Returns management doesn’t just make sense in terms of efficiency, it’ll also significantly impacts your profits. Craig Plowden, MD of Revlogs explains how this happens.
Customers love brands and products with flexible returns policies because this gives them the peace of mind to shop without fear. Very few people buy something intending to return it, but it’s reassuring to know that as a consumer, you don’t have to jump through fire hoops and dodge red tape to do so.
This may leave some retailers and manufacturers a bit apprehensive about returns abuse, but considering the fact that a staggering 80% of returns have no defects and can be refurbished and resold, it’s a no-brainer. Even the remaining 20% can usually be repaired and sold as B stock.
An efficient returns management process can make retailers, manufacturers and most importantly, their customers very happy which creates a huge amount of brand and shopper loyalty. What more could you ask for!
Free up retail space
Returns rooms can be pretty hairy places: cluttered, dusty and chaotic. But it doesn’t have to be like this. A good reverse logistics 3PL will collect all returned products on a daily basis. This means that you’ll be able to restore order to the returns room, and get away with having a far smaller area, freeing up more space for retail.
Reduced transport costs
Contracting a 3PL to manage returns results in lower transportation costs per item than if you were managing your returns on a piecemeal basis. Instead of paying a courier service every time a product needs to be returned or repaired, you will benefit from a much more affordable rate through a standing contract with a company such as Revlogs.
Minimise replacements and refunds
When customers return a defective item, there is usually a set time period (up to 21 days) in which to assess and repair the item before returning it to the customer. Any well thought out and well implemented returns process will have a stipulated time frame in place. Often, if the time frame is breached some retailers and manufacturers are obliged to either replace the product or give a full refund. This process is generally for products which still fall under their warranty.
Without a reverse logistics system in place, this 21-day window is often overshot simply because there is no management of the process. If a reverse logistics 3PL is contracted, it’s in their best interests to ensure that all repairs are completed timeously. At Revlogs we routinely get repaired products back to retailers well within the stipulated period.
Full reporting helps sift out unreliable suppliers
Reverse logistics is so much more involved and beneficial than just providing some transport;.data and reports are generated from our tracking system. These deliver an overview of everything which passes through our hands and can be provided to our clients on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on your requirements.
We can also customise the reports to focus on any aspect of your reverse supply chain. For example:
- A comparison of the efficiency of different repairs centres
- An inventory of faults per product to allow you to focus on unreliable product sku’s
- Returns management reports by outlet which speak volumes about efficiencies and customer profiles, not to mention any internal mismangement issues which can quickly be remedied by Head Office.
5 reasons returns management makes financial sense
Reverse logistics doesn’t just make logistics sense, it also makes financial sense as it will ensure that you are in a position to:
- 1. Improve customer satisfaction
- 2. Create more retail space
- 3. Cut-down on transportation costs
- 4. Refund/replace fewer products
- 5. Separate good suppliers from bad suppliers
If your business needs a financial boost, give me a call at one of our regional offices on 011-608- 3968 (JHB); 021-934-2905 (CT); 031-700-5833 (KZN), Craig Plowden, Revlogs MD
Revlogs offers a specialist returns management service which takes care of the entire process, from retrieving product from the retailer, through to repairing it or returning it to the OEM, and ensuring the new or repaired product is back in the retailer’s hands timeously to ensure the best possible customer service.