Tracking the Reverse Logistics Cycle
Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine - December 17, 2012
The reverse logistics process is now more of a challenge than perhaps the initial flow of goods in the forward supply chain. While automation and standardized processes can help, the crux of the matter is not all reverse logistics processes are the same and a one-size-fits-all approach does not always work. Companies need to ensure they have the expertise on hand to manage reverse logistics-- as equally an important function as the forward-moving processes in supply chain. "It used to be sort of an afterthought to take care of reverse logistics-- this part of the supply chain has been ignored by many entities just because you can put excess items on a truck and go put them in a hold in the ground somewhere or push them off the end of the pier," said Tom Burton, President of Government Liquidation LLC (of Liquidity Services Inc., which provides full service solutions to sell surplus assets). "But now, this is becoming a job for the experts. The other piece is the compliance part. Some of that excess property, you can't just put in a pile and say 'take this away' because there could be hazardous characteristics that could make the property risky-- so it needs to be controlled."