It’s too tempting to want to do everything yourself when you own a growing business. After all, that’s what got you to where you are now. In most business owner’s journeys, they reach a point where they simply can’t do it all anymore and have to reach out for some help. This might be from an assistant, receptionist or other full-time support staff. But it can also simply be calling in a business services company that supports you by providing a specialized skill set like handling your returns.

Leaving the Returns to the Pros

Your customer-facing logistics are still running like a well-oiled machine, but every time a return comes in (which is happening more and more), your supply chain grinds to a halt to handle it. The problem is that unlike forward-facing logistics, where you’re working with fairly uniform things in a volume that you can better control, reverse logistics puts all sorts of things in front of you, packed in ways you might not expect and often in conditions that you weren’t counting on. In short, forward-facing logistics is the cure-all to reverse logistics’ screaming chaos. And chaos isn’t a thing you have time for.

This is just one reason to outsource to a returns management specialist, here are a few more:

    • Specialists are faster and better at grading returns and sorting them quickly. It’s not that you can’t do the job, it’s just that they can do it a lot faster because they’re using dedicated equipment in a facility that does nothing but returns all day long.
    • They have systems in place that make decisions based on fixed variables. There’s not such a thing as a hard and fast rule about which items are graded how; in a big facility, it’s determined by a combination of client input and a platform designed to use available information to more accurately grade returned goods. When your team is making value judgments instead of looking at data because you can’t justify the expense of these same platforms, you’re going to find a lot less consistency in how returns are graded and sorted.
    • Returns specialists know the right people to move your products where they’ll sell best. Depending on the nature of your returns, there are any number of people who are thinking about buying that very thing right now.
      Reverse logistics companies have relationships with refurbishers, liquidators, recyclers and others who can get your product out of the way and recapture some of the value that it originally held.

Recovering the most money and reducing the environmental impact of your returns are the end goals. If you can hire an outside company that’s capable of pulling enough value out of your unwanted items to pay its own monthly fee, then the whole eCommerce world can be your oyster.