Is your reverse logistics policy as clear and effective as it could be? Do your employees understand exactly what to do with products when they show up damaged or in the entirely wrong packaging?

It’s vital to have a clear, effective reverse logistics policy in place if you’re going to handle your own returns management. That way, every return is handled the same and customers are always entirely delighted.

Things to Consider in a Reverse Logistics Policy

When you’re writing your reverse logistics policy for your returns management team, it’s important to have a big picture mindset. Consider different scenarios that are likely to occur. For example, what should be done in the case of a fraudulent return?

Although you can’t possibly predict all possible potentials, it’s important to ask yourself questions like:

  • Can you resell? It might seem like a simple question, but you’d be surprised at the number of retailers who don’t bother to ask this question. Instead, their returns simply pile up in a back room somewhere, waiting for someone to pay them a little bit of attention. If your returns management team can get right to newly received returns, those in pristine condition can often be resold as new with no problem.
  • Will you refurbish? Refurbishing returns can cost a little bit up front, but it allows you to return that product to the market and get some amount of return out of it, depending on the amount of damage and repair involved. For high-end products with a lot of markup, it only makes sense to refurbish if there’s a market for such items, otherwise you’re walking away from a potential revenue stream that could become significant over time.
  • What’s recyclable? Refurbishing doesn’t always make sense, but recycling is another option, especially if you’re dealing in electronics. Precious metals inside can be reused in the design of new circuitry, which can give recycled materials a fair amount of value, even if the items are DOA. Recycling not only gives your company a green feather in its cap, it can help offset the cost of reverse logistics.
  • How will you handle recalls? Recalls are another important consideration for your reverse logistics policy. If you’re responsible for issuing recall notices or are in the position of having to manage those recalls, your returns management team is best equipped to handle them. Following recall notices and being proactive can help you stay ahead of problems, but you’ll have to decide how to handle these internally, within federal guidelines.

Having a clear, effective reverse logistics policy can simplify operations for your staff and ensure that your products are turned into the most efficient income streams possible. Reverse logistics shouldn’t be a black hole where you throw money and watch it disappear!