Producing goods for remanufacturing and reuse

Advantages and disadvantages of remanufacturing


Both remanufacturers and original equipment manufacturers can profit from supply chain improvements and enhanced product development. You can build better long-standing relationships with your customers than businesses that rely on throwaway, one-off products.

Advantages of remanufacturing

Remanufactured goods can also give you a higher profit margin than new goods by enabling you to:

  • market new product service offerings
  • embrace state-of-the-art manufacturing processes - learning new techniques, investing in people, improving material traceability
  • gather valuable data for product improvements in design and function, and enhance after-sales activities

Remanufacturing can also help your business to cut costs. By considering how your products are designed and their environmental impacts at all stages of their life cycle, you can keep the cost of raw materials, energy and water to a minimum. You'll also save money by reducing the amount of waste you have to dispose of.

Remanufacturing benefits businesses which are concerned with social responsibility. It has a better safety record than the recycling industry, encourages problem-solving skills, is more rewarding than production line jobs and uses traditional industry skills.

Disadvantages of remanufacturing

Cost - the relatively high UK labour cost of remanufactured goods means that it is often cheaper to buy new products than to recondition old ones using conventional purchasing models. Remanufacturing is threatened by low cost imports of improved quality goods from abroad.

Image - the perception by consumers of remanufactured goods as 'second class' can limit sales growth in some fashion-oriented, lifestyle or status products such as cars, white goods or textiles.

Adaptability - remanufacturing is not always the most sustainable strategy for reusing products - for example, where costly reverse engineering of original products is needed, there is a skills shortage or where environmental benefits are higher through the process of recycling or design for recycling.

For information about overcoming some of these challenges, see selling remanufactured products to consumers.