Open Access Article

Title: Understanding reverse supply chains

Authors: Regina Frei; Angela Bines; Iain Lothian; Lisa Jack

Addresses: School of Engineering, University of Portsmouth, UK ' School of Engineering, University of Portsmouth, UK ' School of Engineering, University of Portsmouth, UK ' Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, UK

Abstract: Reverse supply chains take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the product, the business model, the stakeholders and other factors. This article will contribute to a better understanding of how different types of reverse supply chains function, how they can be modelled and their performance assessed. The research is based on a semi-structured approach using case studies, interviews and qualitative analysis. A generic RSC model is suggested in conjunction with an analysis of circumstances and factors of influence, with the intention to trigger further investigation. A better understanding of RSC may lead to more companies engaging in returning products and materials to the process of usefulness suggested by the circular economy concept, hence leading to a more sustainable way of running manufacturing businesses.

Keywords: reverse supply chains; RSC; reverse logistics; modelling; performance evaluation; environmental performance; economic performance; operational performance; organisational performance; supply chain management; SCM; circular economy; sustainable manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSCOR.2016.082029

International Journal of Supply Chain and Operations Resilience, 2016 Vol.2 No.3, pp.246 - 266

Received: 22 Aug 2016
Accepted: 13 Oct 2016

Published online: 01 Feb 2017 *