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An exploration of reverse logistics practices in three companies

Xiaoming Li (Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
Festus Olorunniwo (Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 8 August 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to report a case study that focuses on identifying what may be considered a typical or generic RL process flow as well as the key strategic issues that a firm may use for competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The research involves mainly interviews and plant visits to three companies, all of which manage some RL activities.

Findings

Highlighted are what type of RL process flow can be considered as generic, the type of technology innovation and IT a firm needs in order to operate an effective RL system and how these are integrated across the supply chain, the resource commitment (personnel, financial, upper‐level management) that a company needs to make to support successful RL efforts, and finally, the values firms derive from RL and the key performance indicators to measure these values for the RL operations.

Originality/value

A typical returns flow process is provided that can guide managers efficiently on their RL activities. Strategic activities are also presented that characterize successful practices in the RL industry.

Keywords

Citation

Li, X. and Olorunniwo, F. (2008), "An exploration of reverse logistics practices in three companies", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 381-386. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598540810894979

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited