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September 11, 2017

Navigating Reverse Logistics in an E-commerce World

Most think of the supply chain as a forward-moving process with one end goalgetting product into the customers hands. But the growth of e-commerce and greater consumer awareness has created new challenges not only in moving a product forward but also backward. The days of a linear supply chain have long passed, making way for a circular economy, where your supply chains reverse logistics are just as important as its forward motion.

According to the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), the term reverse logistics refers to all activity associated with a product or serviceafterthe point of sale, with the ultimate goal to optimize (or make more efficient) aftermarket activity, thus saving money and environmental resources.
If you build and design products for cradle to grave operation, theyre build in a factory, shipped, sold and eventually, when they stop being useful, end up in a trash heap, explains Tony Sciarrotta, executive director, RLA. You can look at that process in many ways. While it’s not environmentally sound, it’s also a bad business decision. If you can recover assets from the product at the end of its life, by reusing, rebuilding or refurbishing it anything that you can do to bring that product back to lifeis not only avoiding landfills but also protecting assets and resources. We used to call it sustainability, but its become more than that. ...

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