Managing product returns for remanufacturing

V. Daniel R. Guide, Luk N. Van Wassenhove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

560 Citations (SciVal)


Firms are often encouraged to offer environmentally friendly products as a demonstration of corporate citizenship. However, this may prove to be an unrealistic expectation since a rational firm will only engage in profitable ventures; those that increase shareholder wealth. We develop a framework for analyzing the profitability of reuse activities and show how the management of product returns influences operational requirements. We show that the acquisition of used products may be used as the control lever for the management and profitability of reuse activities. These activities, termed product acquisition management, affect several important business decisions. First, if a firm is to pursue reuse activities, these reuse activities must be value-creating. Second, if a firm is to compete by offering remanufactured products, then we show how product returns management influences the overall profitability of such activities via a trial and error EVA® approach. Third, we show how operational issues are strongly affected by the approach used to manage product returns. There is a need for future research specifying the mathematical relationship between acquisition price and the nominal quality of the returned product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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