Understanding reverse supply chains

Regina Frei, Angela Bines, Iain Lothian, Lisa Jack

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Reverse supply chains take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the product, the business model, the stakeholders and other factors. This article will contribute to a better understanding of how different types of reverse supply chains function, how they can be modelled and their performance assessed. The research is based on a semi-structured approach using case studies, interviews and qualitative analysis. A generic RSC model is suggested in conjunction with an analysis of circumstances and factors of influence, with the intention to trigger further investigation. A better understanding of RSC may lead to more companies engaging in returning products and materials to the process of usefulness suggested by the Circular Economy concept, hence leading to a more sustainable way of running manufacturing businesses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-266
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Supply Chain Management and Operations Resilience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2017


  • Reverse supply chain
  • Reverse logistics
  • Model
  • Framework
  • Performance
  • Environmental performance
  • Economic performance
  • Operational performance
  • Organizational performance
  • RCUK
  • EP/K003593/1


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