A conceptual analytic network model for evaluating and selecting third-party reverse logistics providers

  • Madjid Tavana
  • Mohsen Zareinejad
  • Francisco J. Santos-Arteaga
  • Mohamad Amin Kaviani


Although the success of forward logistics depends on the performance of reverse logistics, some manufacturing companies are not able to manage their reverse logistics effectively and thus delegate this important process to third-party reverse logistics providers (3PRLPs). In such cases, the decision to evaluate and select an appropriate 3PRLP becomes highly significant. In this paper, we use the analytic network process (ANP) and propose an analytical framework to systematically model the complex nature of interactions among the selection factors. In this model, the factors determining the evaluation of 3PRLPs are initially valued using Likert scale questionnaires. Then, a screening process is implemented using the average alternative method. Finally, the factors selected are structured in a network framework following the ANP. We present a case study to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed framework and exhibit the efficacy of the procedures and algorithms. The results have important managerial implications for production managers and illustrate that, in our case study, quality is the most important factor when selecting a 3PRLP.

Graphical Abstract

Product life cycle and reverse logistics


Third-party reverse logistics providers Analytic network process Average alternative method Outsourcing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madjid Tavana
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohsen Zareinejad
    • 3
  • Francisco J. Santos-Arteaga
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mohamad Amin Kaviani
    • 3
  1. 1.Distinguished Chair of Business Systems and AnalyticsLa Salle UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Business Information Systems Department, Faculty of Business Administration and EconomicsUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany
  3. 3.Young Researchers and Elite Club, Shiraz BranchIslamic Azad UniversityShirazIran
  4. 4.School of Economics and ManagementFree University of BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  5. 5.Departamento de EconomíaAplicada IIUniversidad Complutense de MadridPozueloSpain

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