Strengthening the Disaster Relief Chain

New Fritz Institute to bring best logistics practices to relief organizations

San Francisco  February 21, 2002  Logistics pioneer Lynn C. Fritz has turned his talents from for-profit commerce to the non-profit world, launching an eponymous institute devoted to bringing best-practice logistics to global disaster relief efforts.

The Fritz Institute's mission is to expand the availability of talent, best practices and state-of-the-art technology to humanitarian organizations worldwide. In a statement, the institute said it will mobilize business community partnerships to provide expertise and functional support, collaborate with the academic community to research the needs of disaster relief organizations and educate the organizations' service professionals on best practices.

A 30-year logistics industry veteran, Fritz was chairman and CEO of Fritz Companies, which UPS purchased in May 2001. In his years of running the nearly 70-year-old business, Fritz turned the enterprise from a family-owned domestic documentation company to a global organization of 10,000 employees in 120 countries.

On the heels of the World Economic Forum's announcement of its Disaster Response Network, which Fritz co-chairs, the institute is to foster partnerships throughout the international business community to provide nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with increased access to contemporary commercial practices and technology.

The institute is already engaged to help the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent develop state-of-the-art logistics management software that will enable them to expedite the ordering, inventory, management and distribution of supplies like medicine, food and shelter to disaster sites.

In addition, Fritz Institute has partnerships underway with such academic institutions as Georgetown University and faculty from INSEAD University in France and Florida International University to research best practices, provide training to disaster relief professionals and convene disaster relief leadership conferences for NGO professionals, public policy makers and funders.

The institute plans this spring to release a teaching case study, sponsored by the institute, which examines the logistics operations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent during the Gujarat, India rescue and relief efforts.

In its statement, the institute said that Lynn Fritz's continued ties to the business of logistics will help the institute bring the best commercial practices and resources to help disaster relief organizations worldwide.

The institute's Web site is currently under construction but provides telephone and address information.