Coordination in closed-loop supply chains

Zuber, Carolin

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-390037
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2015
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Fleischmann, Moritz
Date of oral examination: 13 March 2015
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Logistik (Fleischmann 2009-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Subject headings (SWD): Supply Chain Management
Keywords (English): Closed-Loop Supply Chain , Reverse Logistics
Abstract: Reverse product flows are no longer seen as a threat but are perceived as an opportunity to gain additional benefits. This change of perception originates from multiple aspects. Against the background of scarce resources and increasing consumption worldwide, the materials and components included in products in use become valuable supplies for future new production. On the other hand, in the context of spreading popularity of e-commerce and shortened product life cycles, returned products have increasing inherent value. However, the known challenge of matching supply and demand is further complicated by the involvement of multiple, independent decision makers and to a great extent by the heterogeneity of supplies - the reverse product flows. Consequently, the consideration of decentralized Closed-Loop Supply Chains raises the interest of coordination in such a context. In this thesis we address coordination in Closed-Loop Supply Chains. In Chapter 1, we introduce a new business case, based on which we derive concrete research needs. In Chapter 3, the coordination of the reverse-Supply-Chain-specific process step “disposition" is addressed. To this end, we compare the introduced business case setting with our benchmark, a central decision maker. We see that the current setting results in a suboptimal Closed-Loop Supply Chain solution. To overcome this SC deficiency, we develop a coordinating mechanism. Beyond the analysis, we provide a numerical example to illustrate our insights. Closed-Loop Supply Chains are characterized by heterogeneous supplies with respect to quality, quantity, and timing. The increase in supply uncertainty originates from the customer's use phase, which in many cases is a kind of “black box" for the other actors in Closed-Loop Supply Chains. In Chapter 4, we address customer decisions and identify the coordination needs resulting from these decisions. Furthermore, we discuss the adaptability of existing mechanisms to the coordination requirements at the customer interface.

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