Reverse logistics is an often-misunderstood area of any business. Some people think it’s synonymous with returns and exchanges, but the reality is that it’s so much more than just managing products that come back from customers. It encompasses the entire process from the moment a customer decides they want to return something, through shipping it back to your facilities, repairing or restocking, resale, and refunding or crediting the customer for the purchase. It’s every bit as complex and fast-moving as your forward logistics process, and getting it right has plenty of benefits for a business.
Increase Revenue from Returns
When managed properly, returns don’t have to be a drag on your bottom line. Instead, they can present an opportunity to recapture some, most, or even all the value of the original purchase. In other cases they may be something you can return to a supplier as part of your own returns process, or something you can recycle or dispose of in a way that generates revenue.
Gather More Information About Business Operations
A complete reverse logistics platform provides a wealth of data about your business operations that can improve efficiency and reduce costs. For example, you can track return reasons to identify defective products from a specific source and ship those back to your supplier if possible. It can also help you identify products that are returned more often for things like sizing issues or quality complaints that you could address with better information on the product description page. You can also accurately forecast return volumes and staff your team appropriately.
With the volume of returns in the billions of dollars, consumers today care more about returns policies than ever before. When they send something back, they expect to be able to track it as it arrives at your facility, monitor warranty or repair timelines, and see a refund, credit, or other resolution quickly. If you’re not managing the entire process start to finish, there are too many places where you could lose track of items, miss refunds, or make other mistakes that make your customers unhappy.
Finally, a fully automated reverse logistics platform that tracks and monitors all returns can help you prevent fraud. You can identify and authenticate returns to prevent gray market or fake products from ending up in your inventory (and potentially being resold), as well as track and monitor return patterns to identify anomalies from certain individuals or areas with higher-than-normal return volumes.
Today reverse logistics are a critical part of the supply chain, and the right platform can help improve the visibility of your process, the time it takes goods to move through, and the ability to recapture more value after a return. Contact ReverseLogix to schedule a demo and see all the benefits it can provide.