Transformational Logistics is an umbrella term for logistics and the informal economy. It is of particular interest to development studies, welfare economics and logistics in the emerging world.
An estimated 4 billion people live in the ‘informal market’. They are found all over the world from the favellas of Brazil to the slums of Mumbai. All these places lack basic amenities but can be astonishing in terms of their innovative instincts.
These alternative societies represent a significant opportunity for all types of products but require a very different logistics expertise to serve their needs. Traditional markets can learn a great deal from the way in which these societies exist; there are high levels of innovation on products, process and even recycling which could contribute much to more traditional westernised market models. Some informal economies have experienced fractured or volatile market logistics which have been handled solely by military and/or humanitarian agencies. In these cases, there is real scope to employ logistics techniques to help transform the economy from a state of survival to becoming a consumer-based member of the global marketplace.
Transformational Logistics aims to explore the issues embedded within the relationship between logistics and the informal economy. It aims to stimulate debate, learning and practice both within the informal market and in its relationship with the wider global economy. Three of the lead academics engaged in this project – Professor John Cullen, Professor Lenny Koh and Professor Colin Williams- are based at the University of Sheffield Management School.
Transformational Logistics can stimulate integration between formal and informal economies; promoting effective and efficient ways to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth. It can also help to generate connections between physical, cash and information flows to support hybrid business models that embrace synergies between both formal and informal markets.
Transformational Logistics can enable the transition of an economy from a natural disaster, the devastation of warfare or a soviet-style planned economy to a stable market economy capable of delivering sustainable and inclusive growth.
For more detail please go to the Transformational Logistics Blog.