Reverse logistics experts are in high demand due to the continuous increase in e-commerce shopping options. Effective reverse logistics management dives deeper into the how, when and why a return is made so the right solutions can be deployed at the right times. Understanding the reasons customers return products can allow companies to better connect and build on the business relationship, which may still lead to additional sales.
What Is Reverse Logistics Management?
Managing reverse logistics operations requires your company to create an organized supply chain that can handle any influx of returns. The logistics system should seamlessly obtain the products from customers and move them to suppliers or manufacturers for evaluation. The system should also be robust enough to handle any product recalls that may be instituted by a manufacturer, in case enormous batches of products need to be returned for proper disposal.
Benefits of a Management System for Reverse Logistics
Many customers will continue to purchase products from a company if they have a positive product return experience. With a management system, a company can still take steps to maintain a good relationship with the customer even if she or he is returning a product.
If you can show the customer compassion and understanding, the customer is more likely to trust that the company will do the right thing to remediate the issue. With such personable approaches to customer management, a company may also have additional opportunities to provide a replacement product or offer a similar product without losing profits. When you put your customers first, it can help improve your brand image.
Another advantage to having an expert manage your logistics operations is that you can reclaim older products and repurpose them. Items that have reached the end of their lifecycles or are damaged may be refurbished, repaired or claimed as parts. This strategy allows a company to reduce waste and gain additional value from these items.
The Role of a Reverse Logistics Manager
A reverse logistics manager oversees the process of receiving products that are returned by customers. These professionals work to ensure that all return policies are followed throughout the returns process. They also provide greater transparency on how products move back through the supply chain. A reverse logistics expert understands how to receive the products and where to send them for the next step of the journey, whether it is back to the warehouse for restocking purposes or to the manufacturer for evaluation, testing or refurbishment.
Reverse logistics services allow a company to further understand why customers are returning products to the company. There are several possible reasons for dissatisfaction, such as damaged or malfunctioning products. Yet, customers may also return products if they are using them incorrectly or if the product does not match the description on the sales page.
In these instances, a company may have to change how they market their products. The reverse logistics manager can gather important information from the customer and relay it to project teams and sales managers. Sales teams can take these details and change how they market the products to customers. Descriptions on websites could be revamped or provide additional information on how to properly use the product.
In other instances, the information gathered by the reverse logistics manager may go to the manufacturer. The manufacturer can use the data to change their manufacturing processes to deal with faulty products or institute product recalls due to safety concerns.
The Importance of a Reverse Logistics Manager
Reverse logistics managers ensure there are no bottlenecks with the return of products. They help their companies by sending the products to the right places at the right times based on the reasons the customer wants to return the product. The manager helps increase transparency in the supply chain, allowing the company to address issues on product quality or transportation logistics if, for instance, the items are damaged in-transit to the destinations.
As a product makes its journey from the customer back to the company, there are many opportunities where data can be retrieved. A reverse logistics manager can help collect the valuable data that company owners use to make proactive decisions on inventory. The company may even decide to change suppliers based on the feedback obtained from customers who return products.
Consider Services From WSI
Whether you operate a brick-and-mortar store, e-commerce website or host your products through a marketplace, you should have a versatile and efficient reverse logistics system in place to handle product returns. A logistics manager can provide valuable work to improve your brand and ensure that return policies are in place when products are returned to warehouses and suppliers.