New technologies can learn from mature markets

Author: sajsmith
Publication: 
Supply Chain Management Review

Date: March 22, 2016

What do Class 8 trucks and cell phones have in common? Their end-of-life (EOL) strategies are shaped in large part by each product’s characteristics as well as current market conditions.

These factors have long been part of the reverse channel, but how relevant are they in the booming market for wearable technology devices, or wearables? Market analyst IDC estimates that 91 million wearable devices were shipped in the third quarter of 2015—an increase of almost 200% over the same period a year ago. The industry needs effective EOL strategies as it grows rapidly, and governments tighten regulations covering the handling of used electronic products.

Research underway at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics suggests that companies producing wearables should learn from established markets if they want to develop innovative ways to recover the value of used parts and products.

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