Reverse logistics: Learn from your returns

The best practice in reverse logistics is to prevent product from coming back in the first place. Since that’s unlikely, it’s important to understand why goods are returned and learn how to capture the greatest value from the process.
image

Scan line personnel processes returns into a warehouse management system, which then prints a unique license plate for tracking, managing and identifying the proper disposition channel.

By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
September 17, 2010 - MMH Editorial

Reverse + logistics = reverse logistics. Sounds like a basic equation, one that would imply that reverse logistics is simply the supply chain moving backward. But if you ask Shibesh Banerji, principal consultant at Tompkins Associates (800-789-1257, http://www.tompkinsinc.com), he will tell you that the process isn’t so simple. In fact, Banerji and his colleagues prefer the term service supply chain to represent the scope of reverse logistics.

The service supply chain starts the moment a product is sold to a consumer and lasts right up until the end of its useful life, explains Banerji. “There was a time when we would receive a returned item and dump it. Nobody really cared what happened afterward. An OEM or retailer would wash their hands of the item and move forward.”

Not anymore. That practice is changing, and there’s a lot more focus on moving backward. Suppliers and retailers are paying attention to returns whether they like it or not. “Reverse logistics is like a diet—you know it’s good for you, but it’s hard,” says Don Derewecki, assistant vice president at TranSystems (201-368- 0400, http://www.transystems.com).



About the Author

image
Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Carload volumes were up 2.8 percent at 304,276, and intermodal volume for the week ending August 16 was up 5.4 percent at 270,316 containers and trailers.

Even though this data can be viewed as “old” in the sense that there is not a whole lot new to report about the port labor talks, it does a good job of looking into the mindset of shippers as talks continue.

Company officials said this service will be provided without any type of additional cost for customer shipments traveling from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, with expedited services available to customers outside of this area.

FTR says both spot rates and contract rates are heading up in a full capacity environment and with the fall shipping season rapidly approaching, it explained conditions for shippers could further deteriorate.

Read how others are using Business Process Management to achieve ERP success with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Download the free white paper now.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.