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Quality Management in Reverse Logistics intends to develop, collect, examine and evaluate a number of quality management (QM) tools and techniques, which can be applied in practice in order to understand, review and improve any closed-loop supply chain process. In other words, the book aims to examine the existing relationship between various well-developed and thoroughly studied quality issues, such as QM, quality assurance, standardization of processes and statistical quality control and the emerging research area of reverse logistics. Quality Management in Reverse Logistics contains modeling and quantitative methods that could be used by practitioners and academics in the reverse logistics industry, as well as a thorough description of QM tools and techniques. The book leads the potential reader to broaden their scope of thinking and acting in the new, promising area of reverse logistics, where QM can be applied.



Chapter 1. Reverse Logistics and QualityManagement Issues: State-of-the-Art

It is generally accepted that the positive effects of quality management are several. An indicative list should undoubtedly contain the reduction of costs which are attributed to the poor quality of products or services, better relationships with suppliers and customers, faster distribution of products or services to market, reduced waste, increased added value to customers and better working conditions. More or less, these are also the benefits that companies should expect if quality management prevails in Reverse Logistics (RL) and recovery activities. Therefore, the main target of this book is to elucidate these benefits, discuss extensively for the first time the role of quality management in RL and examine broadly various quality issues and their interaction with RL. Taking the first step into this direction we exhibit the state-of-the-art regarding the interaction of various research areas on quality management and RL, by identifying the most important research articles that have recently appeared and probe the impact of quality issues on RL.

Yiannis Nikolaidis

Chapter 2. A Quality Framework in Closed Loop Supply Chains: Opportunities for Value Creation

Quality issues and “uncertainties” are encountered in almost every aspect of closed loop supply chains (CLSCs). In this chapter, we analyze the CLSC processes with a focus on quality. We find that quality of returned products is the major source of uncertainty and thus a major determinant of value in CLSCs. However, we observe that there is a gap in the literature when it comes to identifying and properly defining all relevant quality dimensions and the ways in which they affect CLSC processes. In our chapter, we start with an investigation of existing definitions of quality, link them to the different stages of CLSCs, and propose a new framework summarizing the integration of quality within CLSC processes. We also relate our framework to other frameworks that can be found in the literature and show how the former may help to improve value creation in CLSCs.

Umut Çorbacıoğlu, Erwin A. van der Laan

Chapter 3. Standardization of the Reverse Logistics Process: Characteristics and Added Value

Reverse Logistics initiatives aim at solving, at least partially, important problems linked to economical savings, durability, and environmental concerns. To improve the reverse logistics processes, a comprehensive approach is frequently needed, including standardization. Standards contain unambiguous requirements, and also, when needed, detailed testing methods. The European Standardization Organizations (ESO) offer a choice of ways for efficiently reaching consensus, in the form of high status written documents called European Standards, Technical Specifications or CEN Workshop Agreements. It is best to reflect early on the need for amended or new standards, and, if such a need exist, to start the standardization process in many cases as soon as possible. This applies also to EU research and technical development projects, which can usefully encompass a Work Package Standardization. Standardization can represent a key aspect of an improvement project in reverse logistics, in particular when harmonized requirements and/or testing methods are really needed. So far there seems to be no existing large-scale standards in that field, at least at the European or worldwide level. This chapter begins with a summary of standardization characteristics and advice for choosing the best procedure. It continues with a description of challenges to tackle in reverse logistics, and a review of existing standards and standards structures in that field. This is followed by a methodological approach to improve the current situation, relying in particular on the added value of the so-called “Integrated Approach”, to get large-scale beneficial impacts.

André Pirlet

Chapter 4. A Framework for Evaluating the Social Responsibility Quality of Reverse Logistics

This chapter proposes the combination of basic principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with reverse logistics (RL) systems as a means of developing a social responsibility quality framework for evaluating RL procedures. More specifically, this chapter provides an overall framework including indicators for measuring reverse logistics social responsibility quality based on the triple bottom line approach (namely economic, environmental, and social aspects). This framework helps to tackle the weakness of the present environmental and sustainable RL systems. These are mainly based on measuring a limited number of social aspects, which are necessary for having a clearer picture of the quality performance of RL systems. The suggested framework could also play a critical role in measuring the contribution of a firm to sustainable development quality within the RL context.

Ioannis E. Nikolaou, Konstantinos I. Evangelinos

Chapter 5. Quality Assurance and Consumer Electronics Recycling

The information within this chapter examines the characteristics of consumer electronic recycling systems to show how quality assurance has evolved to meet the current needs of reverse logistics demanufacturers. A review of the literature reveals several trends regarding the amount of e-waste, recycling programs, the influence of international regulations, a focus on large-scale operations, and emerging recycling certifications. Given the dynamic context of consumer electronics recycling systems and opportunities for new competitive capabilities, information within this chapter provides exploratory field study insight from a small US recycling firm. A primary contribution of this chapter is found in filling a gap in the literature to advance our understanding how small firms are overcoming emerging challenges and taking advantage of opportunities facing them within reverse supply chains focusing on recycling of consumer electronics and information technology assets. The field study sheds new light on quality assurance through emerging standards, contemporary opportunities for emerging business models within the industry, and implications for the future of reverse logistics practices and research.

Robert Sroufe

Chapter 6. Quality Assurance in Remanufacturing with Sensor Embedded Products

Emerging information technologies, such as sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags could be used to mitigate planning of remanufacturing operations by reducing or almost eliminating uncertainty. Using the information collected by sensors, existence, types, conditions, and remaining lives of components in an end-of-life product (EOLP) can be determined. Remaining useful life can be taken into account as a good measure of quality. Therefore, determination of remaining useful life allows decision makers to construct sophisticated recovery models that guarantee a minimum quality level on recovered products while optimizing various system criteria. In this paper, we present a remanufacturing-to-order (RTO) system for end-of-life sensor embedded products (SEPs). An integer programming (IP) model is proposed to determine how to process each and every end-of-life product on hand to meet the quality-based product and component demands as well as recycled material demand while fulfilling the minimum cost objective. Demands are met by disassembly, remanufacturing, and recycling operations. Outside component procurement option is used to eliminate the component and material backorders. A case example is considered to illustrate the application of the proposed methodology.

Onder Ondemir, Surendra M. Gupta

Chapter 7. An RFID Integrated Quality Management System for Reverse Logistics Networks

Quality management is vital for reverse logistics networks to improve productivity and reduce waste. Every year, several tons of products are wasted due to lack of data collection, poor information management, shortage of technological solutions, and lack of quality management knowledge in this area [



]. In this chapter, we present an RFID integrated quality management system for reverse logistics networks. The proposed tool integrates four functionalities namely data collection, analytical processing, quality monitoring, and recommendations generation. An RFID integrated network assures accurate data collection in real time. The data are then analytically processed and subject to different quality management techniques for quality monitoring and analysis. A numerical case study is provided to demonstrate the application of the proposed quality management system for reverse logistics networks.

Anjali Awasthi, S. S. Chauhan

Chapter 8. Cases of Damage in Third-Party Logistics Businesses

Although the goal of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers is to transport goods without incidents, cases of damage do occur making the control and prevention of damage one of the significant quality concerns of Closed-Loop Supply Chain s (CLSC) and Reverse Logistics (RL) systems. The costs incurred through damage are often viewed as a necessary type of operating cost but there is no standard procedure for documenting and evaluating cases of damage. This chapter describes common types of damage sustained during the 3PL process and proposes a damage classification system which will improve the quality of 3PL services through an efficient tracking and evaluating system. This system will enable 3PL providers to identify and correct the systemic sources of incidents of damage. It also suggests that damages can be classified according to the location of the occurrence of damage, the type of damaged product, and the means by which damage is defined. Using a case study approach, this research analyzes incidents of damage that occurred at Borusan Logistics in Turkey, between 2005 and 2007. Based on this analysis, this study suggests that by designating its own risk expert to evaluate and manage cases of damage, a 3PL provider will benefit in several ways, as will the manufacturer of transported goods and the insurance company. These benefits include a more accurate and efficient damage evaluation process, expedited processing of insurance claims, and refinements to the stipulations of liability contracts. The proposed model may reduce cases of damage both by making patterns of damage visible and by clarifying appropriate corrective actions.

Berrin Denizhan, K. Alper Konuk


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