This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Reverse Logistics Process in the Supply Chain and Managing Its Implementation




Huscroft, Joseph, Jr.

Type of Degree



Supply Chain Management


Increased competition caused by globalization and rapid technological advances has driven organizations to address and make efforts to improve efficiency in their supply chain. Increasing efficiency in reverse logistics processes such as the recovery of the returned products or disposal of end-of-life products is one way in which firms attempt to maintain and increase competitiveness and market share. The volume and monetary value of product flowing in the reverse direction within the supply chain has been and continues to be increasing, particularly as environmental, legal, and customer service requirements increase throughout the marketplace (Guide Jr, Souza et al. 2006). It has been reported that the value of product returns in the commercial sector have exceeded $100 billion annually (Stock, Speh et al. 2002; Guide Jr, Souza et al. 2006). This process of returning products back through the supply chain is the reverse logistics process and it may encompass several different logistics activities. This research effort is actually a compilation of three related research efforts. The first study focuses on the status of the reverse logistics field across multiple disciplines; logistics, operations management, information systems, environmental economics, and business management. The state of the field then provides the structure for a Delphi study on the key factors in a reverse logistics process. This Delphi ranking highlights possible shortcomings in the framework and provides insight into the priorities of practitioners The second paper analyzes the impact information systems, technologies, and innovation has on the reverse logistics process. It analyzes the information technology capabilities, compatibilities and technologies utilized in the organization and their relationship with reverse logistics performance in the areas of two measures, cost effectiveness and process effectiveness. The final research paper addresses reverse logistics performance metrics within an organization. There is a lack of empirical research regarding reverse logistics metrics, especially in the area of determining if the metrics currently being utilized by practitioners are meeting the information needs of the organizations and the managers who make the resource allocation decisions. There is a need to assess the information reporting abilities of the key reverse logistics metrics in an organization and what aspect of information reporting are they providing. When the three research projects are brought together, they represent one, unique research effort. This effort analyzes various key aspects of the reverse logistics process to include effectiveness of metrics, information systems impact on performance, and practitioners input on key factors impacting reverse logistics processes and how well they compare with the established reverse logistics framework.