Most retailers contract a returns management specialist in an attempt to overhaul the back end of their supply chain. But Revlogs MD Craig Plowden has noticed that often the benefits to the front end of their supply chain are even more valuable. Here’s how…

When clients come to us, they want to improve their returns management. This may mean implementing a new returns policy or it may just require more effective application of the existing policy. It will definitely entail end-to-end tracking of every returned item and daily collections from all of your branches. We will take over the unenviable task of dealing with OEMs and repairs centres to ensure that items are either repaired or replaced and returned to the customer within the period stipulated in your returns policy. We have a subsidiary company who specialise in repairs, product re-works and re-sales, thereby ensuring a full suite of reverse logistics services for our clients.

The data captured in the returns process can be invaluable to retailers understanding their suppliers, processes and staff activities.

All of this will result in happy, returning customers and a reduction in your operating costs and in shrinkage – the bane of retailers the world over. But wait, there’s more. In addition to all these expected advantages, there is one extremely profitable by-product of effective returns management: data.

New insights into your business

Because we track every item we handle on our powerful database, we have one-click access to a plethora of information which can be used to generate reports on almost any aspect of your business. Regular reports can be delivered as often as you require, while additional, more specific reports are available on demand.

Focus on the front end of your supply chain

One of the reports which our clients find most useful focuses on the most frequently returned items. This can be an across-the-board report or it can be broken down into categories. Either way it allows you to see, for example, which models of TV or fridge have been returned most often.

The next step is simple: compare these figures with your sales figures to see which models have the highest returns percentage. Now you can delve deeper. Is the OEM delivering faulty product or are your staff accepting returns on dubious grounds? Is the problem limited to one store or region or is it a nationwide one?

…And on the back end

Our database also facilitates close inspection of your returns processes. It will allow you to hone in on which branches (or individual staff members) are enforcing policy correctly and which are not. It will enable examination of the service provided by repairs centres and other third-party providers: while some repairs centres may routinely be fixing items within five working days others may take much longer.

Put simply, knowledge is power. The more you know about your returns, the more you know about your business in general. Engaging the services of Revlogs will streamline your operations and increase productivity, profits and customer satisfaction. It will also give you a window on which other aspects of your business need attention by:

  1. Highlighting troublesome products or, even worse, suppliers who routinely deliver faulty product.
  2. Allowing you to compare the performance of your returns staff in different branches or regions.
  3. Illustrating which repairs centres are delivering on their promises and which are not.

Revlogs MD Craig Plowden has been in the returns management business long enough to see that the benefits of a streamlined returns process are far greater than one would initially assume. Give Craig Plowden a call on 011-608- 3968 (JHB); 021-934-2905 (CT); 031-700-5833 (KZN).


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.