Summary: When you run a business, there are many things to think about so you get the best return on your investment. Understanding where you stand and what you can do to make your company better is something you should always be paying attention to, and that’s where enhancing your return processing comes in.
In the world of business, things constantly change, so you should always be open to making the necessary corresponding changes in your own company. Read on to discover how to enhance your returns processing in way that ensures your business stays a the front of the crowd.
Definitions You’ve Got to Know
Reverse logistics is basically the process of taking back damaged or unwanted goods. They obviously cost a company profits if they aren’t able to turn around the resell those items to someone else. The first step is taking complete control of the returns processing system you have implemented. There are several problems that can contribute to an out of control returns process. Once you tackle each of these issues, you should be well on your way to a more efficient system that ensures the highest profit for your company. Things to consider include a lack of a properly laid out work space. If the area is too small or too unorganized, your employees are more prone to mistakes that could result in a return down the road. A less than stellar tracking system can also be to blame for a higher rate of returns. Sometimes, a product is returned and it sits for too long on the dock, making it hard to place it back into rotation for shipping to another customer. Getting a handle on this with a good software system can eliminate the paper trail and make it much easier for you and your staff to get a handle on returns and how to handle them the right way.
Get Competitive with These Techniques
It’s all well and good to understand that your returns processing isn’t working quite the way it should. It’s another thing entirely to figure out a way to get around the problem, gain a competitive edge in the market and be sure you don’t lose a ton of money by having to handle returns. There are some simple techniques you can implement to ensure that you are at the top when it comes to the competition.
One thing you can do is divide the returned products in two ways. Part of the return can go toward a credit to the customer and the other part can be transferred back to inventory with a cash refund. By doing this, you assist the customer and make them happy, but you also have a better handle on your inventory and what you have in stock to fill other orders. At the same time, you should divide the duties of your warehouse staff. For example, one person can be in charge of physically returning the goods while another can be in charge of taking care of crediting the customer. This allows each employee to do the best in his or her position without compromising the system or making the customer unhappy.
Another important thing to do is to assess the returned products so that you can determine which have been returned because a customer simply didn’t like or need the item and which have been returned due to damage or defect. This makes the returns process much simpler and allows you to more quickly determine which products can be added back to the inventory and which ones must be considered as a loss to the company.
Finally, you need to have a great sorting process in place for all returns. When items are in good shape and can still be sold, it pays to make sure you quickly and efficiently add them back into the inventory rotation. Implementing a good sorting process makes this easier. Allocate space for each department or category where you house your products. When something is returned, it can be placed in the proper location for re-shelving. This easy step can totally revolutionize your returns.
Now that you know what you need to do, you can develop a plan and gather the tools that will allow you to do it. Experts strongly recommend the use of handheld scanners. These tools can allow you to track the exact item that has been returned through the use of SKU numbers and other identifying sequences so that you can track your returns via a software program designed for that purpose. The handheld scanners should link directly to your computer system so that when a returned item is scanned, you can immediately see that by accessing your software. This in turn should be hooked to your accounting system so you can track the financials and get a clear picture of the impact that the returns are having on your bottom line.
Getting this system in place will never be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important things you can do for your business. A step by step approach is your best bet. Do your homework and figure out how you can integrate the system so that your staff understands what needs to be done and everyone is on the same page. Expect to hold several training sessions to educate your workers about how to use the scanners and how to be sure the entire system works for all those involved.
Once this process has been completed, you should start seeing a difference almost immediately. By combining the right tools and having a fully trained staff in your warehouse, you can totally revolutionize your returns and make sure you are netting the best profit possible when it comes to your business. All of the time and effort will pay off, and you should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor in no time at all.