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7 Tips for Improving Your Reverse Logistics Process

November 20, 2019 same day logistics

The logistics of your company’s structure will have many small details that can send your entire process into turmoil.

Getting your logistics in order can be troublesome, but what about reverse logistics? When you have your reverse logistics in an efficient and manageable manner, your business can ramp up its potential.

Curious to learn more? We have the tips you need below.

What is Reverse Logistics?

Reverse logistics is the process created to deal with any and all products that a customer may return. When your customer needs to return an item you shipped to them, either for repair or refund, you must deal with the customer as well.

Managing your reverse logistics involves a lot of customer management, organizational skills, and a few neat tricks tucked away.

The 7 Key Tips to Improving Your Reverse Logistics

Reverse logistics is more than customer service. Being kind and responsive to the customer is good, but every facet of their experience could determine if they want to work with you again.

To keep all those details together, these 7 tips will help guide you through the easy to miss issues of reverse logistics.

1. Create a “Return Area”

A proper reverse logistics process will focus on when the item has returned. This is where you have to do more than put on a good customer service face and sort out the customer’s problem.

Build out a proper return area in your warehouse. This means that you should reserve this section of the warehouse for returned products only.

Keeping on top of this section, then, allows you to sort every item and deal with in an organized manner. Sort the returned product into 4 immediate sections to further categorize their next step in the process.

The 4 sections should be restock, discard, return to supplier, and priority. From there, your workers can learn the next needed steps and no returned package lingers for long.

2. Keep Stock In Good Health

When you get returned items that do not need discarding, fixing, or management in another manner, you need to return them to stock as soon as possible. This keeps your stock healthy and does not waste time for you to sell the item again.

As well, as you deal with return stock, be sure to keep a close monitor on your stock. If several items are coming back damaged, then that particular part of your inventory may be faulty and worth a close examination.

If you can catch faulty parts or products before they go out, you can remove several items from needing reverse logistics.

3. Look to Repair When Applicable

When you use reverse logistics to its highest potential, it will be about mitigating your loss. You want as close to no downtime as you can when dealing with the returned product, from the customer to the stock management.

That said, time can be worth investing if it means making damaged stock sellable again.

Look into repairs when at all possible. An item you can repair can take the place of a brand new item. If the repair process is less labor and time-intensive than creating new stock, than the repair is a good investment.

4. Make Your Return Policy Clear

There can be a lot of headaches when a part of the process is unclear. This is even worse when the part that is unclear is the part your customer has to understand.

Your return policy should never be a mystery. You want your customers to have absolute confidence in your product. This is so that even when the worst happens, they can know how to deal with the return process.

Use clear and simple language in your return policy. Print that policy as often as you need to and in clear and easy to find places. Your customer should never have to hunt for your return policy.

5. Provide Return Labels

Another process in easing the customer’s issues is making the actual returning process easier.

A simple way to do this is to provide return labels with every shipment. This allows the customer to repackage the item, put on the new label, and send it right back.

Providing return labels shows that you have accounted for any potential problems.

Your goal should be to make any aspect of business easy for the customer. The less they know they have to do on their own, the less they feel burdened by the process.

6. Invest in Durable and Easy Packaging

The standard box is not always built to last both the shipment out and the shipment back. By shipping your product in durable and easy to pack boxes, you provide an additional step towards making the return process easy.

Finding the right balance between weight and durability is a key part of this. You also want an uncomplicated packaging that still has all the usual damage points covered.

The investment in more expensive, quality materials may feel like a downside.

The key to remember here is that you are investing in both customer service and loss prevention. With a more durable box, you get fewer items damaged upon delivery. That alone can cut into your potential reverse logistics cost.

7. Collaborate With Retailers

To eliminate a large portion of items that come back through your reverse logistics, you will need to establish a positive working relationship with the retailers that sell your product.

In the past, many companies have had concerns about third-party retailers selling off damaged or unwanted product.

Retailers do this to liquidate their investment, but this can be damaging to a brand, but recalling all these items is cost put on you.

You want to let retailers help you in any way they can. If they can liquidate your product without tarnishing the brand, like through exclusive sales, then you have the best of both worlds.

In the end, the retail side is another step of the reverse logistics process and needs your focus with care and good management.

Logistics for a Better Business Model

Now that you understand reverse logistics now, you can better build up what may be a very weak aspect of your business. Nothing involving the customer should be lacking, it leads to bad business.

Now that you know how it works, we can show you logistics in action! Check out our services today!