Reverse logistics is the entire process of returning products back to the manufacturer. Did you know that around 30% of products purchased by consumers get returned? That’s a lot of stuff! If you’ve ever been to a Target customer service area, for example, you’ve undoubtedly seen carts and carts full of returns.
Normally, a supply chain involves distributing goods– getting them to their end user, right? Reverse logistics is when that cycle is reversed. A product goes back to its manufacturer, and has to get there in some way.
More Than Just “Returns”
Why do products get returned? Perhaps they’re damaged and will be thrown out. Or maybe the buyer wanted a different item or items. If the product in question is in perfect condition, it might end up being sold and distributed again after it’s returned to the manufacturer.
Typically, returns are taken care of by “returns management,” the same people who handle outbound shipments from warehouses.
Reverse logistics isn’t just “returns.” It actually encompasses things like remanufacturing, packaging, refurbishing, delivery failure, rentals/leasing, repairs/maintenance, and end-of-life goods. Many things can happen with products, requiring custom solutions regarding how and when they’re “returned.” Companies don’t always like dealing with returns, but they’re part of doing business.
Does your company have a plan for reverse logistics? If not, it should. It’ll help your company run smoother. After all, reverse logistics has a huge effect on supply chain management. Companies need to be ready for the various things that can happen after their product is sold. Customers are used to returning things, and they don’t want a hassle.
Affiliated Warehouse Companies offers reliable reverse logistics for your business. Our clients can help you with inspecting returned products, repairing and restocking refurbished items, and reselling or disposing of unwanted items, among other things. Call us at 732-739-2323 with questions.