Stop pain before it strikes. Product returns and recalls can open a Pandora’s box of problems when it isn’t handled properly.  Lost inventory control, sunk costs and wasted resources are a few of the problems that can be avoided when you have a returns management process in place. Reverse logistics is the antidote to overcome those challenges.

Allow me to provide a brief example, starting with the customer. When a customer returns your goods, they may be dissatisfied on two levels: The goods didn’t meet their needs for some reason, and now somebody at the customer’s place of business – must deal with “repackaging” your goods for return. That person might have to search for an original skid, wait for a truck, load the goods and fill out paperwork. Their dissatisfaction is multiplied as the process is taking their time and effort in order to get the goods out of their way.

The ordeal continues when the returned goods come back to your business. Where the goods damaged in transit? Worse, the goods could be in such a poor state, your people might not know what to do with them. Now what?

You can mitigate these unnecessary headaches by working with a logistics partner that understands, and has proven experience in, reverse logistics management. Read on for 2 examples of how W.I.S. can help.

Frustration averted with light fixtures

An end-user for our client ended up with the wrong lighting fixtures for various reasons; they ordered the wrong ones, the wrong ones were shipped, too many were ordered, or the lights didn’t work.  Electricians at the end user, who had little to no experience shipping goods, were responsible for getting these products back to the factory. The electricians were unhappy at having to figure out paperwork and packaging, especially when the error in shipping wasn’t theirs. Our client wasn’t happy because expensive light fixtures were sitting at job sites with no one truly taking responsibility to protect their investment.

The challenge was to make shipping seamless for the end user, who had no shipping supplies or basic understanding of shipping, and still give visibility to the manufacturer for inventory control.

W.I.S Logistics records a contact name and phone number for the lighting products ahead of shipping. When a return is requested, we contact that person. We want to know: What lighting products do they have and when we can come get the material?

Next, we send a truck to take the product in whatever condition it is in, and we provide the bill of lading. We take the product back to a warehouse where the product is professionally packaged and shipped back to our client, the manufacturer.

Our client has the benefit of real time tracking; they see when the freight is picked up and the estimated time of arrival at their dock. When product arrives, our client is prepared with its automatic process of entry back into repair or restock. The end user receives credit immediately following an inspection of the product.

Widgets recalled efficiently

A client manufactured a widget with a faulty bolt that prevented it from working properly. A recall was announced.  That’s were W.I.S. stepped in.

Our job entailed picking up the widget (In this case, each customer received  instructions for packaging and instructions to call us for a pick-up), keeping track of and providing analytics for origination of the damaged parts, the cost of the return, and the date and time the item arrived back on the dock.

Our client gained visibility and real time reporting, enabling them to efficiently deal with a difficult situation.

Gain control.  It’s crucial to gain control over retuned goods. Reverse logistics can be tricky and expensive. An experienced 3PL can help you improve R.O.I. and increase satisfaction among customers returning your goods.