How Product Reworks Save Money


When a product is recalled or pulled from sale due to a defect, it’s all too easy to look at the item’s face value and arrive at the conclusion that scrapping it will be cheaper than fixing it.

But in a lot of cases, that’s just plain wrong. When you consider the full, big-picture costs involved in scrapping products, you might change your mind.

A technician reworking electronic goods

What costs can be saved by a product rework?

The entire, end-to-end cost of scrapping a product includes everything from the cost of mineral extraction all the way through to environmentally safe scrapping, with every process along the way consuming labour, resources and energy.

Materials: First, there’s the material cost. When defective products are repaired, the product’s life is extended and maximum value can be gained from the raw materials that it’s composed of. By eliminating the need for making a replacement item, material costs are saved.

Energy: Every new product that is manufactured requires energy across the entire process, from assembly through packaging to transportation. All of those costs are saved when reworking takes place.

Labour: In the vast majority of cases, a product rework involves substantially less labour than that required to make a whole new item. This is especially true when defects are minor and can be fixed quickly.

Disposal: Waste management costs are also saved by reworking. Handling, transport and disposal all add to the cost of scrapping a product.

Take the example of a defective electrical product like a blender or a vacuum cleaner. If a faulty component can be replaced during a rework, not only are all the costs of making a new item saved (materials, energy and labour), but the escalating cost of e-waste disposal as well.

The indirect benefits of reworking

Sustainability is a watchword for all companies as environmental concerns and regulatory demands increase. More and more, brands are scrutinised by customers for their attitude towards sustainability.

When products are reworked, no new resources are needed for manufacturing which decreases the environmental footprint of the product. Manufacturing waste and waste management in general is also reduced, decreasing the greenhousing effect and wider environmental impacts of garbage disposal.

In summary, reworking is more often than not vastly more beneficial to a company than disposal, reducing an array of different costs associated with the product lifecycle, whilst improving a company’s environmental stewardship profile.

BWES has maintained a specific business unit for 10 years dedicated to the 3 key tasks of rework, refurbishment, and sustainable scrapping. If you would like advice on reworking and product recalls, please contact us.


This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.