Every year devices are becoming increasingly more complex and expensive. Manufacturers have established a system where practically the only means to repair a device, or obtain repair parts, would be through one of their authorized vendors, raising issues around the consumer’s right to repair their goods.
Many companies claim to have adopted this approach to protect their intellectual property, in addition to a Planned Obsolescence strategy that consist in designing products with a limited useful life shortening the replacement cycle.
Defining the right to repair
The right to repair electronics refers to government legislation that is intended to allow consumers the ability to repair and modify their own consumer electronic devices, enabling them to choose a supplier based on whatever criteria is more important to them: price, for example. This matter covers both individual and commercial rights.
How does Right to Repair work?
In the US at least 18 states are introducing “Right to Repair Bills” requiring electronics manufacturers to make repair information and parts available to product owners and to third-party repair shops, giving the consumer the ability to choose where to get their devices fixed without voiding their guarantee.
European environment ministers have a series of proposals to force manufacturers to build products that last longer and are easier to repair, combatting what’s known as planned obsolescence. This initiative covers everything from mobile devices to large home appliances.
Why is repair important?
According to the study Global E-Waste Monitor 2017 done by the United Nations University (UNU) in 2016 alone there was a combined E-waste of 44.7 million metric tonnes worldwide, and the projection is to increase to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021.
As stated in a Eurobarometer survey, 77% of EU consumers would rather repair their devices than buy new ones, but they are discouraged by the cost of repairs and the level of service provided.
Reverse Logistics, the Circular Economy and the right to repair
Las Vegas, February 5-7
The Reverse Logistics Association will be hosting their annual North American Conference, which brings industry leaders in the reverse market together to exchange ideas and improve processes.
RLA is a global trade association for the returns and reverse industry, offering information, solutions and services for manufacturers and retail companies from third party providers.
The Circular Economy, Data Security and Environmental Responsibility, Equity Investments in the Secondary Market and Global Dynamics in Mobile Returns are some of topics during the RLA Conference 2019 edition. For more details about the conference agenda visit http://rltshows.com/vegas.php
Asset Science’s Philip Dalton will be attending, February 5-7 (Las Vegas), to network and share his views about the importance of the Diagnostics in the reverse logistic process and the second hand and repair market.
If you’d like to meet with Phillip during the conference, you can arrange to do so here.