Companies optimise for reverse logistics
Returns, end-of-life goods, end-of-lease rentals and even delivery failures all used to be a lot simpler when shipping areas were smaller and most companies operated out of brick-and-mortar stores.
Since purchased goods are increasingly easily bought through e-commerce on a global scale, multiple shopping preferences based on customer needs are being adopted.
And if it's easy to buy, it should be as easy to return the goods through the same channels as first bought. In other words - as consumers shop online more and more, the volume of return goods is increasing. In this environment, a well-planned and streamlined reverse logistics process can reduce losses.
First - What is reverse logistics?
According to unleashed.com - “Reverse logistics is the process of goods returning to their point of origin – back from the purchaser to the manufacturer or supplier. Today, reverse logistics can no longer be an afterthought for manufacturers, but is instead an integral part of supply chain planning.”
Reverse logistics may also be known as 'backwards supply chain'.
(Illustration: Kenco group, David Caines)
This is where reverse logistics has grown in importance
‘Optimised reverse logistics’ is essential for any supply chain management company which must now handle the flow of goods back, as efficiently as it can handle goods flowing out.
This process is complex for some, and there are many challenges one must be aware of.
For starters, companies need to predict which items are likely to come back up the supply chain and where they are most likely to arrive. Unfortunately, if the cost of this process outweighs the value of the item, companies lose money. It is also crucial that the goods themselves don’t get lost in the process, meaning that there always has to be preliminary research for order handling.
By doing the above mentioned research, it allows the company to improve the customer experience, reduce the cost of waste, add value to products by recycling and repurposing, whilst becoming more sustainable and efficient.
Some examples of reverse logistics are:
Returns management: The process of dealing with or avoiding returns
End of life: The handling of returns for products that are no longer able to be sold
Unsold goods: The handling of returns from retailers and distributors back to manufacturers
Delivery failure: The return of a product back to a manufacturer via a postal sorting centre due to failed delivery
Rentals and leasing: Refurbishing, repairing and redeploying rented equipment
Packaging management: A process for reusing packaging materials to avoid waste
Why is reverse logistics important?
How can a manufacturer or retailer benefit from setting up a reverse logistics process?
Here are 5 key areas where reverse logistics can assist a company:
Cost savings: More people are shopping online and return rates have increased, meaning an efficient returns process can save your business money.
Sustainability: Consumers are increasingly concerned with sustainability. Repurposing goods achieves greater sustainability and can enhance a business’ reputation.
Customer satisfaction: Having a quick and easy returns process increases customer satisfaction and retention.
Value of goods: Repurposing returned goods helps manufacturers increase the value of goods or the sustainability of the supply chain – or both.
Business insights: A well-organised reverse logistics process will give you valuable data to help you streamline your operations further.
MIXMOVE Lighthouse - The dashboard of truth
In alignment with the MIXMOVE philosophy and the reverse logistic process, through the use of our MIXMOVE Lighthouse platform you can control and manage products, parcels, containers and drivers in real-time, also when unexpected events occur.
Our platforms allows you to:
1. Gain full visibility of all hub operations and cargo movements.
Monitor all hub operations and cargo movements. Have full transparency throughout all logistics network operations. Shippers and 3PLs can monitor the movement of their goods and may have a dashboard presenting progress and performance of the operations.
2. Track and predict the location and condition of all resources and goods
Traceability and management of all resources such as loads, products, pallets and containers from start to end in all types of logistics operations, including all relevant information as the final destination and the terms and conditions that have been agreed between sender and receiver.
3. Manage unexpected events thanks to aggregation of all data whilst track in real-time.
Provide customers and supply chain partners with all relevant status updates on logistics execution as to arrival time, item quantity, and item details. Track and predict the location and condition of any product, pallet container and driver at any time.
And bypass lanes that are blocked by easily re-route goods flows via different hubs and carriers whilst, replacing non-operational carriers instantly by switching to another carrier.
With MIXMOVE's data driven visibility you are able to predict delivery times down to the minute and receive proof of delivery whilst strengthening your supply chain resilience. To improve the performance of your reverse logistics, implementing a software solution, such as MIXMOVE Lighthouse, that enables you to optimally plan the fulfilment of your orders while ensuring inbound and outbound visibility on product level - allows for a stress-free experience for your customers and your company.
With reverse logistics, companies' goods can be brought back into the supply chain. Instead of goods being disposed of, they are repurposed and waste is reduced. Therefore, in synergy with with the new way of looking at a supply chain through reverse logistics, using the MIXMOVE Lighthouse platforms will allow you to save costs, achieve sustainability goals, delivering excellent returns processes to increase customer satisfaction, and maintaining the bottom line.
Do you want to learn more how MIXMOVE can help you accomplish the previous mentioned activities? Click on one of the two buttons below and we will come back to you shortly.