6 Reasons B2B Companies Need Returns Management Software

3PL, Ecommerce, Manufacturing, Retail
B2B reverse logistics

Look up a news article about product returns, and most focus on how apparel or another consumer-facing industry is trying to deal with high volumes of returns that are costly to process. But for B2B companies, the pain of complicated and inefficient returns is just as potent.

The State of B2B eCommerce Returns

B2B companies have traditionally used a patchwork of point systems to manage product returns, such as an order management system and warehouse management system. But solutions like a WMS aren’t efficient because they don’t have a complete, end-to-end view of a return’s lifecycle. These point systems also lack automated, returns-related processes, and so your teams spend extra time doing manual data entry, creating reports and forms, or contacting customers one by one.

17% of B2B sales will be online by 2023

30% of all products ordered online are returned

Why B2B Returns are Complicated

B2B enterprises are faced with unique considerations and complexities when managing a product return.  

  • There may be multiple claim types from partners
  • Returns comes from a range of customers and locations, such as wholesale, 3PLs and mom-and-pop shops
  • Varying rules and policies to track and manage
  • Warranties and repairs may play a large role, and lead to more disposition decisions
  • Items may be returned in bulk, yet with multiple return types

This complexity leads to disconnected processes that might be a Band-aid for troublesome operational areas, but they don’t fully address the desperate need for an orchestrated returns management approach.

How a Returns Management System Solves B2B Returns

You may already operate your supply chain with an OMS, WMS and TMS. Now is the time to complete your supply chain software stack with an RMS: A Returns Management System.

An RMS succeeds where other solutions have tried and failed to manage returns. An RMS is purpose-built returns management software that streamlines and automates the entire B2B returns lifecycle. From start to finish, it guides employees, automates tasks, and manages your unique complexity.

An RMS is a proactive solution for product returns management.

  1. Fully integrates with other supply chain software, giving you one central location for managing returns and viewing returns data
  2. Intuitive portals make it simple for customers, dealers and distributors to initiate a return or claim
  3. Designated users can view how many returns are expected to arrive, so they can prepare and staff accordingly
  4. Guided workflows for grading and inspecting items
  5. Standardized processes for receiving the return and getting it back out to its next stage in life
  6. Automated customer alerts (return received, credit or refund issued, etc.)

“I can plan my manpower for the day or week, because all I need to do is look on ReverseLogix and it’ll tell me how many returns we’re expecting between my two different areas of returns.”

Erin Johnson, Senior Returns and Vendor Compliance Manager

How Returns Software Improves B2B Operations

As mentioned above, a returns management software is built specifically for processing a return or claim, as well to report on returns’ data. The RMS can help you proactively identify operational areas that aren’t meeting expectations for returns processing, pinpoint return codes that may indicate quality issues, and a host of other data that stop small issues from becoming larger problems.

Operational benefits of an RMS include:

  • System optimization: No more point solutions! Get a single platform that enables and tracks the return, from start to finish
  • Data accuracy and consistency: Know how many returns to expect and when
  • Dealer and distributor on-boarding: Set clear expectations of how returns should be initiated
  • Improve the customer experience: A fast and easy customer portal, automated alerts and returns tracking
  • Cost savings: Faster times to process returns, fewer employee touch points, and better standardization that catches fraudulent returns
  • Flexibility: Set rules, policies and exceptions for certain dealers, distributors or item categories

“With an RMS, you create a lot more standardization internally,” said Nick Gardner, sales engineer at ReverseLogix. “An RMS allows you to set rules such as, ‘This is what we expect when you submit a claim’ or “This is the quality check we expect you to go through.”

Returns Management Software Simplifies Warranty Claims

Warranty claims play a large role in B2B returns. An RMS simplifies and manages warranty claims and repairs, which inform more accurate fulfillment.

  • Ensure dealers and distributors submit the exact data you need to process the return fast: Set rules for images, reason codes and more
  • Know what to expect with your returns: When a pallet of product arrives, you know exactly which customers, order details, and PO numbers were impacted
  • Enable dealer networks to initiate returns and handle entitlements, rules and claims based on your requirements
  • When items arrive at a facility in your network, the RMS can automatically process those returns.
  • On one screen, view all of the data related to that return
  • Ensure everyone is handling repairs and parts management based on your rules
  • Conduct failure analysis: What additional parts need to be ordered because of a high failure rate?
  • Get full visibility into returns and repairs, down to the individual SKU

Real Results: How one B2B Company Saved $700,000

A B2B customer using the ReverseLogix returns management system saved + $700,000 on lost and missing inventory, all while improving customer service.

How? The returns management system delivered real-time return inventory tracking that identified discrepancies and caught lost items during processing. This reduced the volume of lost items to an almost negligible number.

Adding up the savings

Total Value of RMA Credits$12,655,488
Customer Calculated Lost Value Percentage6.6%
Reported Lost Item Value$838,868
Proposed Reduction: Lost Value at 1%$126,554.80
Estimated Savings in Lost Item Value$712,314

ReverseLogix RMS: Smarter Returns, Better Business

ReverseLogix offers the only end-to-end, purpose-built returns management system that serves B2B, B2C and hybrid environments. To learn more about how your B2B business can transform returns management from a headache to a hero, watch our on-demand webinar: How to Create a Seamless B2B Returns Process.