reverse logistics supply chain

What is “Forward Thinking” Reverse Logistics?

Companies struggle to move items back up the supply chain

“One step forward, and two steps back.” That’s how a retailer may describe reverse logistics. But why the grim response? Well, if you think about it, retailers work so hard to move product to the shelf…and now it’s coming back. Talk about frustrating!

In fact, most retailers are not adequately prepared to handle much, if any, of the merchandise coming back up the supply chain. That means lack of logistic tracking and shipping deadlines, basically overall disorganization. Does that sound familiar? If it does, you are not alone.

As a manager and entrepreneur, you are forward thinking. Planning for regression is not part of your make up, but it needs to be. The most forward thinking retailers identify reverse logistics as a pain point and have the necessary systems in place to handle the flow of goods.

If you are not mindful of your reverse logistics channel, you may be completely unaware of the drain it is placing on the efficiency of your organization. While additional strain may not manifest in tangible ways, there are signs to the ambient effect of a broken reverse logistics supply chain.

The most obvious place to look for a broken system is with your customer service department. If a customer/vender is waiting, or unable to access the stage of a return or salvage, they’re going to call… then they’re going to call again and again, until they get an answer. Look at levels of activity your customer service department is handling, and find out where it is coming from. This could be an immediate sign something is wrong.

Want to find out a pain point? Follow the money! We suggest looking into sales forecasting and credit reconciliation.  To forecast, your sales team needs accurate sales figures. If you are always off…maybe influxes or slowly returned merchandise is throwing off your ability to forecast. Also, if your credit reconciliations don’t match receipts, there is possibly a problem with the reverse logistics.

How do you succeed with reverse logistics? Well, as a 3pl provider, that is a secret we are not ready to divulge. But, as one of our client’s we guarantee to alleviate the pain points you are experiencing with your current reverse logistics situation.

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  1. […] Mastering reverse logistics will allow you to master your supply chain, and save money. Here's how some forward thinking from a 3pl.  […]

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