Sure, some would argue that this approach was the mostcost-effective. Objectively, it was certainly a terrible waste.
In order to avoid situations like this, putting a proper re-
ceiving process in place is the best place to start. Without one,
returns may get mixed up with inbound products and pro-
cessed similarly by mistake, creating hours and hours of work
for salespeople who are then responsible for tracking down
those returned items. Are they still in the returns pile? Have
they been put back on the shelf? Or have they already been
resold? When workers don’t have visibility into the status and
whereabouts of returned items, valuable time and energy—
which would be better spent filling other orders—is wasted.
So, what’s a distributor to do? Fortunately, there are solutions
available to address these growing reverse logistics challenges,
as well as simple steps you can take to streamline the returns
process in the warehouse. Take full-featured warehouse man-
agement systems (WMS), for example. The right WMS pro-
vides complete visibility to prevent inventory from ever getting
lost or ending up missing in action. WMS technology can make
it faster and easier to identify and track returns, giving distribu-
tors control over the warehouse throughout
the entire reverse logistics process.
You can identify trends like defectiveproducts or frequently returned itemsthrough the use of reason codes in a WMS.While many ERP systems are also capable of providing such information, this isonly the case once the return winds its waythrough the slow and painstaking process.Consequently, it’s not uncommon for distributors to avoid gathering this level ofdetail during the returns process, limitingvisibility of the factors contributing to thereturn of damaged goods.
Like it or not, your customers now expect to receive their orders from you just asquickly as they receive their purchases fromAmazon Prime. If the shipment takes toolong to arrive, your customers likely won’thesitate to look elsewhere—and leave youto deal with the lost sale and returned item.
A WMS with an integrated and easy-to-use manifest and shipping system cansimplify warehouse shipping, route management and package tracking. A seamlessmulti-carrier shipping solution ensures youget products to customers securely, quickly and affordably, while also prioritizingexpedited deliveries so they are picked,packed and shipped in the right order. Getting orders to your customers on time goesa long way toward not seeing them showup again later as a return.
ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET...
With the volume of order returns on therise, now is the time to review your reverselogistics supply chain processes. Ratherthan a cluttered returns area that’s overrun with hundreds of untracked items, orsimply tossing those returned goods intothe dumpster, imagine the alternative: acompetitive advantage that can come fromstreamlining the returns process and reducing returns in the first place, bringing morejoy to your holiday season. MH&L
Eric Allais is president and CEO of Path-Guide Technologies Inc. ( www.path-guide.com), a provider of warehousemanagement systems for distributors.
To know more about Camso products,visit camso.co
Camso is the Number One Choice ofOEMs and Worldwide Leader in MaterialHandling Mobility Solutions with a globalpresence around the world.
now expect to receive their
orders from you just as quickly
as they receive their purchases
from Amazon Prime.