Supply Chain Management main glossary

This is a glossary of key terms used throughout the site.

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Lead time

The lead time is the time between when a product is ordered, and when it is received and available.

Its interpretation differs slightly depending on the agent or organisation involved. Procurement lead time is the time between when the order is placed and when the goods are received in the country. For a health facility, the lead time is the time between when the request for stock is placed with the central medical store in the country, and when the goods are received at the facility.

Entry link: Lead time

Logic model

A program design, management, and evaluation tool that describes the main elements of a program and how these elements work together to reach a particular goal. The basic elements in describing the implementation of a program and its effects are: inputs, activities or processes, outputs, outcomes, and impacts. A logic model graphically presents the logical progression and relationship of these elements.

Entry link: Logic model

Logical framework

A dynamic planning and management tool that logically relates the main elements in program and project design and helps ensure that an intervention is likely to achieve measurable results. It helps to identify strategic elements (inputs, outputs, purposes, goal) of a program, their causal relationships, and the external factors that may influence success or failure. It can provide the basis for monitoring progress achieved and evaluating program results.

Entry link: Logical framework


M&E plan

A monitoring and evaluation plan is a comprehensive planning document for all monitoring and evaluation activities within a program. This plan documents the key M&E questions to be addressed: what indicators will be chosen, how often and where will the data be collected, what are the baseline values and what will be the targets values, how will the data be analysed and interpreted, and to whom and how often will reports be developed and distributed.

Entry link: M&E plan

Marketing authorization

Marketing authorization (registration/product license) is granted once the safety, efficacy and quality of a medicine has been established by the National Regulatory Authority (NRA).

Entry link: Marketing authorization

Maximum reorder level

The maximum reorder level is the level above which inventory levels should not exceed. This level is determined by the product shelf-life, amount of capital available, space, possibility of loss, cost of maintenance (stores), and fluctuation in prices and seasonality.

Entry link: Maximum reorder level


The precise calculation or formula that provides the value of an indicator.

Entry link: Metric

Minimum reorder level

The minimum reorder level (MRL) is the minimum stock quantity that should be available at all times and indicates when a request for additional stock must be placed. It is also known as re-order point and triggers an action by the store personnel to submit a requisition to replenish the stock. The MRL is usually determined based on consumption pattern and lead time. 

MRL = (Average monthly consumption * lead time in months) + buffer stock

If you use lead time in weeks, then your average consumption should also be in weeks. 


Entry link: Minimum reorder level


Monitoring is the routine process of data collection and measurement of progress toward program objectives. It involves tracking what is being done and routinely looking at the types and levels of resources used; the activities conducted; the products and services generated by these activities, including the quality of services; and the outcomes of these services and products.

Entry link: Monitoring


National Medicines Policy

National medicines policy is the combined effort of a country (through policies, guidelines, strategies or plans) to ensure the availability, affordability and rational use of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality. It usually contains provisions on the regulatory body (national regulatory authority) that develops and implements legislation and regulation to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines.

Entry link: National Medicines Policy

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