The U.S. economy’s labor shortage is unprecedented in scope: Nearly every industry is competing for workers, and many are raising wages and benefits in the hopes of attracting employees.
Retailers, 3PLs, manufacturers, and anyone with a large facility is especially feeling the crunch. According to CNN….
“…the jobs that major chains in the United States are having the most trouble filling right now aren't inside their stores ringing up customers and stocking shelves. They're at their warehouses selecting items, packing boxes and loading trucks.”
In addition, MHI’s 2020 Annual Industry Report states that nearly three-quarters of companies take more than 30 days to fill an open job position.
Labor shortage: How an RMS drives efficiency for product returns
As schools start to re-open and childcare becomes less of an issue, there are reports of an uptick in job seekers. But most companies need an answer to the labor shortage now; and it’s about more than simply finding people. The right technology solutions – cost-efficient and bottom-line effective – can have an immediate impact on soothing the stress of too few workers.
For 3PLs, manufacturers and retailers (brick-and-mortar and/or online), technology can significantly help with product returns.
Product returns and the workload surrounding them can have a big effect on profitability and employee efficiency – all of which is exacerbated by the labor shortage.
A returns management system (RMS) helps mitigate these labor challenges by streamlining returns processes, increasing automation and improving profits.
End-to-end visibility for better efficiency
An RMS spans your returns process, from end to end. Rather than relying on several solutions to handle pieces of reverse logistics, an RMS orchestrates and manages employees from start to finish, across departments.
An RMS delivers real-time insights into return trends and reasons. You can see where metrics may be lagging behind other locations in your network. Get better tracking to minimize losses, and automate data entry for fewer errors.Configuration and automation for faster workflows
With an RMS, you can configure workflows and requirements across warehouses and shipping locations. Build rules and policies to ensure each product is accepted and inspected consistently. Manage refurbishment, warranties and repairs efficiently.
Highly configurable workflows also help employees work faster by guiding them through every detailed step and by standardizing reverse logistics processes. Customer communication can be automatic, and you can more quickly identify work areas where bottlenecks or variations are slowing things down.
Inspect, grade and rotate more accurately
Some of the most time-consuming and cost-consuming tasks around product returns are inspecting and grading.
A returns management system enables employees to receive, inspect, grade, and put-away returns efficiently with no manual work required to log items in the system. When the RMS is linked to a customer-facing interface, automatic notifications are sent out to keep customers informed of each step of the returns process.
Stock rotation is another labor-intensive process between sales support staff and accounts or retail locations. Through an RMS stock rotation management capability, you can add rules for stock rotations, schedule SR initiations, and rotate locations. Automate more of the processes to keep workers moving efficiently!
RMS implementation in weeks, not months
An answer to the labor shortage can’t take months to implement. No one has that time.
A returns management system can be up and running in six weeks or less. It’s easy to use, so employees adopt it willingly. You’ll save money quickly, and employees will appreciate less manual work and more efficiency.
Learn more about RMS technology and how it can
address labor issues in just a few weeks!