Did you know there’s a whole industry responsible for transporting goods from manufacturers, through the supply chain, to us customers? And vice versa…
Reverse logistics providers do the opposite. They’re the brains behind getting our tossed goods back through this network, from customers to the manufacturer. Strategies look to provide efficient, ‘green’ pathways to get rid of the old and make room for the new.
Reverse logistics providers don’t just return these goods. They implement the best ways to recycle them, and devise strategies to avoid burdening the planet with even more non-biodegradable junk.
The good news is we’re seeing less of the latter. In 2007 only 18% of disposed computers were recycled, whereas in 2013, this rose to 40%. Hopefully these percentages will continue to exponentially grow with the help of our reverse logistics providers.
An effective strategy carries with it many benefits. We’ve thrown together some of these…
- Benefits for the consumer
We send back a lot.
Did you know we return a sum of about $260 billion in goods each year? And it’s been estimated that we return about 30% of purchases made online.
These numbers alone show why we need reverse logistics providers.
These companies help keep these ordeals running as smoothly as possible. They save us the hassle of disposing of our unwanted items, and allow them to be redistributed, to serve a more fulfilling purpose than sitting in your garage collecting dust bunnies.
Reverse logistics providers keep track of a product’s life-cycle. So at any point that it seems the product is not what you signed up for, or it becomes an expired good, the most appropriate method of disposal can be at your fingertips.
- Benefits for traders
In the same token, reverse logistics providers allow traders to receive back faulty, expired or unsold items. This means they can disassemble them, learn what went wrong, upgrade, and re-sell goods. This can reduce overall expenditures, and can drive future sales.
Reverse logistics providers serve as a useful means for companies to do some market research. It’s becoming increasingly common to ask customers why they are returning a product. The responses on these easy surveys form a pool of data that can be analysed to see what’s working out there, and what isn’t.
Are the same items being returned? If multiple responses indicate a particular feature is difficult to use, patterns can be observed. This can inform a recall, and change to the product, boosting its popularity down the track.
By quickly collecting, refunding, and replacing items, this also helps to maintain the customer’s trust in your brand. Plus, companies can ensure their unused products don’t just become landfill and are properly recycled, which leads into…
- Benefits for the planet
Included in the job title for reverse logistics providers is to devise strategies that minimize harm to environment from our mass of unwanted products.
Supply chains continue researching new ways to become more environmentally friendly. They want to implement the necessary steps to dispose of each kind of materials in a gentle way, including those that may be toxic and hazardous, such as pharmaceutical substances.
The aim is to stay in line with state and federal regulations around sustainable disposal, keeping products ‘green’ throughout their whole life-cycle and beyond – in their reuse, recycle, and refurbishing.
Such ‘green’ practices include recovering materials like precious metals from within products, to be reused, and monitoring for the most efficient transportation movements to minimize carbon emissions in hope of reducing impact on air quality.