Following are the main types of reverse logistics:
The most common reverse-logistics process, returns management, deals with regular customer returns and should represent a seamless, hassle-free experience in order to boost customer loyalty and brand image.
This is the policy against which all customer returns are measured, and it should be followed consistently by both customers and employees alike. It's good practice to keep these policies visible and easily accessible to customers.
Reconditioning products that are returned prevents organizations and retailers from forfeiting profit (or losing money) on defective products while eliminating unnecessary waste.
Organizations with packaging management processes are able to reuse packaging in order to reduce waste and save the cost that would otherwise be spent on new packaging for returned items.
Directly focused on returning items from end users or fulfillment centers back to manufacturers, the process of returning unsold products is commonly the result of delivery refusal, poor sales or could involve other factors.
Some products need to be returned at the end of their useful life in order for manufacturers to manage their proper environmental disposal.
If products cannot be delivered, they are returned to fulfillment centers where they may be shipped back to the manufacturer, however, it's possible for efficient organizations to manage delivery failure by correcting the issue and resending.
Rented or leased products are returned at the end of a defined term and sent back to the manufacturer for either disposal, recycling or redeployment.
Such as in the case of many consumer electronics (laptops, for example), products may be returned to have repairs or warranty work performed.
Regardless of the type of organization you represent, optimizing your reverse logistics can provide beneficial outcomes for both you and the environment. The goal of successful reverse logistics is to keep products moving in circularity so that manufacturing, distribution, shipping and delivery, returns, repairs and disposal can all remain in sync as part of a constantly spinning model of efficiency. Not only does this lower costs for organizations and subsequently their customers and end users, but it also reduces the number of products that end up in our landfills. By developing and adopting a solid reverse-logistics plan, your organization can create additional value for your customers by showing them how you manage these inevitable processes.