Cycleon: Leveraging Postal Networks for Reverse Logistics

Published 30 Nov 2008
Reference 5521
Topic Operations
Region Europe
Summary

In essence, this the story of how two INSEAD MBA students had a great idea for an integrated service to take over companies’ product return streams and how they turned this idea into a successful business. Cycleon was founded in 2005 to offer original equipment manufacturers an option to manage returns at a lower cost than was offered by express services, and with greater speed than possible by leveraging forward supply chain partners. It describes the reverse logistics market, Cycleon’s strategic positioning, and the entrepreneurial challenges it faced.

Teaching objectives

The case offers students an opportunity to consider supply chain services from market segmentation and requirement definition through Cycleon?s market entry and implementation. This provides a context for strategy-related conversation as well as a basis for discussion focused on the execution of that strategy. Supply chain-oriented lectures may benefit by supplementing this case with a numerical example (see Cycleon B). In essence, the case describes how a couple of INSEAD MBA students had a great idea for an integrated service to take over companies' product return streams and how they turned this idea into a successful business.

Keywords
  • Reverse logistics
  • Product returns
  • Supply chain management
  • Operations strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • RD1108
  • AR0809
  • AR2008