Research gets to the core of the issue
A workshop at Rematec Amsterdam helped to develop practical new ideas around the challenges faced by core brokers. TUDelft’s Sonja van Dam explains how the insights gathered will help remanufacturers to improve logistics…
ReCiPSS is a research project co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and includes four research partners and nine industrial partners from eight countries. The objective is to establish the first industrydriven large-scale demonstrators of resource-efficient circular product service systems (ReCiPSS) in two key industries with a strong potential for closing the loop: white goods and automotive spare parts. To be able to develop value-adding services for both demonstrators with successful circular economic business models, a good understanding of customer needs and experiences is critical. The new product-service systems and accompanying business models are therefore being co-created together with end users and other relevant stakeholders along the value chain.
The Faculty of Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology (TUDelft) is leading this process by hosting a series of co-creation sessions with stakeholders and end users. Co-creation methods enable users and other relevant stakeholders to participate in the design process. The aim is to ensure that the resulting services and products fit the way they will actually be used by people within a company or at home, thus vastly increasing their chance of success in the market.mThe results from the research are being used to inspire and inform the ReCiPSS project teams throughout the project in the development of ICT platforms and product-service systems. Within the white goods demonstrator, a new circular product-service system is being co-created with end users from scratch: shifting from an ownership to a service-based model, with newly-designed washing machines supporting several life cycles with minimum repair/remanufacturing requirements and effort. Gorenje is implementing this innovative, circular pay-per-wash scheme for washing machines in four European countries. The automotive parts demonstrator is improving an already-existing circular product-service system and aims to simplify the complexity of reverse logistics of cores together with aftermarket stakeholders. Co-creation workshops with stakeholders, including wholesalers, core brokers and remanufacturers, aim to ensure that the processes surrounding transportation, identification and acceptance of cores are optimally aligned with the needs of all parties involved - and that the new platform has benefits for all.
Reverse logistics and supply chain of core brokers
The most recent co-creation session was held at the Rematec show in Amsterdam together with five core brokers from England and Germany, a purchasing core broker (from a remanufacturer) and a reverse logistics service provider. The fruitful discussion gave insights into core brokers’ experiences and strength, as well as the challenges they are facing and the landscape they are operating in. These insights were then visualised in two posters (see below) showing:
1) The landscape in which core brokers are operating with the opportunities and challenges they are facing; and
2) The reverse logistics processes core brokers are dealing with
C-ECO aims to implement the results of the sessions within the project for their service brand CoremanNet. Through the demonstrators, the project aims to increase the number of discarded products that are reused, remanufactured and/or recycled in an economically viable way through cost reduction in reverse logistics, the creation of new value streams and building greater business resilience. The project runs until 1 June 2022 with the following partners: KTH, TUDelft, MU, Fraunhofer, Gorenje, C-ECO GmbH, Bosch, Homie, CirBes, Striebig Logistique, Signifikant, PDSVision and Siveco. The project is co-funded by the European Commission’s research and innovation programme.
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The challenging market of core brokers