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Growing Importance of Reverse Logistics

In: Business and Management

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Growing importance of reverse logistics
Prof Samir K Srivastava

Reverse logistics is the process of moving a product from the consumer to the manufacturer, or any other stage in the supply chain, for re-use or proper disposal.
It has grown in importance due to many reasons. One of the most prominent reasons is the growing concern for the environment.
Consumer demand for clean manufacturing and recycling is increasing, many times leading to legislation as well. Consumers expect to trade in an old product when they buy a new one. Cost is another reason.
Research shows that reverse logistics may be a worthwhile proposition even in the contexts where regulatory and consumer pressures are insignificant. It is becoming vital as service management activities and take-back for products such as automobiles, refrigerators and other white goods, cellular handsets, apparels, lead-acid batteries, furniture, televisions, computer peripherals, personal computers, laptops, etc. are on the increase. Advancements in Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT) and their utility in supporting related data collection, transmission and processing have given it further fillip.
Aftermarkets, product recalls and collection of post-consumer goods by various supply chain stakeholders is gaining interest worldwide. Establishing a well-managed reverse logistics system can be a value-adding proposition for organisations and supply chains. It can not only provide important cost savings in procurement, recovery, disposal, inventory holding and transportation, but also helps in customer retention which is very important for organisational competitiveness.
Again, since reverse logistics operations and the supply chains they support are significantly more complex than traditional manufacturing supply chains, an organisation that succeeds in...

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