Issues and Challenges in Reverse Logistics
Samir K. Srivastava
Indian Institute of Management - Lucknow
December 6, 2011
SUPPLY CHAINS: ISSUES AND ANALYSIS (Editor: Surendra M. Gupta), CRC Press, 2013, Chapter 2, pp. 61-82.
Reverse logistics (RL) is the process of moving products from the consumer - the traditional final destination - to the manufacturer, the point of origin. The concept involves taking a long-term view of products from 'cradle to grave' including possible 'resurrection'. It is gaining justifiable popularity among society, governments and industry. Today, RL is viewed as an area that offers great potential to reduce costs, increase revenues, and generate additional profitability for firms and their supply chains. It is increasingly becoming an area of organizational competitive advantage, making its pursuit a strategic decision. In recent years a rapid increase of corporate and legislative initiatives as well as academic publications on RL can be observed. Nearly everyone agrees that a reverse logistics network that seizes value-creation opportunities offers significant competitive advantages for early adopters and process innovators. At societal level, managing product returns in a more effective and cost-efficient way will help develop sustainable economies in a sound way. In light of the above, this chapter describes the concept of reverse logistics; its basic activities and scope; drivers and barriers; and major issues and challenges. We also describe a few initiatives and suggested frameworks and models for better RL design and practices.
Keywords: reverse logistics, issues, challenges, models, frameworks, reverse supply chains
Date posted: December 6, 2011 ; Last revised: February 21, 2013
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