Due to the pressure to provide excellent customer service, retailers and consumer brands are finding themselves offering very generous return policies. Which is not a bad thing, to your customer. However, according to the National Retail Federation, almost $300 billion worth of items are returned every year. So that doesn’t sound very good for your business.
Looking at how your company manages its returns is a good place to start. What are you doing well? But more importantly, what areas need some serious improvement?
Most businesses struggle with the returns management program due to a lack of dedicated resources. As many companies should, they dedicate most of their time to their core business leaving very little time and effort for your customer’s returns. A capable service provider can work with your business to help with this process as they leverage technology and proven processes to help streamline your reverse supply chain operations.
Through a comprehensive program, retailers and consumer brands can maximize recovery, improve efficiency, optimize brand protection, and ensure sustainability throughout their returns management process. A streamlined program will free up time and resources to focus on customer engagement and strategic growth.
One such technology is a warehouse management system (WMS) for the reverse supply chain. Many retail warehouses boast sophisticated WMSs to manage the forward flow of goods, but few invest in one for the reverse supply chain. Dedicated service providers can implement the best WMS for your company.
WMSs increase efficiency or reduce costs in your reverse supply chain by:
- Helping with inventory management
- Creating transparency into inventories
- Simplifying documentation for shipping data
- Ensuring a seamless connection with buyers of surplus
- Automating the processes
Look for an expert reverse supply chain partner with a robust WMS to seamlessly manage surplus inventory across all categories, volumes and conditions. A provider should also offer a full suite of reverse supply chain solutions through reconciliation, management, resale, and fulfillment of your returned goods to maximize recovery and velocity.
With the right process and the right partner, managing your returns does not have to be a headache. The reverse supply chain provides an opportunity for retailers to create a competitive advantage and produce results supporting larger strategic goals, whether those are streamlining the supply chain, improving brand perception or enhancing sustainability initiatives.
By better managing the returns management process, retailers can increase recovery and cut costs, while addressing risks in the new retail supply chain with winning strategies.