Closed Loop Supply Chains include operations for physical collection of end-of-use products, selection based on their configuration and/or condition and decision making for reuse, remanufacturing or recycling. Uncertainty factors regarding the time, place of origin, and status of returns introduce many difficulties in planning these operations. With the aim to minimize such problems, this paper presents an architecture for virtual reverse logistics networks and an implementation for end-of-use PCs. The virtual reverse logistics network for PCs relies on E-commerce and WWW technologies for remote monitoring and benchmarking, instead of physical transportation and inspection. A configuration monitoring and benchmarking agent screens the computer that is about to enter the end-of-use stream and registers the data in the system’s databases. The virtual reverse logistics network regards all incoming PCs as submitted offers. Also, users or agents may explicitly register requests for PCs or modules. Offers are matched to requests with a decision support system to provide recommendations for reuse, remanufacturing or recycling of end-of-use PCs. An electronic marketplace matches requests and offers. The proposed architecture diminishes the uncertainty factors and provides us with an understanding on what is missing and it is likely to have a positive impact to the development of virtual reverse logistics networks for computers and other equipment with embedded logic.

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Econometric Institute Research Papers
Erasmus School of Economics

Kokkinaki, A., Dekker, R., Lee, R., & Pappis, C. (2001). Integrating a web-based system with business processes in closed loop supply chains (No. EI 2001-31). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from