Proactivity vs. Reactivity in the Reverse Supply Chain
When you take a close look at your reverse business, does it appear that your company takes a proactive or a reactive stance where product returns are concerned?
For basic returns as well as warranty service or replacement, reactivity carves a significant sum out of your bottom line. Being reactive rather than proactive also degrades the customer experience, threatening brand loyalty and discouraging referrals and positive mentions.
Implementing a proactive stance in your reverse business doesn’t have to be complex or expensive and, done right, it can substantially improve profitability.
The Perils of a Reactive Reverse Business Approach
What happens when one of your customers need warranty service? Do they pick up the phone and call to obtain an RA? Do you have people answering those calls, generating Ras, arranging shipping, etc.? What happens when the product arrives at your facility? What about straight returns? What happens to the inventory once it’s received back?
Are you making decisions in the moment on some or all of these issues?
Although these remain common practices for many businesses, they comprise a clearly reactive approach, rather than a proactive one. Consider how many work hours are lost to these activities and how much revenue is lost on uncaptured inventory. Consider the hit your brand’s reputation takes every time a customer has to use the phone to request a return or check on the status of a warranty repair.
Making the Switch to Proactivity in the Reverse Business Cycle
The key to being proactive in reverse logistics is to make decisions, institute policies, perfect procedures and automate absolutely every function that you can.
Decide where, how, for how long and under what circumstances you will accept returns. If you sell products that may require repair or replacement under warranty, you’ll need a separate policy for those functions. Publish your policies clearly for your customers and educate your employees accordingly. Honing your procedures is easier when you automate those functions you can, and rely on technology solutions to improve the experience all around.
As a result, your customers will enjoy a simpler, more pleasant experience should they need or want to make a return. You will free up staff members’ time and recapture lost manhours. And, by removing the need for individuals to make decisions on the fly, you will enjoy an improved level of consistency and reduce the drain on profitability.
The Power of Reverse Supply Chain Data & Business Intelligence
It’s hard to make good decisions – or to know whether you’re making the right choices – without data to guide your strategies and track your progress.
Adopting a technology solution to run your reverse business is critical, especially when you can use the system to develop business intelligence to advise your processes. Tracking and analyzing data not only helps improve your processes but you can use the resulting BI to improve the quality of your products, further reducing future returns.
ReverseLogix, an out-of-the-box SaaS solution for running your reverse business, offers a high degree of visibility, role-based reporting capabilities, customizable dashboard and the ability to easily track and analyze complex datasets. ReverseLogix is highly scalable and customizable to meet your needs.
Contact us today so we can show you how our reverse logistics technology solution can help make you a more proactive company in the reverse business cycle.