Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aidmatrix at the Humanitarian Logistics Summit in London

Last month, I attended the Humanitarian Logistics Summit in London. This event brought together members of the three hosting organisations and other interested parties from academia, humanitarian aid agencies, donors and the commercial logistics sector to define optimum ways to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of disaster response. The event also launched a new engagement between CILT(UK) Help Forum (HELP), the Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA), and RedR (UK). This new collaborative initiative in humanitarian logistics was initiated in the presence of Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess Royal, Patron of CILT(UK) and President of RedR (UK). There were over 100 in attendance plus the extra security guards for HRH. (I didn’t realize before that HRH was Her or His Royal Highness.)

It was great having the opportunity to network with others that understand logistics and the need for improvements for humanitarian aid. As part of the summit, there were 3 active workshops to discuss how to initiate projects to address important areas:

1. Professional Development in Humanitarian Logistics
2. Technical Support Services for Field Logisticians
3. Benchmarking and Metrics for Humanitarian Logistics

For me, the most exciting part of the session was Princess Anne’s talk. As an American, royalty has always been intriguing. Like most little girls, I wanted to be a princess when I was young. (And I knew that Princess Anne was born exactly a week before me – somehow making me think I could one day be a princess.) However, I was surprised to learn how much she knew about humanitarian aid and the problems with logistics. It was not just a speech written by some ghost writer – or at least she came across as very knowledgeable and passionate on the need for improvements. (Afterwards, I was able to confirm that she was quite genuine with her knowledge and desire to help.) I loved it when she said “one of the key problems is getting the right aid to the right people at the right time”. I wanted to stand up and say “YES – that’s the Aidmatrix motto!”.

I find these types of conferences inspiring – giving hope that the importance of logistics is starting to be understood and that activities are underway for improvements.

Shari Temple, Managing Director - Europe

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CARE Bangladesh Warehouses now live with Aidmatrix Network

I recently had the opportunity to be part of the team that traveled to CARE Bangladesh. The purpose of the trip was to provide Aidmatrix Online Warehouse Management training for about 30 personnel involved with inventory management for their 18 warehouses. The training team consisted of Tracy Allardice and Robert Halder from CARE US, located in Atlanta, along with David Makepeace and myself from Aidmatrix.

The training was held at the CARE Bangladesh Country Office in Dhaka. The attendees had traveled from across the country to attend the 2 weeks of training. They had all brought their computers to use for the exercise sessions and to install the off-line version of the software. The training consisted of instructor lead sessions in the morning followed by individual practice exercises in the afternoon. We were quite lucky that Robert from CARE US was originally from Bangladesh and could help with the sometimes needed translations. Every morning and afternoon we had our tea break – always with a snack. It was fun experiencing some new food – like the interesting spicy (hot) breakfast pudding.

It was exciting observing the ‘students’ as they learned about the system and discussed how to best apply it for their operation. They were just starting phase two of a large USAID Title II Food for Peace program. The first shipments had arrived shortly before we arrived. At the end of the training, it was decided which 3 warehouses would be the pilot for the Online Warehouse Management. There were cheers when the first transaction was entered on the live production system.

I had been warned before going there that it was the most densely populated country in the world and that Dhaka was the most densely populated city in the world. I have to say, I hope that no other place is denser. Also, based on some the extreme poverty I saw, I am glad to know there are organizations like CARE out there to help the people. I am proud that Aidmatrix can play a role in helping with CARE’s food inventory management.

Shari Temple, Managing Director - Europe

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Aidmatrix Partners with Software Development Company Telerik

Aidmatrix has recently entered a partnership with Telerik, a company that strives to make software development easier and more enjoyable. Telerik’s tools will enable Aidmatrix to create richer, more stable and aesthetic software faster than ever before for our partners.

Telerik has provided Aidmatrix with multiple licenses to their Ultimate Collection for .NET, which contains a robust testing suite, presentation layer technologies for ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and others. They also provided Aidmatrix with a TeamPulse license. TeamPulse is an agile project management solution that enables your team to effectively capture requirements, plan and measure results, and analyze the state of your project, while continually improving your delivery process.

Learn more about Telerik (

Learn about the Telerik Product Suites - click here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gardening at CitySquare Community Garden, Dallas, TX

On Thursday, April 21, five employees from the Aidmatrix Dallas office joined with CitySquare’s charitable clinic social worker, Kathy Bennett, to garden in CitySquare Charitable Clinic’s community garden. Patients of the Diabetes program at the clinic are tasked with upkeep of the community garden and also enjoy the ‘vegetables’ of their labor. Additionally, Kathy works with numerous volunteer groups such as ours to support their efforts.

We spent the morning composting, weeding, and preparing the garden beds before planting tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and marigolds. Artist Debby Conner and Miguel Medina spent the morning painting bricks and flat stones for the garden paths. Despite a gentle sprinkling of rain, we accomplished all our tasks and eagerly anticipate the ‘tomato’ and status report of our efforts.

"With so much of our time spent in the office, it is great to get out once in a while and interact with the people that our technology is benefiting on a daily basis. Hopefully our work in the garden will provide future clinic patients with tasty vegetables to bring home and share with their families." -Graham Caywood, Aidmatrix Program Specialist

Thanks to Kathy, Debby, and the other friends we met. We look forward to gardening with you again in the future!

Charlotte Medley, Office Manager