IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The boomerang returns? Accounting for the impact of uncertainties on the dynamics of remanufacturing systems


  • Thanos E. Goltsos
  • Borja Ponte
  • Shixuan Wang
  • Ying Liu
  • Mohamed M. Naim
  • Aris A. Syntetos


Recent years have witnessed companies abandon traditional open-loop supply chain structures in favour of closed-loop variants, in a bid to mitigate environmental impacts and exploit economic opportunities. Central to the closed-loop paradigm is remanufacturing: the restoration of used products to useful life. While this operational model has huge potential to extend product life-cycles, the collection and recovery processes diminish the effectiveness of existing control mechanisms for open-loop systems. We systematically review the literature in the field of closed-loop supply chain dynamics, which explores the time-varying interactions of material and information flows in the different elements of remanufacturing supply chains. We supplement this with further reviews of what we call the three ‘pillars’ of such systems, i.e. forecasting, collection, and inventory and production control. This provides us with an interdisciplinary lens to investigate how a ‘boomerang’ effect (i.e. sale, consumption, and return processes) impacts on the behaviour of the closed-loop system and to understand how it can be controlled. To facilitate this, we contrast closed-loop supply chain dynamics research to the well-developed research in each pillar; explore how different disciplines have accommodated the supply, process, demand, and control uncertainties; and provide insights for future research on the dynamics of remanufacturing systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Thanos E. Goltsos & Borja Ponte & Shixuan Wang & Ying Liu & Mohamed M. Naim & Aris A. Syntetos, 2019. "The boomerang returns? Accounting for the impact of uncertainties on the dynamics of remanufacturing systems," International Journal of Production Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(23), pages 7361-7394, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:tprsxx:v:57:y:2019:i:23:p:7361-7394
    DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2018.1510191

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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


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

    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Dominguez & Borja Ponte & Salvatore Cannella & Jose M. Framinan, 2019. "Building Resilience in Closed-Loop Supply Chains through Information-Sharing Mechanisms," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(23), pages 1-4, November.
    2. Ponte, Borja & Puche, Julio & Rosillo, Rafael & de la Fuente, David, 2020. "The effects of quantity discounts on supply chain performance: Looking through the Bullwhip lens," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    3. Ponte, Borja & Framinan, Jose M. & Cannella, Salvatore & Dominguez, Roberto, 2020. "Quantifying the Bullwhip Effect in closed-loop supply chains: The interplay of information transparencies, return rates, and lead times," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 230(C).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:taf:tprsxx:v:57:y:2019:i:23:p:7361-7394. 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: (Chris Longhurst). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.