Green Supply Chain Strategy:

Add Electronics Repair and Refurbishment to Your Recycling Program


When products are returned, there are many creative ways for companies to maximize value of the returns while expanding their green initiatives. The simplest and most often implemented green supply chain strategy is recycling electronics and products when they have reached the end of their useful lives.Additional opportunities are often not as obvious, but can be very valuable with the assistance of an organization that specializes in returns management and electronics repair. For example:

  • The product no longer functions, however it still has substantial value in the harvesting of valuable, and at times, rare components.  These can be used in the refurbishment of the products or can be sold for maximum value.
  • The product is still fully functional and thus can be repackaged and sold as refurbished goods in a secondary market, thus adding additional revenue to the owners.
  • The product is no longer functional; however it can still be repaired/remanufactured and reused and/or sold in a secondary market, again at a profit to the owners.

Bottom line: Efficient strategies to refurbish, reuse and resell products and raw materials save money and increase profits while still benefiting our environment.

Recently, a well known producer of mobile electronics was able to gain up to 80% of the retail price of their returned product by focusing on refurbishing returns for reuse and resale.  In addition, by utilizing an outsourced returns and repair partner, their returns inventory and processing costs were cut in half and the recovery rate of returns increased three fold, all while expanding upon their company’s green initiatives.

Savvy businesses worldwide are turning to reliable repair depots that can provide services to help them in their returns management.  Currently there are only a small number of Returns Processing Centers that are also Authorized Service Centers (ASC’s) sanctioned by the manufacturers. These centers specialize in the repair, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recalibration  and recertification of items that have been returned and are in desperate need of some ‘tender loving care’ to  bring them  back to reusable and resalable condition.

By adding repair and refurbishment programs, companies can put returned products back into the supply chain to generate new revenue streams, while reducing their negative environmental impact.  In expanding their green initiatives, smart companies seek to extend the value of their products as long as possible, harvest components for other uses, and then recycle all other materials, minimizing, if not eliminating, outright disposal in a landfill.

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5 Responses to “Green Supply Chain Strategy:”

  1. Reduce FOG says:

    Thanks for the post. We need more posts about environmental issues and green products.

    BB

    • Bill says:

      Thanks for your response. PSSI continues to work to help our customers save money and the environment by repairing vs replacing electronics.

  2. Lisa Cochell says:

    Bill, this is an interesting idea. I’m curious how they drive customers to return items that are no longer working to these repair depots? Are the customers incentivised in some way with a trade-in allowance?

    • Bill says:

      Lisa, in many cases the returns are defective in some way so the end customer is in need of another working unit. There are returns centers that provide incentives, such as dollars for old electronics which are then refurbished and remarketed providing value to both the consumer and the remarketer.

  3. Bill says:

    Lisa, in many cases the returns are defective in some way so the end customer is in need of another working unit. There are returns centers that provide incentives, such as dollars for old electronics which are then refurbished and remarketed providing value to both the consumer and the remarketer.

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