Location, inventory and testing decisions in closed-loop supply chains: a multimedia company Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2019

start page

  • 41

end page

  • 56


  • 1


  • 51

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2472-5854

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2472-5862


  • Our partnering firm is a Chinese manufacturer of multimedia products that needs guidance developing its imminent Closed-Loop Supply Chain (CLSC). To study this problem, we take into account location, inventory, and testing decisions in a CLSC setting with stochastic demands of new and time-sensitive returned products. Our analysis pays particular attention to the different roles assigned to the reverse Distribution Centers (DCs) and how each option affects the optimal CLSC design. The roles considered are collection and consolidation, additional testing tasks, and direct shipments with no reverse DCs. The problem concerning our partnering firm is formulated as a scenario-based chance-constrained mixed-integer program and it is reformulated to a conic quadratic mixed-integer program that can be solved efficiently via commercial optimization packages. The completeness of the model proposed allows us to develop a decision support tool for the firm and to offer several useful managerial insights. These insights are inferred from our computational experiments using data from the Chinese firm and a second data set based on the U.S. geography. Particularly interesting insights are related to how changes in the reverse flows can impact the forward supply chain and the inventory dynamics concerning the joint DCs.


  • Business
  • Economics


  • closed-loop supply chain; conic quadratic mixedinteger program; role of reverse dcs; chinese manufacturer