Packaging for Fulfilment: Building a futureproof outbound and inbound process

Over the past decade, more and more people are conscious about how they live and what they consume. Not only are they fanatical about the products in terms of where they come from and how they’re made, but it’s also the product packaging that matters and whilst many are using recyclable materials – excess packaging remains a problem amongst many Fulfilment companies.

The constant battle between finding the perfect size box for each order and having a large product inventory of all shapes and sizes continues to be a struggle for packaging warehouses across nearly every industry. With many brands facing the challenge of losing their customers due to excess waste and overuse of void fillers, it’s a problem that needs to be tackled sooner rather than later…

According to Ipsos MORI, “63% of global consumers say they would be willing to change where they shop if it meant they would use less packaging”. This is a huge percentage and has led to quite the battlefield amongst businesses feeling the pressure to waste less. Consumers no longer just accept excess packaging as a norm, they want to see companies encouraging their values and pushing for sustainable and eco-friendly options.

In the digital world we live in, it’s too easy for a brand reputation to be damaged. Within just 5 seconds, consumers can reach out to Twitter where according to Brand Watch, 80% of users have previously mentioned a brand in a tweet and during the last two years, there has been a significant increase in customer service conversations. To futureproof your business, now is the time to put a strategy in place to avoid these issues and determine how you can resolve it or even prevent it.

At Ribble packaging, we offer right-size packaging for all our customers. By having the ability to make custom-size boxes for each order on demand, Fulfilment centres never have to use wasted void fillers in their packaging again. By eliminating void fillers and using the right size packaging, fulfilment companies can gain back around 25% of free space on transportation vehicles, meaning more products can be packed on each delivery resulting on possible transportation savings. Their customers can also repack returns in the perfect size packaging so that it can easily be returned – saving time, money and resources. Warehouses won’t require such a large packaging inventory to fit all shapes and sizes as the solutions we offer will do everything for you; freeing up space that can be filled with more stock; thus, enabling a more cost-effective system.

Don’t just take out word for it…

Fulfilment companies including XPO and Clipper are already reaping the benefits of using Ribble right-size packaging…

“It’s just over 5 years ago that we took the decision to purchase our Panotec machine here at Studio in Failsworth and a second one followed not long after being fitted at one of our other sites! What a difference this has made to how we do some things here at Studio, the machine paid for itself in just 6 months. The machine is efficient, very robust and produces good quality packaging. I would recommend to any business looking to save money but keeping quality to purchase one of these.”

Mel Bradley, Reverse Logistics Manager, Studio Retail Ltd

At Ribble, we value the environment and strive to have a 100% sustainable packaging process that removes any use of void fillers and saves you money! To find out how you can futureproof your packaging Fulfilment Services, get in touch and we can arrange a free 15-minute virtual demo. Visit https://ribble-pack.co.uk/campaigns/go-green-in-15 for more information.

Boxes Are Affecting Your Transportation Cost in Logistics

When it comes to logistics, online companies generally spend more on the transport of goods than anything else; some industry experts estimate transportation costs in logistics can run as high as 50%.

This is especially true of ecommerce sites whose business model relies on being able to get their products to their customers as quickly as possible and who don’t have the benefit of bricks and mortar stores where people can ‘click and collect’ their purchases.

How packaging can reduce transportation costs in logistics

Packaging is incredibly important when it comes to shipping goods.  It needs to be strong, sturdy and able to protect what’s inside, making sure it reaches its destination in the same condition as it left your warehouse (and keeping your customer happy).  

Typically, this has meant online stores using standard-sized boxes and protecting the contents with additional packaging material such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts.  While this may go a long way to reducing the risk of goods being damaged in transit, it also goes a long way to increasing your transportation costs in logistics because you are basically paying to ship air.  

Every cubic inch of your packaging that doesn’t contain your product and contains packaging materials instead – or nothing at all – is costing you money.  You can save this money by reducing the size of the boxes you use for your packaging.

If you ship large quantities of goods and have your own delivery trucks, reducing the size of your packaging means you can get more boxes into each vehicle.  The more boxes you can get into a truck, the fewer journeys you need to make, and the less you end up spending on fuel.

If you use a courier service or Royal Mail to ship your goods, you will generally be charged by either size or weight.  Reducing the size of the packaging will, therefore, automatically save you money.

As reducing the size of your packaging also means a reduction in additional packaging material you’ll also save money if you are charged by weight; your packages will weigh less because they are not only smaller but contain less unnecessary packaging material.

How to protect your goods when you reduce your packaging

Many companies don’t use less packaging, even though they know if they can reduce their transportation costs in logistics because they are afraid their goods will end up getting damaged in transit. It isn’t necessarily the case, however, that this will happen.  In fact, if you use the right type of packaging, you could end up with a higher level of protection that you had when using traditional boxes.

A lot of traditional packaging boxes, for example, are what is known as a single wall, which isn’t that strong in reality.  Others use corrugated cardboard which is stronger but can still buckle or tear in transit if not handled correctly, which is why additional packaging materials are used.   For packaging to help reduce your transportation costs in logistics, you need to look at it in a different way.

Think, instead, of using bespoke packaging.  Look for companies who are able to make boxes that fit the items you are selling, including those that offer box on demand systems. These not only produce boxes that perfectly fit the goods you want to ship but do so only when you need them. This means you aren’t paying for packaging you don’t need or having to worry about where you need to store it.    

Other ways packaging can save you money

As well as saving you money on transportation costs in logistics, getting the size of your packaging right can also save you money when it comes to warehousing.  The less packaging you use, the more goods you can store in less space; as most warehouse costs are calculated in square footage, the less you use, the less it will cost.   

There are staffing efficiencies too – smaller boxes are easier to handle and often quicker to move by your warehouse teams.

Using systems such as box on demand can also save you money because they automate the process of producing boxes as and when needed.  Firstly, you don’t need to find space in your warehouse to store them, which will save you money as we’ve already seen.

In addition, you save time – and more money – because a machine puts them together rather than a person who can probably be better utilised somewhere else in your business.

What Is Inbound Logistics In Retail?

Inbound logistics is an integral step in a supply chain as it is an essential value-adding element. In retail, inbound logistics refers to receiving your inventory or raw materials that your manufacture to create a new product. Being at the beginning of your supply chain and one of the first steps in your business process, inbound logistics are a critical step. To avoid problems further along in the supply chain, having a robust inbound logistics process is vital.

Why is inbound logistics so important in retail?

While inbound logistics have always played a prominent role in retail, the importance has grown dramatically in the last decade. With a demand for real-time data and instant delivery for both inbound and outbound logistics, having a well-coordinated inbound logistics strategy is essential.

For retail businesses, it is essential for their inbound logistics program to have visibility, with aspects such as real-time dashboards and shorter delivery times. Data analysis and trend monitoring are also necessary so that it can assist processes further down the supply chain such as during outbound logistics and reverse logistics.

For businesses looking to speed-up the supply chain and increase customer satisfaction, inbound logistics is an important aspect of reviewing and making for a leaner operation. It is critical to evaluate the task used for inbound logistics and eradicate as many of the processes that don’t add value.

What is the difference between inbound and outbound logistics?

In simple terms, inbound logistics is between suppliers and the business and outbound logistics. Inbound logistics for retailers doesn’t just have to cover raw materials to make products; it could be stock as well as tools, equipment and business essentials. Anything that you add to your inventory from a supplier can be considered inbound logistics.

Outbound logistics are the processes in place to get your retail goods to your customers; this may be via post, delivery lorries or freight to other businesses who use your business as a supplier. Whether business to business or business to consumer, outbound logistics is another important aspect of the supply chain that can be hampered by delays in the inbound logistics process.

Inbound and reverse logistics

Another aspect of logistics is reverse logistics, whereby customers return items back to your business through damage, fault, end of life or repairs. With e-commerce and a change in customer, attitudes mean that returns are becoming more and more popular.

Reverse logistics can be a way to find value through returns. For example, Ribble Restore will inspect and repackage returned goods and add the product label so that retailers can resell the returned items. What’s more, this process also helps to speed up the returns process meaning you can get the product back on the shelf ready for a customer purchase.

In many ways reverse logistics need to be treated in the same way as inbound logistics as the process for receiving items is similar. With a beneficial returns process where you create value from a return, the way you can efficiently turn the item around from goods receiving into goods departing is a sign of a robust and managed inbound logistics process.

Inbound logistic considerations for retailers

Without a reliable inbound logistics process, it can be disastrous for businesses. A slow and unpredictable supply of goods can cause problems with customer dissatisfaction and lose revenue. Other considerations that retailers must consider for their inbound logistics processes include;

Automation

Just like your customers, your business should be looking for speedier and more efficient ways to receive goods from suppliers. Automation services that can not only increase capacity and loading but also track packages can be vital in giving your customers an appropriate lead time for their goods.

Technologies that automate tasks such as the labour involved will also need a review to help get your goods moving quickly and cost-effectively.

Processing

Once goods are received from inbound logistic process how quickly are they added to your inventory and put away ready for sale? Processing can be an aspect which can be improved through a better inbound logistics process. By knowing what you’re going to receive and when, your warehouse and team can be prepared, reducing congestion and ensuring that your inventory is meticulously up to date.

Reverse logistics

Receiving returns as well as new stock can cause challenges for processing and storage. With correct identification labels, staff can receive, process and add items back into the inventory quickly. Another benefit of a more efficient returns process is the speed the customer sees, allowing them to be credited quicker and improving their perception of your business.

If you want to improve your reverse logistics process as part of your inbound logistics strategy, then get in touch with the team at Ribble.

What Is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management is a vast area that covers all of the processes and activities involved in the supply chain. It has only been in recent years that the term supply chain management (SCM) has been thrown into the limelight and people are beginning to take its importance seriously. Nowadays an efficient and effective supply chain is something that businesses need to continuously work and strive for.

Why is supply chain management so important?

Supply chain management has two core functions, it enables customers to receive value, and it also encourages an efficient practice that gives a business a sustainable and competitive advantage.

In order to do this, supply chain management needs to review, manage and oversee all of the supply chain activities, both internally and externally. To ensure an effective and efficient system, every single action must be covered from logistics, information and product sourcing.

In a busy market, where competition is rife, it has never been so important to ensure an efficient operation that meets business needs but also focuses on consumer trends and requirements.

Who is supply chain management for?

Wherever you look, the processes of supply chain management are happening around you. A trip to the shop offers a multitude of supply chain activities such as planning, forecasting, information relay and logistics to make sure the item you want is in stock.

Some businesses will focus their attention on singular supply activities in order to improve their system. However, every process is a cog in the supply chain system and to gain maximum value, and efficiency a complete supply chain management system should be implemented to ensure each process is efficient, timely and effective.

For any business, meeting customer requirements is critical and to do this; it is important that everything is done correctly in the supply chain. Supply chain management is vital for any business that wants to complete tasks successfully and make their customers happy.

What are the key supply chain management activities?

There are many processes and events involved in the supply chain system utilising both physical (e.g. logistics) and information (e.g. forecasting) flows. Some of the key areas on focus in the management system include;

  1. Preparation

To create a supply chain that works, a chain must be designed and planned with a view to executing without flaw. This activity involves research and analysis in order the predict trends, demand and risks to the system.

  1. Procurement

Before you can implement a supply chain, you must first need to ensure you have an effective buying strategy that enables you to have access to all you need during the production and delivery of your business.

  1. Creation

To create, manufacture, and produce what you want to sell, you need to understand how the supply chain will affect these tasks. This could be ensuring that materials are in place to reducing the time between processes so every activity can be completed without issue or lost time.

  1. Logistics

Once your product or service is finished, how do you get it to your customers? Even if this isn’t a physical logistics process, it will still need to be analysed to ensure that goods flow easily, safely and at the best price to provide value for you and the customer. This may mean third-party management.

  1. Reverse logistics

A point that is often forgotten is how you ensure an effective delivery of goods being returned to you for processes such as recycling, reselling, repairing and disposing. As customer returns increase, a reverse logistic process needs as much attention as your delivery of goods to your client.

  1. Customer satisfaction

If your supply chain leads to dissatisfied customers, then there is a broken process that needs to be addressed. Customer satisfaction is integral to a successful supply chain and successful business as a whole. Orders need to be fulfilled seamlessly and flawlessly to keep customers returning and to keep your business running smoothly.

Benefits of supply chain management

In a world where supply chains are growing increasingly complex, management is key. Depending on the size of your business this may be a role of one person or for a team of workers that focus on specialist activities within the system. When you manage the supply chain, you’ll see benefits such as;

  • More information for critical business decisions
  • Quicker and smoother flow
  • Improved cash flow and finance management
  • Better ways to meet customer demands
  • More flexibility for your business
  • Achieve business objectives
  • Better relationship with suppliers and clients.
Improve your supply chain management with reverse logistics

An overlooked supply chain activity is reverse logistics, however, by tapping into this area, you can see benefits such as lower costs, improved customer satisfaction, repeat business and recovered costs. Ribble Restore can help to manage your reverse logistics process by inspecting, repackaging and reselling goods to keep a healthy bottom line for your business.

Top Six Reasons For Reverse Logistics In Retail

Reverse logistics in its simplest form is running processes and products in reverse order to gain as much value as possible.

Reverse logistics could involve returns, repairs, refurbishment and the dismantling of goods to obtain materials and therefore value. The process goes a long way in reducing the amount of waste a company produces and the subsequent effects on the environment.

There is also evidence that shows business response times are a lot faster due to the implementation of reverse logistics, therefore creating a better experience and allowing for better customer service.

So, there are certainly benefits to implementing reverse logistics, but it will all come down to the pros and cons and the type of business that is being operated.

What are the reasons for reverse logistics in online retail?

 

  • The rate of returns

 

Returns are widespread within the retail industry. The percentage of returns through in-store retail is nowhere close in comparison with the online retail sector. This is by and large to do with the fact that when people make purchases online, they can only usually see what they are buying and not test it or try it. Therefore returns are not only common; they are to be expected as standard.

Online retail is booming with shopping habits a lot different to 20 years ago. So the bigger the online shopping world becomes, the more returns will occur.  This means that the returns system is crucial to an operation. Having a smooth reverse logistics process is not just a benefit, it is a requirement.

 

  • Saving money

 

By operating with a returns logistics system, it will save a company a lot of money. So, for example, when a customer buys a product and it is returned. Instead of the product being thrown away or wasted, it is put back through the process and through to resale. It could, for example, involve some refurbishment work, but instead of the product being binned, it will be sold. So that means you could gain some or all the original value back.

Also, if a product is thrown away, it will need another to replace it which costs money too. For your online business, stock levels are important, so keep them topped up by maximising your use of returned goods.

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  • Environmentally friendly

 

One of the biggest reasons for reverse logistics is the environment. By reducing the amount of waste that is produced by a company, you are effectively helping the environment. People around the world are working together to help the environment and customers respect businesses who follow suit.

By utilising reverse logistics, because the products are not going to waste and are being put back out for sale, the amount of waste produced will decrease dramatically. Therefore, it will have a positive effect on the environment and people will appreciate that an effort is being made to do so too.

 

  • Stock availability

 

There’s nothing worse for an online retailer than running out of stock. This could be due to selling out and then having to wait for the supplier to come good with more stock or the manufacturer to produce more. Because reverse logistics is a continuously running cycle, you’ll always get stock coming back through for resale. You always get returns too.

So, when a product is returned, if it goes back on sale, it keeps the steady flow of stock going. Therefore it will prevent online retailers having to declare items sold out as often.

 

  • Feedback

 

When products are returned, the retailer is going to find out why. It could be due to a one-off fault, or the customer may just not have liked the item. If the returns that are coming through are due to some sort of manufacturing issue, for example, and there’s enough of them to show a common problem, then reverse logistics can come into play.

First of all, the manufacturer or supplier can make adjustments going forward. Also, the returned items could be dismantled or refurbished to resolve the issue. This means they will end up back on sale and value can be reclaimed. Trends are everything, and by spotting the negative ones, it allows solutions to be put in place.

 

  • Customer service

 

In any business, the most important things are the customer and their happiness . Shoppers these days are budget focused and those who shop online, even more so. Making returns in the past for a lot of people was a cause for embarrassment, but in the modern day, people are more inclined to send items back if they’re not totally happy with them.

An efficient reverse logistics system allows returns to run more smoothly. This is something that will encourage the customer to make repeat business. They’ll also praise the company and recommend your service to other people, potentially new customers, so again it helps enhance the company reputation as well as revenue.

Make sure your returns run smoothly

Now you know the main reasons for reverse logistics, if you’re looking to set up or improve your reverse logistics process for your online business, then Ribble Restore is here to help. With Ribble Restore, they will inspect the goods and repackage sellable products in brand-new pristine packaging, ready for you to resell and enjoy maximum value and profit.

What is Reverse Logistics Management?

In today’s world, the logistical support goes beyond the typical forward logistics and includes product recall, product disposal, and product recycling too. All the remanufacturing and refurbishing activities can be incorporated in the definition of reverse logistics.

Reverse logistics management covers the procedures which are associated with the return, maintenance, repair, dismantling and even recycling of products and their materials. It includes the reversal of the running products through the supply chain so that maximum value can be attained.

In 1992, James R. Stock for the very first time used the term reverse logistics in a white paper titled with the same name. It was in 1998 when the concept was further explained and refined by him in the book “Development and Implementation of Reverse Logistics Programs”.

Since then, reverse logistics management has not only been considered an attractive process for businesses to follow but a necessity. Especially as sectors such as online retail grows and the fact that customers are now budget-conscious and will return products they aren’t happy with.

Usually, logistics deals with the events which bring the product to the customers whereas, in reverse logistics, the resource or the product need to go back at least one step to reach the client. It is important to note that even if the product has to go back only one step, there can be many processes involved to make that happen.

Processes of Reverse Logistics Management

There are numerous aftermarket processes through which a product goes in reverse logistics. These include:

Remanufacturing

The product is rebuilt by using parts which are either repaired, reused, or can be new too. This is done to provide an enhanced life to the product.

Refurbishment

The resale of a product which has been repaired and is now in a condition as good as new comes under refurbishment.

Servicing

This is a comprehensive category and includes field service, customer service, and issuance of return merchandise authorisation for product returns in it.

Return Management

When the products are returned because of any issue or defect, they are taken care of through this process.

Recycling and Waste Management

When a product reaches its life or becomes defected due to any reason then instead of just disposing of it, the materials can be utilised for the development of another product.

Warranty Warehouse

When the products in warranty are returned due to any minor or major defect, the warranty is managed through reverse logistics. The flaw is fixed, and the product is returned to the customer, or in some severe cases, replaced with a new product.

Warehouse Management

The management of the warehouse where all the remanufacturing and repairing takes place is also carried out under reverse logistics management. As seamless reverse logistics management process will also create a well-organised and ordered warehouse, which works seamlessly to offer goods out, goods in and goods under review, repair, re-testing and repackaging.

Importance of Reverse Logistics

The most important question here is why is it important for retailers to deal with reverse logistics? This is because this helps them in improving their customer service and provide better response times to them. The manufacturers are able to reduce their environmental impact and bring a positive change to the overall corporate environment.

In a system where logistics is used, it is vital that reverse logistics is incorporated into the planning and process creation, as without reverse logistics, you can’t have an effective, operational logistics program.

Here are the benefits which organisations can reap through reverse logistics management:

Profitable and Efficient Business

Through better planning, effective management, and skilled execution, the process of reverse logistics tends to become profitable for the businesses. Because of generous return policies, the retailers might order a greater stock, and in the same way, customers will be buying more products too. This is because retailers know that the company will help them if there is something wrong with the product or if they are not comfortable using it.

Good Image for the Customers

If a company is ready to offer return and exchange policy, then this means that they care about their clients and are willing to take responsibility for any kind of fault. This shows that their ultimate goal is the satisfaction of the customers instead of making huge profits. A caring reverse logistics strategy can make the customers choose a particular company out of the entire lot and in turn, this benefits the retailers too with higher sales.

Proper Disposal of Products

Through reverse logistics, the companies follow proper disposal of goods which keeps them in line with the environmental compliances. This not only helps them in reducing their footprint on the planet but creates their philanthropist image in front of the customers too. Moreover, the materials and products can be reutilized which are in a perfectly fine and resellable condition.

Strategies for Success

As customers are becoming extremely sophisticated in their purchasing decisions with the environmental laws taking a forefront too, the companies are looking to redefine their return and exchange policies. The goal is to increase value amongst the customers and to build strong loyalty.

Some of the most effective strategies for reverse logistics which are being used by leading multinationals including Hewlett-Packard, Eastman Kodak are:

  • Reducing the amount of waste in the environment which also leads to lower operating costs and compliance with the laws.
  • Recovering the costs which are associated with collecting raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, and waste disposal.
  • Realising the importance of user-friendliness for any product and investing in the user manuals to make them easily comprehensible.
  • Retailers, vendors, and logistics companies working together to control the number of returned products.
  • Conducting spot audits helps in reducing discrepancies and thus, controls the number of claims made.

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Challenges of Reverse Logistics Management

Reverse logistics comes with its own share of problems which can be overcome when the entire team of vendors, retailers, and logistics companies come together to face them.

Difference in Pricing

Depending on the type of product, the prices might fluctuate speedily so it is imperative that the merchandise which is put into the return mode must be handled expeditiously. The returns should be processed rapidly by the retailers and the vendors before it becomes too expensive for them.

Performing All the Retailing Tasks Again

The entire responsibility of shortening the time relies on many processes and often many providers in the steps between return origination up until the reselling of the product.  They are involved in collecting, scanning, invoicing, and dispositioning of the products and need to make sure that the return is done within the given time while ensuring the ultimate satisfaction of the customers.

With this in mind, it is vital that the entire reverse logistics management is well thought out and implemented. With so much at stake, from customer satisfaction to the bottom line your reverse logistics management needs to be robust and comprehensive managing all risks and possible scenarios.

In many cases, leaving your entire reverse logistics management to one provider often allows businesses to have a more manageable trail, ensuring that there will not be a breakdown in the chain of processes. It can also help to make sure that the act of completing the same transactions again from the start can be met with ease rather than complications.  

Stay Competitive

There is immense competition in the retail industry and to stay ahead in it, the retailers rely on their return policies as a competitive weapon. In the modern times, these retailers have become more powerful than the manufacturers, and if any manufacturer doesn’t offer a return policy, the chances are high that the retailer will not take their product.

It is the same for consumers who have the power and command over the retailer, without a returns policy, customers will choose your competitor who offers a better service.

All in all, staying competitive means making reverse logistics management as important as forwarding logistics management.

The Importance of Returns Management

Returns management, often referred to as reverse logistics is the management of returned items to your company. But do you know the importance of returns management?

We talk through some of the benefits.

How you manage returns will influence the overall management of your warehousing and storage, inventory, depreciating goods and soiled items. Therefore, the bottom line will be the impact on overall profitability.

Managing returns is never quite as simple as putting items back on a shelf to be shipped off to another customer. Returns involve a quality control process. The reason for returning an item should be established as soon as possible once it has been returned, if not beforehand. Streamlining a process by which returns are then managed will prevent hindrance to outgoing logistics too.

Processing can become expensive if it isn’t efficient.

Absorbing the cost

When products are handled by a large third party company such as Amazon, once the condition of the return has been established it can either be repackaged ready for resale, sent for refurbishment or, alternatively, for recycling. Even when products can no longer be sold, it is still possible to mitigate costs against refurbishment or recycling, and this can neutralise the expense of the process involved.

It is also important to remember that once an item has been returned, it will either be refunded or replaced without an additional sale. Managing the reverse logistics efficiently will prevent these cases from becoming a severe loss to the company from within the overall logistics management process.

The cost of returned products will have an impact on pricing. If many of the same products are being returned then to keep the product profitable its price will inevitably go up.

This domino effect can be reduced by an effective system that reduces the cost of returning the product, while also providing insight into the reasons behind the return. There are instances too, where the cost of the return is not worth the value of the product even at scrap value. In these cases, it may be a better solution to simply credit or refund the customer and ask the customer to dispose of the item locally.

Customer relationships

The efficiency and adequate management of returns have a substantial influence on customer relationship management. This will in turn influence long term returning customers, additional sales and future business development. When the returns management is prioritised, it leads to greater profitability within the company. It leads to increased customer satisfaction too and therefore reduces waste.

Every return is an indicator of failure that has taken place with the client relationship.

Items may be returned for many different reasons. It could be that the product wasn’t exactly what the customer wanted, it arrived damaged, or that there was an issue with timeous delivery. When the returns process adds to that experience in a negative way, not only will the customer be reluctant to do business with you again, but they’ll discourage others from doing so too.

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Recycling

Effective product returns management can have a positive environmental impact too.

There are many ways that non-sellable returned items can be recycled or reused. Some that are refurbished create a greater balance in the profitability offset, helping the organisation to reduce any real costs to the process.

Everyone is involved in returns management

Everyone participates in the returns process, not just the staff at inbound receiving. Sales staff need to recognise why items are returned and can be proactive in reducing the number of returned goods. Sometimes the item won’t meet the needs of the customer or the client needs to be better educated in how to use the item.

Quite often goods are returned, and no fault can be found with the item. When this happens frequently, it can indicate that the customer doesn’t know how to use the product correctly and the item or its packaging may require some re-engineering. When marketing staff are invested in the returns process, they will have an interest in keeping the sales profitable. This will, in turn, enhance reduction in returns.

Staff in finance will have to apply a credit or a refund, and this requires a seamless system from the moment the return is despatched back to the warehouse or supplier. The supply chain is as it implies reversed and this needs to be as robust as the outgoing logistics system.

Returning products to the sales inventory

When products have been inspected and found to be in a saleable condition, they can be quickly repackaged and replaced in a merchandising position that enables the supplier to resell it and thus reduce the handling time and consequently the cost. An inspection and repackaging solution offered by returns management companies can also help to lower the cost in returns of no fault items. This reduces the reverse logistics cost to the company even further.


Get your products back to market sooner with returns management

If you want to streamline your returns process so that you regain the profits from your returns, then speak to Ribble about their Ribble Restore process.

With Ribble Restore you can recover the costs, repack your items and resell almost immediately.

Three Lesser Known Benefits Of Reverse Logistics In Retail

Regardless of the service, returns for any business are a pain and an inconvenience. Unfortunately, in every retail sector returning goods is inevitable; whether it is an unwanted gift, broken product or a garment that doesn’t fit.

It is estimated that returns cost UK retailers £60bn a year, £20bn of which is generated by items bought over the internet. This number continues to rise as online sales increase, making returns inevitable. Customers can’t always accurately judge the product from a picture on a screen, they may confuse the size and shape of the product, or perhaps to colour isn’t quite what they’d envisaged. Retailers need not dismay with the increase of returns, with every problem comes an opportunity.

With reverse logistics, returns no longer have to be a bane of the industry. Actively managing this process will help to reap resales, increase product life cycle and generally improve the bottom line. What many retailers don’t know is that there are many more advantages to a slick reverse logistics set up. Here are the three lesser known benefits that retailers can make use from which can improve not only the business strategy but increase the value to improve the bottom line and showcase your business as a creative and innovative brand that maximises profits, increases sales and retains customers.

Three Lesser Known Benefits Of Reverse Logistics

1. Customer Feedback And Insight

With every product returned, you get the chance to find out why and draw conclusions from every single return.

If a particular product is continually being returned due to a specific fault, you have the opportunity to use the knowledge to improve future versions of the product or to break ties with a particular manufacturer. By managing the customer information from reverse logistics, you will quickly identify trends with products and use this insight to come up with a more durable solution, which won’t result in returns.

Alternatively, a selection of goods may be returned due to poor sizing, especially in the fashion sector. With these returns, retailers may be able to analyse a trend and may be able to adjust their sizing recommendations on their websites. Even if you cannot change the labels, offering a well-tuned sizing guide on your site may reduce the number of returns you receive.

2. Repeat Business

Returns are becoming the norm in the commercial market. In the past, consumers may have felt ashamed or embarrassed about returning an item this attitude has changed. Shoppers are more budget-conscious are returns are vital if they are not happy.

Having a smooth and seamless reverse logistics setup does not only make the job of your employees easier, but it also gives a great customer impression. Businesses who make returns easy are far more likely to receive high praise from customers and win repeat business.

In a world where consumer ease is priority, a seamless and easy reverse logistics programme that best serves the needs of clients is essential in ensuring business and maintaining excellent client relations.

3. Happy Workforce

Returns, when not actioned, take up valuable space in the warehouse. Without a final goal or destination for returned products they become mismanaged clutter, that takes up valuable space and time. Warehouses need to be swift and ever-moving a zone of stationary clutter will have a detrimental effect on warehouse workers. It is an eyesore, and it detracts from the excellent job they do managing stock and ensuring a smooth, swift process.

Make your workforce happier by actively managing the returns; it will give them an extra zone of control and a place where they feel their work is showcased to the best of their ability. By actively managing returns you free up valuable space to receive new stock and to keep the warehouse orderly and manageable. With reverse logistics, there is no longer a dark and dusty corner that feels neglected.

Let Us Help

At Ribble, we know there are so many benefits of a reverse logistics programme. We want your company to profit from returns and see the positives rather than feel a burden. Our Ribble Restore service allows you to maximise your profits through returned good by restoring products into new, pristine packaging that means you can then re-sell products at their full value.

Our exceptional service ensures a seamless and fluid transaction of returned items to shelf-ready appearance so you can recapture the costs quickly and efficiently. We know that the time a product spends off the shelf is wasted money, which is why our fantastic service keeps your products relevant and high quality. We make sure your products are ready for the next customer so you can focus on increased and immediate profits to the bottom line.

Realise the Importance of Reverse Logistics and Save Money

Realise the Importance of Reverse Logistics and Save Money

Reverse logistics or reverse supply chain management is nothing new, in fact, it has always been considered a necessary evil for product returns and recalls. Reverse logistics has been synonymous with extra costs and liability, as a process that brings expense rather than profit. However, in recent years there has been a shift in mentality regarding the importance of reverse logistics and reversing supply chains, and businesses are now discovering that ordinary wasteful occurrences are now an opportunity for profit.

Reverse logistics covers a multitude of processes in the aftermarket sector, from refurbishment, replacement, remanufacturing and scrapping. It is a key system needed to manage the end of life process for your business, allowing you to clear the supply chain path by removing existing products to make way for new season/new era products.

Why The Importance Of Reverse Logistics Is Undervalued

Reverse logistics is commonly known as the ‘Green Strategy’ as it lessens the environmental impact through reducing waste and recycling. There is a substantial profit to be made from reusing parts, but as the costs are not visible and clearly defined, organisations will ignore them.

Without a clear-cut solution, it is very easy for organisations to avoid reverse logistics problems and indeed, the reverse supply chain can be difficult to manage. Forecasting and estimating are essential for any business investment, but while it’s possible to record and plan for returns, it is impossible to reach exact numbers.

To counteract the unforeseeable returns, there is an opportunity for businesses to focus on the end of life strategies for their products, which therefore justifies the expense of faulty and unexpected returns. With an end of life plan in place, it is possible for businesses to predict the total volume of sales and therefore measure the savings and return on investment for reverse logistic programs.

How Reverse Logistics Can Save You Money

Asset Recovery and Avoiding Fines

By having a reverse logistics process for product returns, you can recapture the value of the product or ensure correct disposal, both of which will affect your bottom line. Running products through the supply chain in reverse will ensure maximum value from your product, whether it is through resale, repairs, or using the parts in another product. It is an excellent asset recovery system, and if the product has no value left, then at least, you can ensure a disposal that will avoid hefty fines from the authorities for incorrect disposal.

Second Return on Investment

The more value that you can extract from returned goods, the better. Instead of wasting time, costs and resources on raw materials, you can focus on a greener and cheaper solution. Through reusing or, at least, extending the life of a product through repair gives you a second return from one sale. For example, in the furniture market, customers will look for re-upholstery and repairs to extend the life of the investment, if not, second-hand and refurbished sales will give profits a boost.

Customer Satisfaction and Incentivisation

While not strictly saving money, improving customer satisfaction will improve your profits through business growth and increased sales. By having a liberal and easy returns policy, you will boost the trust and satisfaction of your customers. By taking faulty products seriously and offering repairs and replacements, you will see a significant increase in customer satisfaction through your proactivity and care.

Your returns policy will help to secure a strong customer base through trust and your commitment to ensuring good quality. With a returns policy that showcases how ‘green’ your business is, you incentivise customers to buy your products, giving increased consumer confidence and a base of new customers.

Three Ways To Profit After Realising The Importance of Reverse Logistics

1. Offer a trade-in program for new season products.
2. Increase your warranty and protection sales.
3. Mark down and sell damaged goods cheaper through other website but maintain a full charge for delivery.

How To Avoid Losses Through Reverse Logistics

To make sure your product retains the maximum value possible, you need to ensure that the returns system is robust and seamless. Careful handling and transportation are essential to keep the maximum value of your products and reduce the risk of damage or further damage. If your product is in unharmed with pristine new packaging, you can make sure your product can return to the shelf quickly.

Ribble Restore is an innovative packaging system that enables safe delivery and protection of your returned goods which enables your business to manage an even quicker turnaround so that you regain the maximum value possible from returned items.

It is predicted that returns cost retailers £20 billion every single year, to ensure your business capitalises on reverse logistics, saves money and even profits from them, bespoke, protective packaging and timely returns are essential.

How to reduce the cost of returned items

Is your business struggling with the cost of returned items? Many UK businesses are losing money through customers returning items, because of delivery, postage and being unable to resell the product at its full value.

If you’d like to reduce the cost of returned items in 2017, then Ribble Packaging can help! Our Ribble Restore service is an innovative and unique packaging service that will reduce the cost of returned items to your business.

Ribble Restore

Following the Christmas period, retailers are likely to be inundated with returns due to people sending back unwanted gifts they’ve been given. As the number of people shopping online continues to increase, so does the total number of items that are returned.

Returned items often need repackaging or cannot be sold again at full price, meaning your business is losing money. Ribble Packaging have a ‘Restore’ service that can help to reduce the cost of returned items within your business.

The service restores returned products into retail packaging, so that you can sell the product at its full value and make the biggest profit possible on the product.

Ribble Restore operates under the motto of ‘recover’, ‘repack’ and ‘resell’. Ultimately, we aim to recover returned products, repack them back to commercial standards and then resell them at full value.

Ribble Packaging can work closely with your business to provide a Ribble Restore service that suits your particular needs. We provide a full inspection before re-packing into perfect-fit boxes. This provides a quick turnaround for businesses, allowing them to recapture value from returned items.

Contact us at Ribble Packaging

If you are interested in Ribble Restore, or any of our other cardboard packaging services, and would like to see how Ribble Packaging can save you money, please get in touch. Contact us online and a member of the Ribble Packaging team will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, call us directly on 0161 622 2302.

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