Remanufacturing, defined as the process of restoring used or worn products to like-new condition, is an area of growing opportunity for supply chain and operations management professionals. Previously segmented to specific areas of the B2C supply chain, like customer service, remanufacturing has established a place in both B2C and B2B supply chain models and is expanding significantly as additional markets accept and trust the “as good as new” concept.
“Remanufacturing provides obvious benefit for the forward progress of sustainable supply chain initiatives,” said Sharon Rice, executive director, APICS Foundation. “Supply chain professionals are eager for more information about this quickly evolving area because, as our survey has shown, more than 50% 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.”
Three key findings arose through the surveys that further identify the current perception of remanufacturing and distinguish how professionals anticipate its future industry benefit:
- Remanufacturing drives sustainability – 68% of respondents felt that sustainability was the primary advantage associated with remanufacturing, and 41% already consider it a formal component of their organization’s sustainability policies.
- Remanufacturing provides vast organizational benefits – While 59% of respondents noted the additional complexity remanufacturing brought to reverse supply chains, the process was commended for the additional benefit it brings to an organization: increases customer satisfaction (66 percent), enhances product and organizational value chain (47%), and reduces production costs in relation to new manufacturing (46%).
- Remanufacturing adds career versatility – Remanufacturing requires new skills in forecasting, planning, and inventory management. With these skills, a supply chain and operations management professional can better identify potential for opportunity and innovation in forward and reverse supply chains.