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4 Key Benefits of a Sustainable Reverse Supply Chain Strategy

Last modified: June 29, 2016

The choices in the supply chain are endless for company owners such as routes, item manufacturing or which provider to use to manage the entire pipeline. An often missed and a key area is the reverse supply chain (reverse logistics). This area centers on error correction, upgrades in hardware and end-of-life of the products. Adopting an excellent method for your reverse supply chain creates ways to deposit current IT units to add space for the upcoming generation of units. In some ways, reverse logistics in the supply chain strategy is the prime “green” opportunity of an organization. Only 18% of computers were recycled in 2007 but through reverse logistics, the Environmental Protection Agency reports a marked rise to 40% recycled units in 2013. The reverse supply chain affects supply chain strategy in many ways. It will help businesses to consider the following facts.

Return on Investment…Again

Whenever an organization buys devices such as computers, printers, copiers, or IT equipment, it is an investment. These units being depreciated add to the bottom line in time for a profitable ROI. Once the end-of-life time for business equipment arrives, a company can use reverse supply chain practices and gain an additional ROI from the units. The high amount of metals like copper, iron, or steel are easily resold to make new units and this income is an excellent and vital benefit of recycling which ensures the retention of every possible dollar of depreciation.

Increase in Public Perception

Societal growth in modern times has trended to adopt environmental protection as a key value. Those companies embracing these “green” concepts often experience added esteem by customers and the public at large. A company that does so has the advantages of attracting all customers engaging in the mass-following of the Green Movement. The public perception of how a business projects its care in avoiding adding toxic, dangerous items to the environment has grown in importance every year. Many companies have capitalized on this image by selling their products as safe for the children and grandchildren of purchasers.  By promoting themselves as an example of responsible end-of-life product recycling, these organizations speak to the desires of their customers. Ultimately, a loyalty and strength of customer base is cultivated along with added business growth through public confidence in the values projected by the company.

Reuse Encourages Competition in Manufacturing

Competition arises all through the supply chain angling for more market share. A healthy balancer, competition keeps unit prices more affordable. When natural or synthetic resources wane, the industry materials supplies are affected. Repurposing recycled electronics within new units for sale helps to avoid lack of resources for future production and price hikes in electronic devices. Whenever a company recycles out-dated computing and office units within their reverse supply chain processes it saves on business expenses. What’s more, these corporate cost reductions translate to decreased product and service prices. Growth happens as customers are attracted and purchase products at the lower prices.

Data Protection

A successful reverse supply chain strategy must contain the processes to ensure protection of data. Data breaches may not sound as though they have a particular relation to sustainability, but a company’s sustainability is measured by its ability to maintain happy customers while reducing impact on the Earth. When a data breach occurs, it has the potential to decimate a company’s customer base. Unfortunately, a failing company is more likely to forget about recycling as part of IT Asset Disposal, and the business’s level of sustainability falters. Furthermore, recycling as part of reverse supply chain strategy helps ensure the company’s existing data on their equipment is removed in its entirety, which further reduces their business risks. Ultimately, proper return management, recycling, and reuse encourage the protection of consumer data and foster business success and sustainability.

Throughout the course of operations, business owners will need to create a sustainable plan for dealing with end-of-life computer systems and IT equipment. This additional source of income from the sale of the equipment during recycling is undeniable. It even improves the public’s perception of the company as well as reduces risks such as sensitive or proprietary information breaches. Sustainable reverse supply chain strategies offer so many additional, smaller benefits that they cannot possibly be listed, such as eliminating fines from government organization from improper disposal. The overwhelming monetary benefits of employing a reverse supply chain strategy greatly outweigh the convenience of hauling old units off to the local landfill.

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