In a circular economy, being able to control the flow of (obsolete) products is essential for service providers and manufacturers. Control over the flow of tangible products allows service providers and manufacturers in a circular economy to leverage resources and extend product-and material lifetimes in the most efficient and effective way, from an environmental as well as an economic perspective. This control enables service providers and manufacturers to retain the highest amount of added economic value of products and their constituent materials and as such helps them in building successful circular business models around products with a long and/or extended product lifetime.

Circular business models typically do not permanently transfer product ownership and make use of interventions such as repair, upgrading, refurbishment, and re-manufacturing in order to preserve product integrity for as long as possible. This much needed increased level of control however cannot-and should never be-forced upon the customer/end-user, but instead needs to be granted to the service provider/manufacturer by the customer/end-user voluntarily, based on the perceived mutual advantages of doing so.