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