Managing merchandise returns can be a costly part of any company’s sales cycle - whether the items are from customers or your retail store displays. That is why it is so important to make the returns process as efficient as possible to offset these costs. Working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company to manage your returns can save you time and money by freeing up valuable resources that could be focused on supporting and driving new sales and creating life-long customers.
Because returns are inevitable, let’s explore various ways that a third party returns management provider can help you gain efficiencies and recover some of the costs associated with the returns process.
Owning or leasing warehouse space is a significant investment, not to mention the required technology, equipment, and resources needed to manage your returns. By outsourcing this activity to a third party, you avoid these overhead expenses. In addition, most third-party logistics providers integrate with your systems providing transparency into your inventory and distribution, as well as the complete supply chain.
A major advantage of outsourcing your returns is the benefit of skilled technicians. When a return arrives from a customer, quality assurance is a primary focus. A returns management company provides highly trained resources to inspect and test products to determine if any items can be repackaged and resold at the original retail price.
If the product and packaging are undamaged and pass a quality check, the product is repackaged and returned to inventory for resale at full price. This process provides the opportunity to recuperate some costs within the returns process.
In some cases, the returned item may only require minor repairs to be functional. For example, if a tablet has a broken charger input or cracked screen, it can be fixed at a low cost. A reputable returns management services company can manage your electronic device returns program. The provider can perform simple or complex repairs and quality testing to ensure a fully operational refurbished device.
After the repaired item passes a thorough quality test, the product can then be placed back into inventory as a refurbished item. In some cases, these refurbished products can be sold in markets outside of the United States. It’s worth exploring the option to recoup even more of the cost. The sale of the refurbished product in any market will offset a portion of the amount lost through the returns process.
Let’s face it - screens malfunction, software becomes corrupt, and some products just don’t work properly. If an item is not able to be resold or is defective, you can trust a returns management company to recover and recycle unusable parts properly in accordance with federal, state and local regulations. They can help triage the items and wipe them of software, as well as salvage raw materials and components for future use.
The salvaged materials will go a long way in reducing the full loss of a product and increase your bottom line. Even if you simply resell products, the salvaged materials may be useful in numerous ways. For example, the materials can be sold back to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). In the case of electronics, many will purchase salvaged parts and materials to repair or use in working products.
No matter the condition of a returned product, a specialized, full-service third-party logistics company can help you minimize losses while keeping your supply chain running smoothly.
For more information on returns management programs, contact us today at GroupO.com. We have a variety of services to help your business returns thrive and prevent profit loss in the future. Get in touch today to learn more.