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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Vikas Kumar, Marlene Amorim, Arijit Bhattacharya and Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

This study aims to address the management of reverse flows in the context of service supply chains. The study builds on the characteristics of services production reported…

3139

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to address the management of reverse flows in the context of service supply chains. The study builds on the characteristics of services production reported in literature to: identify diverse types of reverse flows in services supply chains, discuss key issues associated to the management of reverse service flows and suggest directions for research for developing the knowledge for management of reverse flows in service contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study first provides an overview of the theoretical background which supports the identification and the characterization of the flows, and the reverse flows, involved in service production. A short summary of each paper accepted in this special issue is also provided to give readers an overview of the various issues around reverse exchanges in service supply chains that authors have attempted to address.

Findings

In this study, the authors identify distinct types of reverse flows in services production building on the analysis of the characteristics of service production and delivery reported in the literature. Our discussion highlights the fact that service supply chains can be quite diverse in the type of exchanges of inputs and outputs that take place between customers and providers, showing that often there can be substantial flows of items to return. In particular, and differently from manufacturing contexts, the authors highlight that in service supply chains, providers might need to handle bi-directional reverse flows.

Research limitations/implications

The lack of research on reverse service supply chains is, to a great extent, a consequence of dominant paradigms which often identify the absence of physical product flows as a key distinguishing feature of service supply chains, and therefore lead to the misbelief that in services there is nothing to return. This special issue therefore aims to clarify this misunderstanding through the limited selection of eight papers that address various issues around reverse exchanges in service supply chains.

Originality/value

While theoretical and empirical research in supply chain is abundant, management of reverse exchanges in service supply chain is sparse. In this special issue we aim to provide the first contribution to understand how the characteristics of service production raise new issues for the management of reverse flows in service supply chains, and to foster the development of adequate management strategies.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Qile He, Abby Ghobadian, David Gallear, Loo-See Beh and Nicholas O'Regan

– Recognizing the heterogeneity of services, this paper aims to clarify the characteristics of forward and the corresponding reverse supply chains of different services.

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Abstract

Purpose

Recognizing the heterogeneity of services, this paper aims to clarify the characteristics of forward and the corresponding reverse supply chains of different services.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops a two-dimensional typology matrix, representing four main clusters of services according to the degree of input standardization and the degree of output tangibility. Based on this matrix, this paper develops a typology and parsimonious conceptual models illustrating the characteristics of forward and the corresponding reverse supply chains of each cluster of services.

Findings

The four main clusters of service supply chains have different characteristics. This provides the basis for the identification, presentation and explanation of the different characteristics of their corresponding reverse service supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this research can help future researchers to analyse, map and model forward and reverse service supply chains, and to identify potential research gaps in the area.

Practical/implications

The findings of the research can help managers of service firms to gain better visibility of their forward and reverse supply chains, and refine their business models to help extend their reverse/closed-loop activities. Furthermore, the findings can help managers to better optimize their service operations to reduce service gaps and potentially secure new value-adding opportunities.

Originality/value

This paper is the first, to the authors ' knowledge, to conceptualize the basic structure of the forward and reverse service supply chains while dealing with the high level of heterogeneity of services.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Glenn C Parry, Saara A. Brax, Roger S. Maull and Irene C. L. Ng

Improvement of reverse supply chains requires accurate and timely information about the patterns of consumption. In the consumer context, the ways to generate and access…

8241

Abstract

Purpose

Improvement of reverse supply chains requires accurate and timely information about the patterns of consumption. In the consumer context, the ways to generate and access such use-visibility data are in their infancy. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how the Internet of Things (IoT) may be operationalised in the domestic setting to capture data on a consumer’s use of products and the implications for reverse supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an explorative case approach drawing on data from studies of six UK households. “Horizontal” data, which reveals patterns in consumers’ use processes, is generated by combining “vertical” data from multiple sources. Use processes in the homes are mapped using IDEF0 and illustrated with the data. The quantitative data are generated using wireless sensors in the home, and qualitative data are drawn from online calendars, social media, interviews and ethnography.

Findings

The study proposes four generic measurement categories for operationalising the concept of use-visibility: experience, consumption, interaction and depletion, which together address the use of different household resources. The explorative case demonstrates how these measures can be operationalised to achieve visibility of the context of use in the home. The potential of such use-visibility for reverse supply chains is discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This explorative case study is based on an in-depth study of the bathroom which illustrates the application of use-visibility measures (UVMs) but provides a limited use context. Further research is needed from a wider set of homes and a wider set of use processes and contexts.

Practical implications

The case demonstrates the operationalisation of the combination of data from different sources and helps answer questions of “why?”, “how?”, “when?” and “how much?”, which can inform reverse supply chains. The four UVMs can be operationalised in a way that can contribute to supply chain visibility, providing accurate and timely information of consumption, optimising resource use and eliminating waste.

Originality/value

IDEF0 framework and case analysis is used to identify and validate four UVMs available through IoT data – that of experience, consumption, interaction and depletion. The UVMs characterise IoT data generated from a given process and inform the primary reverse flow in the future supply chain. They provide the basis for future data collection and development of theory around their effect on reverse supply chain efficiency.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2011

Adrian E. Coronado Mondragon, Chandra Lalwani and Christian E. Coronado Mondragon

In a growing number of competitive sectors with closed‐loop supply chains, the reverse component has become an inherent part of the business, not to mention a core…

5587

Abstract

Purpose

In a growing number of competitive sectors with closed‐loop supply chains, the reverse component has become an inherent part of the business, not to mention a core competence; hence the need to have performance measures that can be used to provide an accurate diagnosis of the state of the supply chain by addressing both its forward and its reverse components. It is also important to identify the level of existing integration between parties, as this has been associated with supply chain performance. This paper seeks to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Elements gathered from the literature reviewed are used to present a set of measures that can be applied for auditing purposes in: the forward supply chain; product returns and reverse logistics; flows of materials and information and integration between supply chain tiers. To illustrate the use of the proposed set of measures for auditing purposes a case study involving a major European mobile phone network operator was analysed using the operator's own brand of handsets characterised for having a closed‐loop supply chain.

Findings

The proposed set of measures for auditing purposes provide an overall picture of the performance of a closed‐loop supply chain by revealing high levels of stock for the products analysed, consequence of the difficulty to generate accurate forecasts and the accumulation of high quantities of product prior to launch. Also the methodology presented in this paper identifies links between product returns (faulty and non‐faulty) to operations in the forward component of the supply chain (design, sourcing, manufacturing and forecasting) and also indicates how performance is affected because of integration.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed set of measures for auditing purposes is relevant to closed‐loop supply chains which are related to products with short life cycles and during their lifetime can experience faulty and non‐faulty returns. The scope of the study presented may look limited; however, the application of the performance measures presented in this research can become a fundamental component of larger audit exercises. Further research should be carried out with supply chains on products with lifetime cycles that span long periods of time.

Practical implications

For industry sectors with closed‐loop supply chains, the availability of a set of measures that address the forward and reverse components plus integration can provide a detailed picture of the performance of value streams over traditional approaches to measurement that focus on only one component of the supply chain. The set of measures has the potential to be used to achieve better customer service and reduction in costs involving shipping, warehousing, labour and call centres.

Originality/value

The contribution of this research on closed‐loop supply chains is a methodology that defines performance measures for auditing purposes of the forward and reverse components of supply chains and assists in assessing the importance of integration between different tiers of supply chains.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2015

Mohammad Shamsuddoha

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from…

Abstract

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from unstructured supply chain practices, lack of awareness of the implications of the sustainability concept and failure to recycle poultry wastes. The current research thus attempts to develop an integrated supply chain model in the context of poultry industry in Bangladesh. The study considers both sustainability and supply chain issues in order to incorporate them in the poultry supply chain. By placing the forward and reverse supply chains in a single framework, existing problems can be resolved to gain economic, social and environmental benefits, which will be more sustainable than the present practices.

The theoretical underpinning of this research is ‘sustainability’ and the ‘supply chain processes’ in order to examine possible improvements in the poultry production process along with waste management. The research adopts the positivist paradigm and ‘design science’ methods with the support of system dynamics (SD) and the case study methods. Initially, a mental model is developed followed by the causal loop diagram based on in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observation techniques. The causal model helps to understand the linkages between the associated variables for each issue. Finally, the causal loop diagram is transformed into a stock and flow (quantitative) model, which is a prerequisite for SD-based simulation modelling. A decision support system (DSS) is then developed to analyse the complex decision-making process along the supply chains.

The findings reveal that integration of the supply chain can bring economic, social and environmental sustainability along with a structured production process. It is also observed that the poultry industry can apply the model outcomes in the real-life practices with minor adjustments. This present research has both theoretical and practical implications. The proposed model’s unique characteristics in mitigating the existing problems are supported by the sustainability and supply chain theories. As for practical implications, the poultry industry in Bangladesh can follow the proposed supply chain structure (as par the research model) and test various policies via simulation prior to its application. Positive outcomes of the simulation study may provide enough confidence to implement the desired changes within the industry and their supply chain networks.

Details

Sustaining Competitive Advantage Via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-707-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 February 2015

Amulya Gurtu, Cory Searcy and M.Y. Jaber

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the keywords used in peer-reviewed literature on green supply chain management.

2732

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the keywords used in peer-reviewed literature on green supply chain management.

Design/methodology/approach

To determine the keywords that were used in this area, an analysis of 629 papers was conducted. The papers were identified through searches of 13 keywords on green supply chains. Trends in keyword usage were analyzed in detail focusing on examining variables such as the most frequently used journals/keywords, their frequencies, citation frequency and research contribution from different disciplines/countries.

Findings

A number of different terms have been used for research focused on the environmental impacts of supply chains, including green supply chains, sustainable supply chains, reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chains, among others. The analysis revealed that the intensity of research in this area has more than tripled in the past six years and that the most used keyword was “reverse logistics”. The use of the terms “green supply chains” and “sustainable supply chains” is increasing, and the use of “reverse logistics” is decreasing.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is limited to 629 papers from the Scopus database during the period of 2007 and 2012.

Originality/value

The paper presents the first systematic analysis of keywords used in the literature on green supply chains. Given the broad array of terms used to refer to research in this area, this is a needed contribution. This work will help researchers in choosing keywords with high frequency and targeting journals for publishing their future work. The paper may also provide a basis for further work on developing consolidated definitions of terms focused on green supply chain management.

Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2022

Mahtab Kouhizadeh, Qingyun Zhu, Lojain Alkhuzaim and Joseph Sarkis

Overconsumption of resources has become a global issue. To deal with resource depletion and mitigate these impending crises, the circular economy (CE) holds some promise…

Abstract

Overconsumption of resources has become a global issue. To deal with resource depletion and mitigate these impending crises, the circular economy (CE) holds some promise. A wide range of performance measurements for CE have emerged over the years. However, with increasing complexity of supply chains, appropriate and potentially new performance measurements are needed for effective CE management. Blockchain is an innovative technology that may advance CE development. This chapter provides an overview of the potential linkages between blockchain technology and CE from sustainability perspectives – the specific focus will be on the performance measurement of reverse logistics activities. One of the main findings indicates that both blockchain and CE performance measurements – especially reverse logistics processes – are still evolving in both theory and practical developments. Future directions with a critical analysis including research and theoretical applications will conclude this chapter.

Details

Circular Economy Supply Chains: From Chains to Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-545-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Joakim Wikner and Ou Tang

The concept of the customer order decoupling point (CODP) has been used in many different contexts as an important structural concept for the traditional forward supply

3693

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of the customer order decoupling point (CODP) has been used in many different contexts as an important structural concept for the traditional forward supply chain. The CODP is rarely explicitly applied in reverse supply chain management and the purpose of this paper is to show that the CODP can be an important corner stone of a framework for analysis of the closed‐loop supply chain containing both forward and reverse material flows.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual similarities are identified using analogies between forward and reverse supply chains. First, the concepts are discussed in their original context of forward flows and thereafter the concepts are applied on reverse flows. Finally, a holistic closed‐loop model is established.

Findings

The conventional CODP framework for forward flow supply chains can be extended to cover also reverse material flows and therefore providing a foundation for a more comprehensive discussion of closed‐loop supply chains useful in both education, research, and industrial applications. Using the suggested extended framework it is possible to identify nine fundamental supply chain configurations.

Practical implications

Differentiating between demand driven and forecast driven activities plays a critical role in practical supply chain management and this paper highlights that this approach also can be applied to closed‐loop supply chains and therefore extending the reach of the toolbox previously developed for the forward supply chain.

Originality/value

The concept CODP has not previously been comprehensively treated for the closed‐loop supply chain and this paper provides a foundation for establishing a strategic structural framework for discussing issues such as lean vs agile and balancing efficiency and responsiveness in a more comprehensive context involving also reverse material flows.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Chiara Gobbi

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of the product residual value (PRV) and the loss of value over time of returned products in the reverse supply chain

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of the product residual value (PRV) and the loss of value over time of returned products in the reverse supply chain configuration. It also examines whether or not the distinction of Fisher's functional and innovative products holds for the reverse supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to identify the relevance of the Fisher model, the model needs to be recast in terms of PRV, which, in this context, is considered the independent variable in the reverse logistics arena. Products defined as innovative in Fisher's taxonomy correspond to disposed products with high residual value, whereas functional products correspond to disposed products with low residual value. Furthermore, the PRV and the speed at which returned products lose their value are considered in order to determine the configuration of the reverse supply chain that allows for recapturing most of the PRV. These notions have then been tested by analyzing two reverse supply chains with a case study research methodology.

Findings

The findings show that low PRV is associated with second‐class recovery options (recycling and energy recovery) and that high PRV is associated with first‐class recovery options (reconditioning and remarketing). When the recovery option is recycling, time is not relevant, the primary objective is cost reduction (efficiency), the chain is centralized, and actors and phases of the reverse chain are determined by the specificity of the recycling process. When the recovery option is reconditioning, time is primarily relevant, tradeoffs between costs and time efficiency are necessary, the chain presents a centralized structure, and the presence of other types of actors and phases influences the structure of the reverse supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

The focus is restricted to the industry of electrical and electronic products.

Practical implications

Based on the outcome of the study, managers are able to determine the basic prerequisites for the design of their reverse supply chains.

Originality/value

Previous literature suggests that when the PRV is high, early product differentiation is necessary, and the chain is therefore decentralized. The paper demonstrates that this is not confirmed in the case of low returned volumes and high reconditioning quality standards.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Rajesh Kumar Singh and Saurabh Agrawal

The purpose of this paper is to explore the product disposition strategies in reverse supply chains and to develop a framework to prioritize these strategies for effective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the product disposition strategies in reverse supply chains and to develop a framework to prioritize these strategies for effective reverse supply chain implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The disposition strategies, based on the literature review, were selected, and the fuzzy TOPSIS methodology had been applied for the prioritization of these disposition strategies. A case of cell phone manufacturing firm is discussed for the illustration and validation of the methodology. Three respondents from the firm helped in exploring the disposition strategies and data collection of the firm.

Findings

The results of the study show that dissemble and recycle is the most preferred disposition strategy for the firm. Redistribution of returned products after their refurbishing is second most prioritized disposition strategy. Landfill and incineration of cell phones is the last and least preferred option for the firm.

Research limitations/implications

The study will provide useful guidance to the firm for disposition decision making of cell phones returned to the firm. It will help academicians and practitioners for evaluating, improving, and benchmarking the disposition strategies for the disposition of returned cell phones. One of the limitations of the study is that it only considers the single case of manufacturing firm. In future, more case studies may be carried out for generalization of the results.

Originality/value

It is evident from the literature review that there are very few studies on disposition decisions in reverse supply chain. Also, disposition strategies for cell phones are first time being explored and prioritized. Hence, this study can be viewed as an attempt to increase the level of awareness on reverse supply chain issues.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 10000