Development and Implementation of Reverse Logistics Program.
Article Type:
Book Review
Books (Book reviews)
Poist, Richard F.
Pub Date:
Name: Transportation Journal Publisher: American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Inc. Audience: Academic; Trade Format: Newsletter Subject: Business; Transportation industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2000 American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Inc. ISSN: 0041-1612
Date: Spring, 2000 Source Volume: 39 Source Issue: 3
NamedWork: Development and Implementation of Reverse Logistics Programs (Book)
Reviewee: Stock, James R.

Accession Number:
Full Text:
Development and Implementation of Reverse Logistics Programs, by James R. Stock. Council of Logistics Management (CLM), Oak Brook, IL, 1998. Pp. 247. $35.00 for members and $70.00 for nonmembers.

This study represents an update and major extension to the author's 1992 CLM White Paper on Reverse Logistics (RL). A central theme of the 1998 version is that all firms (regardless of industry, size, or location) can benefit from managing RL activities. The current interest and state of development in RL is described as analogous to that which occurred in the inbound logistics area ten to twenty years ago. A key premise is that RL is an important portion of the total logistics process as was inbound logistics and, therefore, should be recognized and managed as such.

Today RL is viewed as an area that offers great potential to "reduce costs, increase revenues, and generate additional profitability" for firms that manage the process well. In the study, the RL process is defined as the role of logistics in product returns, source reduction, recycling, materials substitution, reuse of materials and waste disposal, as well as refurbishing, repair, and remanufacturing (to extend life). This process involves taking a long-term view of products from "cradle to grave" including possible "resurrection."

The study is organized into four chapters and three appendices. Chapter 1 represents an introduction and presents definitions and discussion of such topics as reverse logistics, sustainable development, and green marketing, as well as providing an overview or flow model of the RL process and its key components. In addition, Chapter 1 summarizes the highlights of the 1992 White Paper (since it is out-of-print) and examines the rationale for managerial concern over RL and environmental issues.

Chapter 2 is entitled "Concepts, Approaches and Methodologies Relevant to Reverse Logistics" and focuses primarily on the topics of activity-based costing (ABC), process mapping, and life cycle assessment or analysis (LCA). The presentation on LCA was well done and judged especially relevant given the non-engineering background of many logisticians. Chapter 3 presents the findings and includes an update of the 1992 White Paper as well as new findings from the 1998 study. In addition, the chapter presents findings from the study regarding RL practices and strategies in the three key process component areas of materials acquisition, logistics activities, and end-of-life programs. It also identifies and evaluates the major considerations and steps in developing and implementing RL programs.

Chapter 4 presents the conclusions of the study and examines the financial, management and control, and measurement factors critical to the success of RL strategies and programs. The chapter also addresses the question of "What can be learned?" by looking at some of the best RL practices of companies throughout the world. It is interesting to note that approximately half of the examples represent companies outside of North America, illustrating the truly global nature of and concern over this topic.

Adding strength to the study is the inclusion of three appendices and a comprehensive reference section. Appendix A contains ten detailed, how-to examples using company case studies. Appendix B summarizes a number of relevant environmental certification programs, directives, and regulations, as well as providing example environmental policies from a variety of firms. Lastly, Appendix C contains a sampling of internet sources on RL and related topics.

In summary, Stock has done an admirable job of examining topic as broad and intricate as reverse logistics. The book provides a wealth of information in terms of examples, cases, strategies, and tactics relating to the management of RL. Moreover, it offers much food for thought and practical advice regarding the development and implementation of RL programs. As such, the book does a good job of integrating theory with practice and is highly recommended for practitioners, researchers, and educators desiring to follow the latest trends and issues pertaining to this rapidly emerging area of logistics.
Gale Copyright:
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.