There are a number of unique structures for closed-loop supply chains. These different structures all require a set of common activities: product acquisition, reverse logistics, test, sort and grade, remanufacturing/reconditioning, and distribution and selling. The successful management of the various activities does not always involve the same actions from supply chain to supply chain. It is crucial for managers and researchers to understand the differences and the implications of these differences. One of the basic research needs is a continuing refinement of the documentation, categorization and understanding of the different forms of closed-loop supply chains. Other pressing research needs are those activities shown in Table 40.4 as 'hard'. Finally, we hope that holistic models will be developed that reflect the complex nature of the interactions.
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