Any business in the game of making money through selling a product will need a reverse logistics operation. This is the side of business that handles returns, fixing defective products, and minimizing costs while doing so. It’s harder than what it seems at first glance, but there will be help along the way.
If you do sell a product, always have a plan for reverse logistics. Even if you think you can get by with a simple mail and fix system, over time this will only count against you. Devise a plan on how you can simplify the process of returning products either to the manufacturer or to your own warehouse for fixing or scrapping. Often times, a manufacturer will reimburse fees associated with a defective product if guidelines are followed.
Shipping items back to the manufacturer for fixing or refunds doesn’t always mean you will be reimbursed for the shipping charges. This is a good example of why you should consolidate returns when you can, as it cuts down on shipping costs. Consolidating returns may also mean that you should have some extra refurbished products handy, so consumers won’t wait for the original item to ship back.
Even major businesses such as Apple and Microsoft work in the business of refurbished products. Refurbished products are simply products that are defective, but have been fixed and resold or returned to the consumer. Refurbished products can be a pain, since you must pay for the freight and labor necessary to fix the product before getting it back to the original consumer.
Analyzing your operation is a constant task. You should never stop asking yourself what you could be doing to improve the operations of your reverse logistics. Always be looking for new ways to save money when accepting returns, refurbishing items, and getting better deals from the manufacturer who supplies the products. Spare parts and such should be bought in bulk to save more money on fixing costs.
There are businesses that exist solely to aid you in your reverse logistics operations. These businesses, referenced as third party logistics companies, are able to easily judge your current operations and see how you can improve. This is because most 3PL companies have been in business long enough to see every type of business model, expand upon it, and save the business owner time and money. Their insight is invaluable for budding business.
Don’t forget that business is a long process, of which takes much analyzing and knowledge to master. Over the months and years you will eventually arrive at a better business model, or you can skip the waiting game and ask for help from a logistics company near you.