Step Three – Circular Design and Supply Chain


If a company can design a product that can be manufactured from materials (preferably non-toxic) suitable for reuse, and has particular design features to ensure components can be remanufactured, materials can be reprocessed and breakages can be repaired, to keep the product (resources) in use for as long as possible then additional value can be extracted through the parts or servicing and at end-of-life if managed correctly.

Why a Company Should Change to Circular Design Principles?


(1) Rising cost of resources will result in a company being unable to remain competitive in the global market.

(2) Company’s moving towards circular principles because it is more profitable, they retain greater control of their assets (the resources that make up the product), potential to increase customer loyalty, future-proof against resource price and supply volatility, boosts sustainability, reduces environmental impact, less GHGs and adds to shareholder value.

(3) A company can explore new and offer alternative business / sales models to their customers.

How Do You Design for Innovation?


Designing with future innovation in mind is probably one of the most difficult things to do. Predicting the next technological breakthrough is virtually impossible. However certain production habits of manufacturers could be changed for the better. Modular design enables the upgrade of certain key parts when technologically advanced components are available. Through module design a company can cater to individual needs of consumers, anticipating changing fashion and trends, and even demographic shifts such as aging populations.


The Selling Proposition for Modular Beds

Supply Chain

A company’s supply chain and procurement policy are vital cogs in a circular business. Why? A circular supply chain can start with procurement and by asking different questions. Traditionally, in a purchasing or procurement process the main focus is price, whereby a buyer sets up a broad programme of demands.


Circular procurement instead focuses not only on the financial value for an organisation (purchasing costs) but also on the retention of value of products, components and materials, and the collaborative design of optimal product/service combination.
The procurement department plays a crucial role in terms of putting into practice and stimulating the circular economy. As a buyer you can guarantee that the products and services you purchase are high quality reusable ones by making agreements with your supplier.

Bring different internal stakeholders together to enlarge the support for circular procurement. Involve multiple layers with the organisations. Managerial support is essential to cement the goals on circular procurement in the purchasing process, so that the procurement department have the necessary knowledge and tools to implement it and bring circular procurement to practice and advise project managers.


Image: ‘System-Wide Life-cycle Thinking’ by Tapani Jokinen, Eco-Design Circle

The selling proposition for Modular Bed (1): comes from their website

The selling proposition for Modular Bed (2): comes from their website

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