Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

March 2011    |    Volume: 43    |    Number: 3

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Quality in reverse

Trends and trade-offs in assessing the value of returned products

By Luk N. Van Wassenhove and Christos Zikopoulos

Recovering and exploiting the remaining value in used products at the end of their use is an issue that attracts firms from a large variety of industry sectors. One of the determinants of the profitability of related operations is the configuration of the process for the quality assessment and classification of used products. This article presents the most important decisions regarding the configuration of this operation, the trade-offs involved, and a general characterization of the methods commonly used along with the most important issues related to each one of them.

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