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Inventory management of remanufacturable products

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The authors address the procurement of new components for recyclable products in the context of Kodak's single-use camera. The objective is to find an ordering policy that minimizes the total expected procurement, inventory holding and lost sales cost. Distinguishing characteristics of the system are the uncertainty and unobservability associated with return flows of used cameras. They model the system as a closed queueing network, develop a heuristic procedure for adaptative estimation anc control, and illustrate our methods with disguised data from Kodak. Using this framework, they investigate the effects the effects of various system characteristics such as informational structure, procurement deelay, demand rate and length of the product's life cycle.

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