Supply chains should incorporate remanufacturing, says research

Gurjit Degun
3 June 2014

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3 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun

Procurement professionals should look to incorporate remanufacturing into the supply chain to boost sustainability credentials, research by a non-profit organisation has found.

The APICS Foundation said remanufacturing – the process of restoring used products to a like-new condition – can develop the skills of those managing the supply chain and provide “considerable career advancement potential”.

The study found 68 per cent of respondents believe sustainability is the primary advantage associated with the process. Some four out of 10 people said they already consider it “a formal component of their organisation’s sustainability policies”.

Respondents added that incorporating remanufacturing can add to career versatility. “Remanufacturing requires new skills in forecasting, planning, and inventory management,” the research said. “With these skills, a supply chain and operations management professional can better identify potential for opportunity and innovation in forward and reverse supply chains.”

Almost 60 per cent of those questioned said remanufacturing brings an “additional complexity," although it was commended for increased customer satisfaction and reducing production costs in relation to new manufacturing.

“Remanufacturing provides obvious benefit for the forward progress of sustainable supply chain initiatives,” said Sharon Rice, APICS Foundation executive director. “Supply chain professionals are eager for more information about this quickly evolving area because, as our survey has shown, more than 50 per cent of survey respondents felt it was important for supply chain and operations management professionals to have at least some familiarity with remanufacturing as they expect a growing demand for remanufactured goods.”

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