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Applying Revenue Management to the Reverse Supply Chain

Listed author(s):
  • Ferguson, M.
  • Fleischmann, M.
  • Souza, G.C.

We study the disposition decision for product returns in a closed-loop supply chain. Motivated by the asset recovery process at IBM, we consider two disposition alternatives. Returns may be either refurbished for reselling or dismantled for spare parts. Reselling a refurbished unit typically yields higher unit margins. However, demand is uncertain. A common policy in many firms is to rank disposition alternatives by unit margins. We show that a revenue management approach to the disposition decision which explicitly incorporates demand uncertainty can increase profits significantly. We discuss analogies between the disposition problem and the classical airline revenue management problem. We then develop single period and multi-period stochastic optimization models for the disposition problem. Analyzing these models, we show that the optimal allocation balances expected marginal profits across the disposition alternatives. A detailed numerical study reveals that a revenue management approach to the disposition problem significantly outperforms the current practice of focusing exclusively on high-margin options, and we identify conditions under which this improvement is the highest. We also show that the value recovered from the returned products critically depends on the coordination between forward and reverse supply chain decisions.

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File URL: https://repub.eur.nl/pub/13211/ERS-2008-052-LIS.pdf
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Paper provided by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam in its series ERIM Report Series Research in Management with number ERS-2008-052-LIS.

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Date of creation: 21 Aug 2008
Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:13211
Contact details of provider: Postal:
RSM Erasmus University & Erasmus School of Economics, PoBox 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam

Phone: 31-10-408 1182
Fax: 31-10-408 9020
Web page: http://www.erim.eur.nl/
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  1. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
  2. Albert Y. Ha, 1997. "Inventory Rationing in a Make-to-Stock Production System with Several Demand Classes and Lost Sales," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(8), pages 1093-1103, August.
  3. Inderfurth, K. & de Kok, A. G. & Flapper, S. D. P., 2001. "Product recovery in stochastic remanufacturing systems with multiple reuse options," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 130-152, August.
  4. Geraldo Ferrer & Jayashankar M. Swaminathan, 2006. "Managing New and Remanufactured Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 15-26, January.
  5. Laurens G. Debo & L. Beril Toktay & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2005. "Market Segmentation and Product Technology Selection for Remanufacturable Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(8), pages 1193-1205, August.
  6. Mitra, Subrata, 2007. "Revenue management for remanufactured products," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 553-562, October.
  7. Saibal Ray & Tamer Boyaci & Necati Aras, 2005. "Optimal Prices and Trade-in Rebates for Durable, Remanufacturable Products," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 7(3), pages 208-228, January.
  8. Cattani, Kyle D. & Souza, Gilvan C., 2003. "Good buy? Delaying end-of-life purchases," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 216-228, April.
  9. Hui Zhao & Vinayak Deshpande & Jennifer K. Ryan, 2005. "Inventory Sharing and Rationing in Decentralized Dealer Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(4), pages 531-547, April.
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