure building, on and off ship operations, etc. delivered at a first world standard in third world countries on a marine platform, supported by a U.S. HQ and 16 National Offices and staffed by a crew from over 35 nationalities, presents unique challenges to our supply chain.  We are a hospital, university, cargo ship, hotel, academy, community of faith all operating together with different priorities, but a common goal - that of following Christ's example of bringing hope and healing to the world's poor.  

    We have all the same requirements, restrictions and guidelines, and are governed by legislation of such, of any maritime operation, school district, hospital or medical training facility, so you can imagine there are various systems and processes in use to accomplish the mission at hand.

    Of course "system architecture" is something that any organziation has to modify, grow and refine with the times.  With our second ship coming on line in Spring 2018, one of our focuses is on scalability.    

    I would encourage you to apply online for the Supply Demand Planner position - this way your interest is formalized, and we have the opportunity to gain more insight to your background, work history and references, and you have the opportunity to check us (Mercy Ships) out more thoroughly.  We will pray with you the Lord opens the doors, and gives you the courage and clarity, He would have you walk through.  

    All the best,

    Jeff Clements

  • TesseLovelessTesseLoveless Talent Brand Manager Administrator Posts: 91 admin

    I'm Tesse, the General Recruiter here at headquarters in Texas. I help with all non-medical/non-maritime positions onboard the Africa Mercy. I just wanted to say "thank you" again for considering service with us. Please let me know if I can help out in any way. 

    Best Regards, 


    [email protected] 
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