An inefficient reverse logistics process could result in chaos, think a warehouse flooded with unsorted returned items. Meanwhile, customers get annoyed waiting for their returned products to be processed.
Aside from slowing down business operations, logistics expert reverselogix.com states that an inefficient returns system could also cost you money and resources, from taking up precious warehouse space to letting products depreciate or, worse, expire if you sell perishable goods.
While creating an effective reverse logistics program requires time and trial and error, with some simple tweaks here and there, as outlined below, you could make your current returns processes more effective:
Designate a space exclusively for returned items in your warehouse
Place three bins or shelves and label them “For Restocking”, “Return to Vendor”, and “Discard or Recycle”. By utilizing this simple method, your warehouse personnel could start routing returned merchandise in their proper destinations as quickly as possible.
Put fast-moving and high-priority products in a different space
This way, your staff won’t have to sort through the returned items and would be able to restock as soon as possible, ready for resale.
Include return labels with all deliveries
Encourage customers to return your products quickly by including return labels addressed to your warehouse. This could help improve customer satisfaction and, in turn, brand loyalty since most return labels don’t incur shipping fees until they’re used.
Integrate products from your “Restocking” shelf/bin back into restocking process
Make sure that your staff regularly checks this bin to ensure that products for restocking are accurately scanned back into your system, ready for purchase once again.
Make certain that your packaging is durable enough to withstand unexpected factors or circumstances during transport
Inadequate or flimsy packaging results in products damage. If you require your customers to utilize your original packaging when they return your items, ensure that it’s sturdy enough to handle all sorts of wear without needing additional packaging.
By paying close attention to the weaknesses and strengths of your returns processes and implementing more effective strategies, you could easily streamline your reverse logistics operations and, in turn, make your outbound flow more efficient.