Pan Pacific Symposium Conference Proceedings


Authors: A. Gandelli and A. Caliri
Company: Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Energia
Date Published: 2/12/2009   Conference: Pan Pacific Symposium

Abstract: Living in a open economy has brought consumers tremendous benefits in terms of choice, process and quality, but living in a open economy is also plenty of new and complex challenges. Nowadays, with the global economic changing, the design of the supply chain is completely different. As supply chains became longer and more complex, most products span the entire globe before arriving in our houses. That is especially true for consumer electronics that have a great expansion market, characterized by strong changes. The risk of unsafe electronic products is becoming a concrete possibility. Anyway we have to consider that risk is connected with all human process so the real challenges is to have systems able to identify, soon, the risk and able to manage their consequences. To reach this purpose it is necessary to have adequate and coherent laws. Above all, the basic requirement is involving multiple actors all over the world, through real-time communication and widespread information.

Once an electronic failure product reaches the final market it is important to isolate this event and manage a plan to recall products (mode/time/information to commercial partners/number of goods), considering the opportunity to use specific insurance against these failures. In all of these events, that today are very common, company suffers high costs for the logistics activities to retire the goods and for the testing control to detect and correct the failure. We have also to consider the re-work costs and the impacts on the business (brand) that are more difficult to quantify. In order to reduce the economic impact, company are focusing on the Reverse Logistics issue that interest all the actions to minimize cost-time of recall. We refer to Reverse Logistics as the process that start from the final market and cross the entire supply-chain in the opposite way, direct to the input-point supply. In this paper we discuss about the concept and dynamics of the Reverse Logistics process, analyzing meaning, cost, and method. We will focus on the inefficiencies that characterize today Reverse Logistics processes and starting from this point we will investigate the main causes proposing five different best practices. Their use can provide a total cost reduction estimated in about 25%

Key words: Reverse Logistics, Failure Analysis, Consumer Electronics, European market

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