End-to-End: Reverse Logistics

In the final post of the End-to-End Series, we conclude with the topic of reverse logistics. In this series, we will take you step by step through the supply chain. You will learn how inventory management software can help improve performance across the supply chain.

The series will have five posts covering manufacturing, storage, distribution, transportation, retail and reverse logistics practices. Having an inventory system that integrates across your supply chain can greatly improve performance and boost efficiency.

Now that the product has moved through the supply chain to the end consumer, we will talk about the reverse logistics. Return Material Authorization (RMA) is the process used to ship broken or defective items back to their originating point. RMA is used during a product’s warranty period to track goods so they can be returned, repaired or exchanged. In order for your service to be competitive, you need to be able to manage your returned goods.

Customer Access

Many inventory systems allow you to share RMA tracking information with customers so they can see the status of their returns. They will know when it is approved, received at the destination, and shipped back if it is a repair. Sharing this information helps improve your customer service.

Information Tracking

When a return is made, info such as product location and the reason for return need to be tracked. Many inventory systems can help manage this information so you know what items have been returned, the reason for the return, and if it was shipped back to the customer.

Quality Assurance Tracking

Using RMA allows you to give your quality assurance department access to product and return information. They can monitor this information and alert the appropriate people when quality issues arise and products need to be quarantined, recalled, or repaired. Having an inventory system in place will improve organizational communication when it comes to reverse logistics management.

With inventory management and barcode scanning, you can more effectively manage your reverse supply chain. Give customers visibility into their returns, tack return information in real-time, and improve communication within your organization.

Now that this series has come to an end you can clearly see how intertwined the supply chain is. You can also see that through the use of an inventory management system and barcode scanning you can greatly improve the efficiency and performance of all stages or your supply chain.