How IBM Transformed its Asset Reutilization by Applying IBM Smarter Analytics Solutions

An IBM Redguide publication

Published 03 October 2012, updated 08 October 2012

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IBM Form #: REDP-4919-00
(18 pages)

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Authors: Dr. Pitipong Lin, Jeffrey Boniello, Michael J. Doscher, Borbala Palya, Jia Zhu


Manufacturers have long benefitted from reusing returned products and parts. This beneficial approach can help contain costs and can help the manufacturer play a role in sustaining the environment. Reusing returned products and parts aids sustainability by reducing the use of raw materials, eliminating energy use to produce new parts, and minimizing waste materials. However, handling returns effectively and efficiently can be difficult if the processes and systems do not provide the visibility that is necessary to track, manage, and re-use the returns.

As part of continual improvement, IBM® initiated a project to more effectively handle its returned hardware (products and parts), which is an effort known as asset reutilization. The Asset Reutilization Project applied business analytics to various aspects of asset reutilization, such as forecasting the return of material and enabling optimized reutilization.

This IBM Redguide™ publication explains how IBM transformed its process for handling returned products and parts and how it reshaped the asset reutilization processes. This guide identifies key issues with the original process and explains how IBM used the "three-in-a-box" concept in the project. This guide also describes how IBM used IBM Smarter Analytics to create the overall solution.

Table of contents

Executive overview
Original business environment
Overcoming the challenges
The IBM solution
Tracking the benefits

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