Inventory model for sustainable operations of a closed-loop supply chain: Role of a third-party refurbisher

Seung Ho Yoo, Taesu Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the joint decision on inventory and refurbishing strategies in a closed-loop supply chain, consisting of a manufacturer responsible for the production and first-market sales and a third-party refurbisher responsible for the refurbishment and second market. Based on a game-theoretic model, we investigate the effects of supply chain structures on the production operations, sales price of a refurbished product, profits and environmental performance. Through numerical analyses, we reveal that the integrated system yields higher first-market sales and a larger production lot size, while the decentralized one shows higher second-market sales and a larger refurbishing lot. Interestingly, the integrated system sets the higher price for the refurbished item due to channel conflict issues. Efforts to increase the second-market sales can harm the overall supply chain profit by leading to the decrease in the higher-margin first-market sales. We also show that the difference in pricing decisions and inventory holding cost components allows a better operational performance of the third-party refurbisher's process in the decentralized system. Then, it leads to the better environmental performance in the decentralized system, enhancing the refurbishing rate and sales of refurbished items while reducing scrap costs. By investigating the overall performance of integrated and decentralized supply chains, we offer important implications to practicing supply chain managers by revealing how the third-party refurbisher can help the sustainable operations of a closed-loop supply chain. We also contribute to the body of knowledge by incorporating pricing and lot sizing issues into the context of closed-loop supply chain management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127810
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Taesu Cheong was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF-2018S1A5A2A03038146 ) and also supported by the Korea Government (MOTIE) (The Competency Development Program for Industry Specialist) under Grant P0008691 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Closed-loop supply chain
  • Inventory
  • Refurbishment
  • Sales return

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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