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  • 04-10-2021

REVERSE LOGISTICS : Return to sender in a smart way

How to return back to the sender?

It’s a common thought that arises in everyone’s mind. The perfect solution is Reverse Logistics.

Yes, As described by the Reverse Logistics Association it’s a big deal. Reverse logistics refers to all the actions related with the reuse of products and materials.

How can we describe the term Reverse Logistics in a simple way?

More precisely, we can say that reverse logistics is the process of moving goods or products from their typical target destination for the purpose of capturing value, or proper disposal.

According to the Council of Logistics Management, it is “the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost effective flow of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.

Just think about the return process of any product of your online shopping. It will make it easier to understand the process of reverse logistics.

Because we all are comfortable when we relate anything to our daily life.

It will be cleared right ?

Now we have to dive into the importance of Reverse Logistics.

It’s a common supply chain measurement, focused on ensuring delivery to the end customer is efficient, fast and reliable from the time the customer puts his or her order in place. However, the mission of your distribution doesn’t completely end when the product reaches the end customer. There are many reasons customers return products, including:

  • The customer bought the wrong product
  • The product was damaged upon arrival
  • The product did not match its description
  • The customer no longer wants the product

Reverse logistics completes the product lifecycle to support reuse and repurposing of products and materials. You can recapture value by reselling items as is, refurbishing them or selling to a discount liquidator. Some materials can be recycled or sent for final disposal in an environmentally responsible manner.

Not only the process of returning back depends on the business, but also essentially the reverse logistics involves any process or management after the sale of the product only . Initially the customer contacts the appropriate party to initiate the return. For many retail products, the manufacturer asks the end user to contact them directly rather than returning the product to the store. The responsible party arranges for transportation of the returned product, which could involve sending a shipping label for a parcel pickup, or arranging for truck pickup for larger items. The returned item should have the same level of visibility that an outbound package has.

You can reduce administrative, transportation and support costs while at the same time increasing product velocity With a comprehensive reverse logistics strategy. Every customer will be satisfied with a robust logistics program, which leads to increased market share and improved retention levels. A supply chain will operate most efficiently when it's optimized in both directions.

How can we manage reverse logistics effectively ?

3 ways for the better management of reverse logistics

Extract the insights

Reverse logistics is a sensitive issue for everyone involved. In particular, the return experience directly impacts your customers’ impression of your business and service. You should thoroughly analyze reverse logistics patterns that are currently taking place across your supply chain before defining the next steps in upgrading your strategy. Look at historical data to help you understand the dynamics of returns in your business and extract valuable insights. These insights will guide you as you optimize your reverse logistics process.

Use sophisticated technology

It is impossible to see and interpret supply chain information in a beneficial way if you don’t have enough visibility of operations, shipments, and transactions. Visibility is a critical component of successful supply chain management regardless of whether it is a small retailer or a massive enterprise. Using sophisticated technology, like our proprietary TMS, is essential to centralize data and tap into hidden opportunities. Integrating a TMS system into your management style will give you the easy access to the information you need to optimize your supply chain.

Upgrade your returns process

Once you have a clear vision of particular issues in your reverse logistics process, you can determine the next steps and start implementing the new strategy. It can be better load planning, route optimization, extending returns time slot, or expanding your customer support department depending on the company. Only through data analytics and consistency, it is possible to handle reverse logistics at scale. PLS leverages its sophisticated TMS to help you combat your supply chain visibility challenges. Learn more about our platform!