UNSOS trains ATMIS personnel on new rations management system to enhance efficiency
The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) has concluded a web-based training package for personnel serving with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) aimed at enhancing efficiency in food ration supply operations.
A total of 104 food rations/logistics officers, from the police and military components of ATMIS attended the 17-day training program facilitated by the Life Support Section of UNSOS, in Mogadishu, Somalia from 28 March to 17 April.
The Electronic Rations Management System (ERMS), recently deployed across the peace support mission is expected to simplify food requisitioning for the different contingents, as well as reduce wastage.
The training is part of continued efforts by UNSOS to provide more efficient services in the provision of rations to ATMIS personnel.
“The new system introduces an interactive interface bringing together the requisitioning officer, the rations unit which approves or recommends changes, and the rations contractor who accepts the approved order and supplies as requested,” says UNSOS Rations Unit Communications Logistics Assistant, Richard Nixon Ogwang.
During the training, the participants drawn from all ATMIS sectors, were taken through the use and benefits of the ERMS including how to prepare recipe-based orders, create menu plans and how to receive food using the system’s hand-held scanners, among other functions.
“ERMS replaces the older excel-based tool, which had a number of shortcomings that rendered the food requisitioning process slower and hindered efficiency,” said trainer Friedrich Gurtler, an Information Systems Officer at the United Nations Office of Communications and Information Technology.
“We expect it to reduce the time it takes food requisitioning officers to notify the rations unit. Also, by using the system’s handheld scanners, they can automatically submit pictures of damaged items to the rations unit and information needed to engage the contractor about any quality issues.”
ERMS also allows management of documents such as receipts and invoices.
“What I like most about the new system is its recipe-based orders. Once you state how many people a given order is to feed, the system calculates and allots the recommended food value per person. This helps us avoid the wastage we used to incur using rough estimations in the old system,” says Captain Julius Asiimwe, ATMIS Feeding and Nutrition Officer.
The adoption of the ERMS by ATMIS completes the deployment of ERMS across all UN-supported peace missions.