Gernot Lechner and Marc Reimann, Department of Production and Operations Management, University of Graz, Universitaetsstrasse 15/E3, Graz, Austria
Reprocessing of used products is a growing field, with respect to both scientific and practical approaches. In this context, we present an in-depth case study dealing with the reverse logistics processes at Repair- and Service Center R.U.S.Z, an Austrian Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) located in Vienna, Austria. The main business segments of R.U.S.Z are reprocessing, repairing, and servicing of (used) products and repair services. The reverse logistics activities include relevant processes like acquisition, testing and grading, and disposition/reprocessing of used goods. Based upon the case study, we present the gained insights and furthermore identify research opportunities. Our main findings are: (1) the reverse logistics activities of this non-profit-organization are equivalent compared with the profit-driven approaches used in literature; (2) the business of R.U.S.Z is not solely profit- or cost-driven but the company is based on the triple bottom line and pursues environmental and social goals, too; (3) in spite of legislation aiming at the reuse of used products, there is lack of collaboration between manufacturers and reprocessors.
Keywords: Reprocessing; Reuse; Independent remanufacturer; Case study; Social Economy – Work Integration Social Enterprise