ITC logistics data-steward assistant - Amsterdam

Temporary position. Support to maintain the logistical article database.


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 19 sections, 23 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested. MSF International also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign.



The position of the ITC logistics data-steward assistant is a temporary position at the ITC in Amsterdam, to support the process of the clean-up of the logistical database in preparation for the implementation of the Codification Project. The foreseen workload is for 12 months.



  • The person reports to the ITC log referent.
  • The person will be interacting with ITC team and the Codification Project Coordinator and the different European supply centre referents (ESC referents) and the logistical international working group members (iTWG).



The objective of the codification project is to have one centralized organization-wide clean article database. Old unnecessary codes were recently removed and all remaining codes and article labels should follow the logic of the new codification rules. Former codes specific to one part of the organization (Z-codes) should now follow the same rules, and become available for other parts of MSF as well. Also for logistical articles a description of its form, fit and function (FFFs) is to be added, containing additional quality information on the product, both in French and in English. The estimated volume of the final master-data is around 12,000 non-medical technical articles.

ITC is responsible for the creation of codification rules as well as the application of those rules to standard articles. The (3) ESCs (MSF Logistique, MSF Supply & APU) recently worked on the matching & deduplication of their Z-codes and applying the codification rules to the remaining articles. The Codification project resulted in a new centralised article database packet called UniData which is due to go live in the beginning of 2016. No more international Z-codes should then be used. The ESCs are expected to create their (non-standard) new articles in UniData following the codification rules and under the control of ITC (in total +/- 100 per week).

The objective of this position is to help the ITC logistics referent maintaining a clean database, making sure codification rules for codes and article labels are followed and article descriptions (such as FFFs) are improved in collaboration with working group members in the OCs.



  1. Set-up and application of codification rules for new articles

In order to guide the ESCs with the creation of new (non-standard) articles the codification rules have been included in UniData in the so-called code & label generator.

  • Make sure existing codification rules are set-up correctly in the code & label generator including the link between significant parts of the codes and label blocks.
  • Review proposed new codes and labels created by the ESCs and check if these are compliant with the codification rules. Propose if needed enhancement to the codes, labels or on the rules to improve the final result.
  • Enter these rules in UniData including related label blocks in the code & label generator.
  • Apply codification rules to (new) standard articles.
  1. Rewrite article labels of large groups of spare parts f.e. Toyota spare parts
  • Familiarize with the proposed label writing rules.
  • Clean up the database of spare parts and filter out those that should remain active. The estimated volume of the remaining spare parts database for Toyota is around 2500 articles, of which for +/- 50% new labels have been written.
  • Apply the label writing rules to the remaining spare parts in English and French, taking into account the information the supply centres added over time in the article labels. Propose to the ITC Log referent if needed enhancement on rules to improve the final result.
  • Ensure that all information that does not belong to the label of an article, but is relevant for the field, is mentioned in the article’s FFF.
  • Make sure the new labels get correctly imported in the new central database UniData.
  • Enter relations between articles in UniData, for example when articles are replaced.
  1. Contribute in other parts of the maintenance of the database and the next phases of the Codification Project in collaboration with the ITC Logistic referent.

Other tasks might be:

  • Workload related to the clean-up process of the logistical database;
  • Follow-up on data quality checks and make the necessary changes in UniData;
  • Follow-up of other tasks requested by the ITC Logistical Referent and/or the Codification Project Coordinator.
  1. ITC Catalog 2016
  • Prepare the list of articles to be included in 2016 Catalog;
  • Review and check FFF / Technical sheets;
  • Proofread FFF / Technical sheets produced on PDF;
  • Translate FFF / Technical sheets if required;



Professional training

  • Technical background and trained as all-round logistician for MSF.

Work experience

  • At least 1 year working experience as an all-round logistician or supply logistician in MSF in the field.
  • Work experience in one of the OCs or supply centres is an asset.  

Specific skills

  • Computer skills are essential. Advanced level of excel is a prerequisite, as is working experience with a database.
  • Fluent in both English and French (reading and writing) is mandatory.
  • Knowledge about the use of technical articles in the field within MSF.
  • Technical writing capacities.


Starting date: around February 1st 2016

Contract: temporary 12 months 80% to 100%,

Preferred location: Amsterdam

Deadline for applications: 15th January 2016


Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “ITC logistics data-steward assistant” in the title.

Please submit your CV and cover letter in ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted