Enhanced circularity in aftermarkets: logistics tradeoffs
Journal article, 2021
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify requirements and tradeoffs on logistics services for enhanced circularity of materials and resources. Design/methodology/approach: Based on multiple case study design and abductive reasoning, the study investigates 13 different product categories. The data were analyzed based on theoretical, a priori codes from the literature review. Inductive, emerging codes were added to the coding scheme during the analysis. Findings: Requirements of logistics services to support slowing of resource flows are categorized with respect to initiator, location of the service, single or multiple actors, and transportation of parts, products and people. Moreover, the study identifies new logistics tradeoffs: material and people, knowledge and people, and information and knowledge. Transportation of product, people and parts can be reduced by increasing local knowledge and improve information sharing. Research limitations/implications: This review contributes to the understanding of the relationship between logistics services and enhancement of circularity by highlighting requirements on logistics services in the aftermarket supply chain that support slowing of resource flows. To enhance circularity, logistics services must extend the traditional material information flow with the flow of people and knowledge, respectively. Practical implications: The categorization provides practitioners and researchers with an overview of requirements and tradeoffs on logistics services to enhance circularity of a particular circular cycle. The implications will provide an opportunity to address environmental impact of transportation and improve the utilization of scarce materials. Social implications: Variety of tradeoffs in logistics services can enhance slowing and hence circularity of scarce materials. Originality/value: First, the authors illustrate how traditional tradeoffs in logistics such as flow of materials, resources and people need to be addressed to enhance circularity through slowing. Second, the authors identify two new tradeoffs in logistics services: knowledge flow and degree of customer involvement.
Slowing of resource flows