When starting a new business, it is important to consider logistics and the supply chain for the smooth movement of products to their final destination. A common mistake that is made when starting a new business is forgetting about reverse logistics, which is just as important and can have a massive impact on your success and brand reputation.
What is Reverse Logistics?
So, what is reverse logistics? Typically, people picture the supply chain as the purchase of new materials, product creation and delivery to customers. This is the most basic form, but there are times when the direction of travel must be reversed part-way. This can include consumers returning products, items that are rented, faulty products, delivery issues or the recycling of goods once they reach the end of their lifecycle.
Reverse logistics can be kept for keeping customers happy and resolving issues, so it can be helpful in terms of retention and improving your reputation. Reverse logistics can also reduce your environmental impact by reusing old materials, reduce your costs and provide valuable data amount other benefits.
Key Steps for Reverse Logistics
There are a few key steps involved in reverse logistics and it is important that all of these are carefully considered. First, a system needs to be in place so that consumers can process the return of the item. There needs to be a system so that consumers can express their wish to return the item so that this can be registered and a refund can be issued (once you receive the goods).
After this, you need to have a system in place so that it is easy to return the item. Many companies will provide packaging that can be used to return the item, but keep in mind that not all customers will have easy access to a post office. Therefore, you might want to arrange same-day delivery services so that you can arrange for a courier to pick up the item and bring it back directly to the business. After this, the item needs to be inspected and then possibly repaired or recycled.
It is also helpful to be aware of a few of the key challenges with reverse logistics. Reverse logistics can be complex, especially because you need to be able to track returned products so you should use supply chain management solutions. Costs can also be a factor, so a centralised warehouse could be helpful for reducing costs.
When starting a business, it is likely that you will spend a lot of time planning logistics and the supply chain. You should not overlook the importance of having a clear reverse logistics system in place, especially with returns on the rise. Reverse logistics can have a big impact on your business in a few ways, so it is an area that needs attention.