End of life management for products is a complex and difficult task. There are many moving parts and stakeholders involved in the process. If these objects are manufactured, it is because there is a demand and a market, therefore a profitability. The manufacturing processes are optimized to respond to the market and to allow the linear production of the most in demand models. The production is organized by company, each one managing the stakes of its products. But at the end of life, the equation is different. Managing the materials resulting from consumption is a collective need even before it is profitable. In addition to the challenge of ensuring the required investments, and thus making operations profitable, we must be equipped to handle an infinite diversity of products in different categories. We must build the digital tools to manage this complexity.
What is End of Life?
End of life (EOL) refers to the last stage in the product life cycle when it is no longer manufactured or supported by the manufacturer. At this stage, product users must find alternatives for continued use or disposal. Proper management of EOL products is important for both environmental and economic reasons. Improperly managed EOL products can lead to pollution and waste, which puts strain on our limited resources. In addition, improper management can also lead to increased costs associated with clean up and disposal.
The Complexity of End of Life Management
There are many complexities associated with managing end of life products. One complexity is that there are many stakeholders involved in the process including manufacturers, retailers, distributors, recyclers, and consumers. Each stakeholder has their own interests and goals which can make coordinating a smooth end of life process difficult. In addition, there is a great deal of diversity among products which makes managing them even more complex. Products vary in terms of size, shape, material composition, function, etc. This diversity makes it difficult to develop general guidelines for handling all products at end of life. Instead, each product must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis which requires significant time and resources.
Developing Digital Tools to Manage End of Life Complexity
In order to effectively manage end of life products, we need to develop digital tools that can help us handle the diversity and complexity involved. These digital tools can help us track products throughout their life cycles so that we have better visibility into where they are and what condition they are in when they reach end of life. In addition, these tools can help us coordinate among all stakeholders involved so that we can manage end of life smoothly and efficiently.Digital tools alone cannot solve all our EOL management issues but they are essential for helping us effectively manage this complex process.
Ending the lifecycle of a product is phenomenally complex—therefore we need something much simpler like digital tools available at hand to coordinate between all stages until proper recycling occurs. By implementing these couple solutions we're one step closer into fixing a big issue will save us time, money and resources!