Reverse logistics concerns the management of returned products and packages to which an Original Equipment Manufacturer is responsible. Recent developments in marketing and environmental legislation increases volumes of return flows strongly. While at the moment the volumes are about 5% of yearly sales, this is likely to go up to 25% or more. This thesis presents a methodology, using Operations Research models, that gives us decision support in the set-up of a reverse-logistic system for durable consumer products. Two major research questions are addressed: 1. How to structure recovery from return flows? In a recovery strategy it is determined to what degree discarded products should be disassembled and which reuse, recycling or disposal options should be applied. A recovery stategy thus describes which disassembly, recovery and disposal process should be applied to return flows. 2. Where should which recovery and disposal process be installed at what capacity, once the recovery strategy is known? Reverse logistic network design concerns determining locations and capacity levels for processes as well as optimising good flows between the processes at the various locations. The study is focussed at Europe, where Legislation imposes producer responsibility or product stewardship for OEMs. However, the results and lessons learned are also very relevant for the USA and Asia.
Contact: dr ir H. R. Krikke Department of MTI School of Management Studies Erasmus University PO Box 1738 3000 DR Rotterdam
University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
Prof. dr A. van Harten