IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Impact of product proliferation on the reverse supply chain


  • Huang, Shui-Mu
  • Su, Jack C.P.


Product variety is one of the most important advantages in highly competitive markets. However, excessive product proliferation's reducing the profit margin has caused increased focus on developing a management method for maximal profit. In a closed-loop supply chain, product proliferation affects the reverse supply chain as well as the forward supply chain. Although increasing the number of product types can better satisfy diverse customer needs, complexity in the product recycling, remanufacturing, and resale processes may erode a firm's overall profits. In this study, we develop a mathematical model for analyzing a capacitated reverse supply chain consisting of a single manufacturer and multiple retailers. We reveal closed-form solutions for the optimal batch size and maximal profit, and discuss managerial insights into how the number of products and other factors can affect both batch size and profit. Finally, we investigate the relationship between product proliferation and the choice of logistics strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Huang, Shui-Mu & Su, Jack C.P., 2013. "Impact of product proliferation on the reverse supply chain," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 626-639.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:626-639 DOI: 10.1016/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thonemann, Ulrich W. & Bradley, James R., 2002. "The effect of product variety on supply-chain performance," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 143(3), pages 548-569, December.
    2. Jeffrey D. Shulman & Anne T. Coughlan & R. Canan Savaskan, 2010. "Optimal Reverse Channel Structure for Consumer Product Returns," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(6), pages 1071-1085, 11-12.
    3. Roland Geyer & Luk N. Van Wassenhove & Atalay Atasu, 2007. "The Economics of Remanufacturing Under Limited Component Durability and Finite Product Life Cycles," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(1), pages 88-100, January.
    4. Uday S. Karmarkar, 1987. "Lot Sizes, Lead Times and In-Process Inventories," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(3), pages 409-418, March.
    5. Diwakar Gupta & Mandyam M. Srinivasan, 1998. "Note: How Does Product Proliferation Affect Responsiveness?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 1017-1020, July.
    6. Krumwiede, Dennis W. & Sheu, Chwen, 2002. "A model for reverse logistics entry by third-party providers," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 325-333, October.
    7. Hariga, M. A. & Ben-Daya, M., 1996. "Optimal time varying lot-sizing models under inflationary conditions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 313-325, March.
    8. Chen, Jen-Ming, 1998. "An inventory model for deteriorating items with time-proportional demand and shortages under inflation and time discounting," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 21-30, June.
    9. Karmarkar, Uday S. & Kekre, Sham & Kekre, Sunder, 1992. "Multi-item batching heuristics for minimization of queueing delays," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 99-111, April.
    10. L. Beril Toktay & Lawrence M. Wein & Stefanos A. Zenios, 2000. "Inventory Management of Remanufacturable Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1412-1426, November.
    11. Kuik, Roelof & Tielemans, Peter F. J., 1998. "Analysis of expected queueing delays for decision making in production planning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 658-681, November.
    12. Taylor Randall & Karl Ulrich, 2001. "Product Variety, Supply Chain Structure, and Firm Performance: Analysis of the U.S. Bicycle Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(12), pages 1588-1604, December.
    13. Marshall L. Fisher & Christopher D. Ittner, 1999. "The Impact of Product Variety on Automobile Assembly Operations: Empirical Evidence and Simulation Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(6), pages 771-786, June.
    14. Guide, V. Daniel R. & Kraus, Mark E. & Srivastava, Rajesh, 1997. "Scheduling policies for remanufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 187-204, January.
    15. Sanderson, Susan & Uzumeri, Mustafa, 1995. "Managing product families: The case of the Sony Walkman," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 761-782, September.
    16. Tielemans, Peter F. J. & Kuik, Roelof, 1996. "An exploration of models that minimize leadtime through batching of arrived orders," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 374-389, December.
    17. Saif Benjaafar & Joon-Seok Kim & N. Vishwanadham, 2004. "On the Effect of Product Variety in Production–Inventory Systems," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 71-101, February.
    18. Paul H. Zipkin, 1995. "Performance Analysis of a Multi-Item Production-Inventory System Under Alternative Policies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(4), pages 690-703, April.
    19. R. Canan Savaskan & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2006. "Reverse Channel Design: The Case of Competing Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 1-14, January.
    20. Kuik, Roelof & Tielemans, Peter F. J., 1999. "Lead-time variability in a homogeneous queueing model of batching," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-3), pages 435-441, March.
    21. V. Daniel R. Guide , Jr. & Gilvan C. Souza & Luk N. Van Wassenhove & Joseph D. Blackburn, 2006. "Time Value of Commercial Product Returns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(8), pages 1200-1214, August.
    22. Sunder Kekre & Kannan Srinivasan, 1990. "Broader Product Line: A Necessity to Achieve Success?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1216-1232, October.
    23. Erwin van der Laan & Marc Salomon & Rommert Dekker & Luk Van Wassenhove, 1999. "Inventory Control in Hybrid Systems with Remanufacturing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(5), pages 733-747, May.
    24. Kuik, Roelof & Tielemans, Peter F. J., 2004. "Expected time in system analysis of a single-machine multi-item processing center," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 287-304, July.
    25. R. Canan Savaskan & Shantanu Bhattacharya & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2004. "Closed-Loop Supply Chain Models with Product Remanufacturing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 239-252, February.
    26. Prahinski, Carol & Kocabasoglu, Canan, 2006. "Empirical research opportunities in reverse supply chains," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 519-532, December.
    27. Kim, Kilsun & Chhajed, Dilip, 2000. "Commonality in product design: Cost saving, valuation change and cannibalization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 602-621, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Soto Zuluaga, Juan Pablo & Thiell, Marcus & Colomé Perales, Rosa, 2017. "Reverse cross-docking," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 66(PA), pages 48-57.
    2. Vahdani, Behnam & Mohammadi, M., 2015. "A bi-objective interval-stochastic robust optimization model for designing closed loop supply chain network with multi-priority queuing system," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(PA), pages 67-87.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:626-639. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.