Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

A cost-benefit study of consumer product take back programs using IBM's WIT reverse logistics optimization tool

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In recent years, there has been increased focus by regulators, manufacturers, and consumers on the issue of product end of life management for electronics. This paper presents an overview of a conceptual study designed to examine the costs and benefits of several different Product Take Back (PTB) scenarios for used electronics equipment. The study utilized a reverse logistics supply chain model to examine the effects of several different factors in PTB programs. The model was done using the IBM supply chain optimization tool known as WIT (Watson Implosion Technology). Using the WIT tool, we were able to determine a theoretical optimal cost scenario for PTB programs. The study was designed to assist IBM internally in determining theoretical optimal Product Take Back program models and determining potential incentives for increasing participation rates.