How Reverse Logistics Works

packaReverse logistics is a very important component of any business that sells goods to customers. Logistics in itself is the process of getting the goods from the business to the end customer; reverse logistics (as the name suggests) is that same process, just the opposite way, i.e. from the end customer back to the business.

It is important that you consider reverse logistics, as there are many reasons why an end customer may need to return the goods back to the business. There are a few different ways you can go about reverse logistics, but there is a tried test process, implemented by many businesses around the world, that makes the activity as quick and cost-effective as possible.

So, have a read on below at the process of effective reverse logistics:

Goods Retrieval

This is the first step in the process of reverse logistics. It is important that the goods are picked up, they could either be unused or even returned packages. These packages could come from a customer or be stored at a warehouse.

It is always best to take a direct approach, and if you enlist the assistance of a third-party logistics company, that can increase the number of goods returned in each industry. This means that can use economies of scale and pass the savings onto you.

Return Shipping

The next step is to get the shipping organised to send the product back to where it needs to go. This step can be pretty time consuming, especially if you are trying to do it all yourself. This is why many businesses choose to outsource this process.

By getting a professional company to take care of the return shipping, it can help to increase customer experience, as the process is more seamless for them. You don’t have any responsibility for this process, it rests all in the hands of the logistics company.

Repair Packaging

Something a little bit different in the next step, while most businesses would be concerned only about the actual goods, you cannot discount the packaging used either for the product or the shipping packaging. Not only can repairing the packaging save you money on future costs of packaging, but it is also a more environmentally friendly option.

Woman checking the inventory

While each individual repair of the packaging may not save you that much money, when you look at this cost saving measure over the long term, you’ll see how much money you can actually save. Not all logistics companies will offer this, so if you are going to outsource, make sure you ask about this.

Preparation of Shipment

This is where you have to actually go through all the products and packaging, then organise it all. It can be one of the timeliest processes, and it is important that it is done correctly so that the goods get to where they are supposed to go. There are many different options for the goods, they could be repaired and sent back to the same customer, or they could be placed back on sale, or more.

Supply chain management is very important to manage properly here because you don’t want a quality good, that is in demand, sitting in the reverse logistics process, where that product could have been sold to another customer. No business likes to miss out on a potential sale!

Discarding, Reselling or Recycling

The last process in the reverse logistics process is when you need to discard, resell or recycle the product. A lot of the time if the product is not damaged, it can go on to be resold, and in other situations recycling is the next best option.

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