PLM as an Enabler for the Circular Economy


Contribution in chapter 10  by Jo Conlon

Abstract for vignette p 278- 282

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platforms are a key enabler for new business models featuring closed-loop supply structures, supply chain transparency and collaboration. Designing products that use fewer, simpler materials and components, require fewer (or less harmful) process inputs, and are more durable and repairable, presents challenges to product designers, operations management, and for obtaining and incorporating feedback from users and those involved in disassembly, recovery and recycling. Product life-cycle management (PLM) systems provide a means of sharing this information and engaging stakeholders all along the supply chain, with the aim of improving the design of products to be used again, and for longer. This vignette provides readers with an introduction to PLM, how businesses are using it today and the benefits this approach yields and how next-generation PLM solutions can support circular approaches as part of rethinking and redesigning supply chains.

Contribution by Jo Conlon:

In:  Weetman, C., (2016) A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains, Repair, Remake, Redesign, Rethink, Kogan Page

A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains

Synopsis: A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains is an easily digestible and comprehensive handbook that provides a clear guide to the circular economy. Real examples across a range of market sectors help businesses, students and policymakers understand the theory and fast-developing practice of the circular economy. A holistic framework for the ‘design and supply chain’, business models and enablers helps generate ideas, and the book includes tools to help you get started.

Whilst growing global consumption presents fantastic business opportunities, our current ‘linear’ systems – take some materials, make a product, use it and then throw it away – are not fit for purpose. The circular economy unlocks this problem by ‘decoupling’ resources from consumption. Switched-on businesses are re-thinking product design, material choices, business models and supply chains. A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains is a ‘must-read’ for anyone who wants to apply the circular economy today.


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