As part of his mission to gain a better understanding of out-of-stocks (OOS), Dan Gilmore, president and editor-in-chief of Supply Chain Digest, has held a recent discussion on how extra inventory can be driven by lead time variability. For those who do not protect themselves from lead time variability, there is the prospect of more out-of-stock (OOS) occurrences. In each occurrence of variability in the supply chain, it is important to protect it with increasing inventory, capacity, or time, by making customers wait or an increase in OOS.

Gilmore also released an online inventory calculator to make the concepts more clear and demonstrates the impact of a reduced lead time. The math of the calculation is difficult, but the underlying intuition is less so—a late shipment means that you must have the inventory in reserve in order to meet demand in the meantime. Therefore, reducing lead-time variability has a significant impact on OOS or inventory.

He also states that in spite of the evidence pointing to how important lead time variability is, only a very small amount of companies track it.

Problems arise from the fact that it’s not always easy to get insight into lead time and variability. Existing systems are not yet equipped to track it. Here are three areas defined as those to measure in order to be able to measure lead time and variability. Each should be measured separately, as they display different characteristics:

Transit Time
The first is transit time. Transit time is measured from when a product departs the suppliers’ dock and arrives at your companies dock. This is the most straight-forward area as the data is accessible. A calculation can be made between all of the transit times by calculating an average and standard amount of deviation. It’s made slightly more difficult by shipping via a variety of platforms and these should be taken into account, e.g. the difference between ocean shipping and air freight must be taken into account, and a decision whether to calculate the dominant method or a blend must be taken.

Order to Ship Time
The second is the order to ship time—the time between when the order is placed and when it is shipped. For suppliers, this is comparatively easy, by measuring when the order was placed, having visibility of the shipment data and knowing when the item shipped. It gets more complex if the order changes frequently or the PO is open. In this case it could be tough to decipher when the order was placed. It’s even harder if you are dealing with your own plant, in this case it is the time from when you made another batch until the item ships.

Replenishment Frequency
The third is replenishment frequency—the extra time occurring from periodical production. If you place an order once a week, that’s an extra week of lead-time. Even daily orders are subject to how often they are shipped. Unless the production schedule is fixed this can lead to difficulty, variations in production must be factored into lead-time calculations.

Need help with your inventory management? Find the right solution for you.

City of OrlandoThe City of Orlando is the economic hub of Central Florida. The nearly 4,000 employees of the municipal government provide police and fire protection, the infrastructure for transportation, water supply and sanitation, and a range of community and cultural services. It is easy to imagine all the equipment and supplies that are needed for these employees to serve the citizens of Orlando.

Accountability is the primary driver for many of the decisions made by the administration at the City of Orlando.  Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in management of City assets and consumables. IntelliTrack Inc. is pleased to be able to provide a full service solution for the City’s materials management and asset tracking.

The Challenge

In 2013, a City project team was tasked with finding replacement technology for tracking inventory and reporting the financial transactions. Key players were subject matter experts from City Stores and Asset Management, people who thoroughly understood the operations, what would work and what would not. It was recognized that any solution was only as good as the capacity of the front line workers to implement it.

An essential feature for a new system would be the capacity to integrate with Workday, the enterprise application used by the City for HR and financial management. This meant data exported from the new technology would have to meet the file format requirements of Workday. It was also critical that the data be protected in an SFTP environment. Meanwhile, of course, staff had to be able to continue operations while a solution was sourced and implemented.

Sourcing the Solution

The project team realized they did not have the resources to design an application themselves. After they developed a shopping list of functionalities, they began the search for an off-the-shelf product.

As they looked at packages that would meet their basic functional requirements, the project team narrowed the possibilities to a short list of half a dozen providers. IntelliTrack Inc. quickly emerged as a leader. Their website was accessible and informative and the City’s first contact with a sales rep focused on the City’s functional needs, not just the IntelliTrack products.

The City entered into a series of discussions with the IntelliTrack project manager. His quick grasp of the situation and willingness to adapt the IntelliTrack product won the day. Every aspect of the operation was then reviewed in order to develop the Scope of Work and Programming Documents as a practical framework for moving forward. 

The IntelliTrack Solution

The City of Orlando decided to subscribe to IntelliTrack Stratus ISRP and Stratus Assets packages. There are three interface points between IntelliTrack Stratus and Workday:

  • Asset details from Workday to Stratus

Detailed information about all assets is based in Workday. The user who is ready to perform the physical inventory can export the information by location to a CSV file on an SFTP site to ensure a secure transfer. Stratus will then import from the SFTP file and add or update data, as necessary.

  • Asset validation from Stratus to Workday

Once the inventory is complete, the updated data is exported in a CSV file back to an SFTP site where it can be accessed by the Workday user. The data capture includes asset number, manufacturer, fund, cost center, business unit, assignee, asset name and description, location, date and user performing inventory.

  • Material consumption from Stratus to Workday

The end of day data exported from Stratus to Workday tracks transactions on all consumables from printer cartridges to shovels, including date, cost centers, ledger accounts, spend categories and amount.

It was important for the City to capture as much financial detail as possible. To this end, IntelliTrack also modified the item label and the packing list to include information such as cost center, ledger account and unit cost.

Roderick Scott, an experienced technology business analyst, was the project manager for the City of Orlando. He was impressed by the way IntelliTrack focused on a standard functionality but also recognized that every business has its own unique way of operating. Scott notes, “We had a small custom piece for our reporting but IntelliTrack was able to incorporate it in a way that accommodated us while maintaining the integrity of the product.”

Implementation of Stratus ISRP/Assets

Once there was signoff on the Scope of Work and Programming Documents, the IntelliTrack specialists worked with City of Orlando staff to:

  • Install application – 5 weeks
  • Alpha testing – 2 weeks
  • Beta testing – 2 weeks
  • Training – 2 weeks

In order to control the flow of information, an efficient system was developed for IntelliTrack to respond to questions from City staff. All queries or comments and their responses were filtered through the City project manager and the application administrator. This process allowed all stakeholder employees to be involved in the process, but still maintained a clear, focused communication.

The training went well with the two City of Orlando subject matter experts handling the staff training in City Stores and Asset Management. Also, two employees in each business unit were trained on how to order consumable inventory so there is consistent end-to-end reporting of the financial impact of inventory transactions. The application is praised as being user friendly and intuitive.

The project milestones were all met in a timely manner, allowing the system to go live on March 19, 2014. There have been the usual minor glitches to work out, but IntelliTrack was immediately responsive and able to resolve the problems.

Early Feedback

Although there are no substantive metrics available yet, there is an overall satisfaction with the IntelliTrack Stratus ISRP/Asset solution. There is an increased accountability for tracking inventory and its cost to the City. The reports are invaluable for ordering and deploying inventory which allows for better financial management overall. There is a robust audit trail.

City managers were comfortable in managing employee expectations about the change and overall satisfaction is high. IntelliTrack was seen as being responsive and paying attention to the details that are important in the daily routine at the City. There was an important bonus for the supervisor of City Stores when the IntelliTrack project manager took the time to train him how to design his own reports.

Moving Forward

IntelliTrack will be adding an average costing functionality to its Stratus applications to increase the usefulness of the financial reports for management. Although there are no commitments at this time to installing more IntelliTrack applications, there is interest in the functionalities of the public safety packages.

City of Orlando technology professionals are expected to provide efficient, reliable and innovative solutions to City departments. IntelliTrack is proud of being able to support City staff in fulfilling that mission in the area of asset tracking and materials management.

To find out how IntelliTrack Inc. can help your company manage its inventory more efficiently, call 888-583-3008, or visit the website at www.IntelliTrack.net.

As recently as a couple of years ago, tracking the progress of an order on the internet meant that you would need to log into carriers and vendors separately—there could be several days between each step. However, with recent developments in mobile communications and linked applications, this process is much faster and tracking is almost seamless. If you were to buy something from China or Europe today, you would be able to track it’s location and time of delivery from your smartphone on a single website.

Mobile devices are having an impact upon logistics throughout the supply chain. A whitepaper published by Dell claims that the amount of revenue dedicated to IT expenses at manufacturing companies amounts to almost double the average. The largest impact is from developing mobile systems to track, improve decisions and improve communications between vendors, customers, and peer to interdepartmental communications.

Inventory management is being made faster and more accurate by the use of RFID tags. The processing of returns, WIP tracking and quality reporting are all enhanced by the technology. As is inventory management, with all the information being available to the counter who can tally on the spot.

The trucking industry is the latest to benefit from the mobile revolution. Previously hit and miss operations of smaller shippers have now become much more efficient through enhanced co-operation made possible by technology. Bidding for jobs, optimizing routes, tracking deliveries and locating vehicles are all done on smartphone systems.

Operatives now have all the data they need at their fingertips. The task of IT departments is to ensure that this data is presented in a way that’s easily assimilated. The presentation of database extracts and reports needs to interactively designed with users in mind.

The impact of logistics extends far beyond the factory. For example, if the sales operative has a system where they can respond rapidly to availability queries and can commit to lead times, then sales will be enhanced. The availability of shipping data and statistics on quality to inspectors will improve the process of on-site inspections as well.

Deliveries are improved too, as accuracy provided by the RFID system means that instances of delivering the wrong package are reduced, and the corollary means that customers can sign off goods and update the proof of delivery status on the system.

The ability to see customer histories means that companies can appear responsive and focused on the needs of the customer, enhancing the relationship. In summary, mobile technology is omnipresent in logistics chains, and understanding the impact is vital to leaders in any part of the business.

Are your logistics up to par with the mobile revolution? Find the right logistics solution for you.

For electronics manufacturers, the holiday season means an increase in sales, and an increased load on the supply chain. In certain regions, this pressure is exacerbated by the winter weather.

Last year brought an extended cold spell to the northeast of the U.S., which impacted supply chains. An Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty report from last year estimates that winter weather can cost trucking companies anywhere between $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion per year.

A dip in temperature can cause a multitude of problems for the supply chain, including damage to products and shipment delays. A significant number of freight companies don’t install heaters in their trailers, preferring to implement passive measures, such as using blankets to protect freight, which is less effective. Randy Swart, a COO who works for A. Duie Pyle, the transportation and logistics firm, says that most companies were not prepared for last year’s adverse weather. The result was delays and slower transportation.

Extreme cold can damage certain products such as electronics, liquids and solvents, which change form at low temperatures. There is also a law in certain parts of the U.S. that requires truckers to remove snow off their trailers. Last year, there were a significant number of companies without the capacity to do this, resulting in trucks being taken off the road.

These conditions can mean shipment delays running into days and force manufacturers to seek new partners who have room to spare on their heated trucks. The best way to avoid this problem is by making contingency plans early.

OEM’s in the know will develop relationships with specialized haulers over the duration of the year in order to ensure they have the capacity to deal with adverse weather conditions. Shipping products with specialized haulers will cost only a small premium, about $50 per thousand pounds of product on average. Swart says that knowing what you will need to transport and find the means to do so in good time is the key to success. Building a relationship with a carrier is crucial.

When carrying out risk management early, companies need to be proactive in taking risks arising from adverse weather into account. OEM’s have to take into account whether or not they can tolerate a delay of days or even weeks. How much would these delays cost? What would the cost be if a temperature sensitive product were to be destroyed? Finally, what might the cost be of a drop in quality caused by freezing or cold? It could be worse if the manufacturer uses the product without the knowledge that it’s ruined due to the long-term impact of low product quality.

Are you ready for this winter? Find the right inventory solution for you.

It has become apparent to companies in all sectors that their supply chain is more than just making sure products get into the hands of consumers. Supply chains have become an indicator of the overall health of a business by reflecting corporate strategy applied to everyday interactions from within and outside of the company. The supply chain is crucial in achieving customer satisfaction. Successful companies see it in a broader way, by including information sharing, planning and other value adding activities. The supply chain must cover everything from the raw materials used in production, to the final distribution of products, as well as logistical concerns.

Successful companies have invested wisely in their supply chains— this investment can go a long way and is one of the most cost effective strategies any company can apply to their growth portfolio. The execution of an effective supply chain operation can have a multitude of benefits and move business performance forward. Here are three interventions that senior company executives can carry out in order to achieve the full potential of their companies supply chain operation.

Think Separately About the Supply Chain and Other Corporate Strategies

Regardless of whether it is the goal of your company to provide superior service, cost leadership, or product innovation, it is of the upmost importance to make sure the supply chain is contributing to the key points of your strategy. Consult the leaders of your business to help define how to make the supply chain work for the company. For example, the marketing department should be able to describe what the customer values by analyzing and providing data relating to their needs and thus, providing the ability to differentiate from the strategies of your competitors. The commercial arm of your business should be able to identify which of your customers are worthy of the cost of an enhanced service and which you should attribute the standard service to.

Develop End-to-End, Up-to-Date Supply Chain Protocols

It is no longer effective to manage different supply chain tiers separately. The ability to analyze data in a sophisticated manner means companies are able to manage their supply chains from end-to-end and in an up-to-date manner, especially in the retail sector. Companies should dedicate a manager to ensuring that end-to-end performance is at a premium level across all departments.

Outline Performance Standards Across the Organization

Incentivize the supply chain to work towards defining ways to deliver more value for the company and protect it against the larger risks at the same time. In order to achieve this, the company must look to analyze beyond the traditional outlooks on capital, cost, and service. The performance indicators that should be looked at depend on what the needs of the business are, which segment of the market you are aiming for, and the product. Besides this, it is important to understand the production costs attributed to valuable clients, the stability of key suppliers, and being agile in volatile markets.

Find the right software to help manage your supply chain.

Most of the worlds top companies understand how important it is to have a supply chain management system in place in order to remain competitive.

Chief executives are beginning to realize that supply chains have become a strategic asset to their company—both for the purpose of fulfilling customer expectations and creating a more efficient operation. IBM has recently published a study via their Institute for Business Value, which contains information to support these claims.

According to the study, executives who preside over high performing enterprises attribute a lot of their success to their supply chain management systems. Of all those surveyed, 65% claim that their supply chain is a great help when it comes to customer satisfaction and 62% say that the supply chain is very effective as a tool for generating more revenue.

The findings of the study are supported by recent interviews of two executives from leading companies who are not directly responsible for supply chain logistics. In the interviews, the executives were asked questions about how they viewed the role of a supply chain as part of their wider operation and as part of their specific enterprise. In addition, they were asked how the role of the supply chain has changed over the last number of years and how it enhances their balance sheet, ability to innovate, please their customers and provide a competitive advantage.

Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever in North America, claimed that the supply chain is absolutely crucial in Unilever’s success, mostly because of it’s role in providing value for customers. As the environment begins to resemble an omni-channel one, need for a modular, flexible and responsive supply chain management system at a low cost becomes more pressing.

Kruythoff claims that as the business environment becomes increasingly digitized and interconnected, the role of the supply chain will become more prominent. His colleague Salwan Sumeet, who is senior vice president of human resources, claims that it creates value across three important areas; firstly and most obviously, as a tool for delivering cost effectiveness, secondly, in service of brand preference by providing quality of product and service and finally, as a device for enhancing growth. All three are part of a response to customer needs and demands.

Another example of a CEO who is seeing the benefits of a supply chain management system is Edward Cooper, VP of PR and communications at Total Wine & More. He is convinced that the supply chain is vital to his company as it strives to succeed in the heavily regulated alcoholic beverage industry. Cooper claims that besides helping his company succeed, supply chain actually delivers profitably and growth as well, and re-enforces the companies position for the future.

For Total Wine & More, the supply chain team is responsible for facilitating the movement of products between their suppliers and retail outlets. The team is concerned with ensuring that the right product is in the right place at the right time for their customers, and it does this by keeping an eye on inventory, orders and re-stocking functions.

The amount of regulation from the tax authorities in the U.S applied to the distributors of alcohol make protecting these areas of the business absolutely crucial. Total Wine & More sees this situation from the perspective of a company whom wants to grow along with their wholesalers and producers. They are big enough to build brands that benefits wholesalers, producers and customers alike, and their efficient supply chain is helping them to consistently deliver.

Does your organization see efficient supply chain management as a pathway to success? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post.

Find the right supply chain management solution for you.

Over the past few years, there has been an observable diversification in consumer habits, and retailers are under pressure to evolve in time to meet these developing demands. There is no blanket approach for retailers to take towards their distribution systems in these circumstances.

Their approach is largely grounded in developing their facilities using automation and a number of other new technologies as they come online. This is a given for larger retailers, who distribute their products in a great number of directions. It is also apparent that the rest of the field needs to make similar adjustments in order to keep up and fulfill their orders on time.

A lot of the change in the retail landscape is driven by ecommerce, which has put pressure on warehouse managers to evaluate and integrate relevant types of automation into their operation. One system that can be of great help is a warehouse control system (WCS). A WCS can help to automate processes, systems and material handling equipment and goes a long way to solving a warehouses automation problems.

Implementing modular WCS lets companies automate the most pressing segments of their warehousing operations or distribution centers in order to provide a first class service to customers without getting bogged down with cost. The modular approach makes integration seamless with both operatives and processes enabling even small operations to enter into direct competition with the biggest and best.

The benefits of a companies response to customer expectations by utilizing WCS is best understood when broken down into three segments; by responding to orders of a high volume, by sharpening their business processes and by improving their overall competitiveness.

There are many different types of distribution businesses out there—there is no single fix when it comes to dealing with high volume orders. This situation is made more acute by increasingly varied demands from customers. Implementing a WCS allows companies to direct handling equipment to where it is needed most, meaning that small and high volume orders can be shipped to a variety of destinations with a consistent level of success. The modularity of the system allows companies to select exactly which elements are appropriate for their product portfolios. This type of versatile system allows companies to maximize output without ripping out their existing ones.

Another great benefit of a WCS is that it allows companies to improve their business processes by providing real-time, product specific information about their systems. This means reactive maintenance can be carried out on processes as they run. In what is a truly interactive practice, operators can receive information and implement any necessary improvements to the process enabling the cycle to continue and be improved by increments in every round.

WCS makes companies much more competitive by allowing them to ship and process both small and large orders form a single hub. The software makes decisions on orders by determining the most efficient logistical approach to each one based on factors including size and destination. It also does away with a certain amount of dependence on people within the warehouse environment, reducing the collateral losses, which come along with employees. As WCS evolves it can only serve to benefit companies by saving money time and space.

Discover the right solution for your warehouse.

Inventory management is a crucial aspect of any business within the retail industry. As we move towards the winter holiday season, financiers, market analysts and retailers are keeping a close eye on the wider economic environment and are considering how it will impact consumer behavior. There is much uncertainty in the markets at this time of increased volatility. To combat this, retailers must implement inventory management practices strategically in order to flesh out their balance sheets in this crucial quarter and provide extra insulation from extraneous market factors.

Companies have been fighting a long battle when it comes to inventory management. Prior to the 2008 crash when the markets were extremely bullish, a lot of companies took a laissez faire approach to inventory management practices. The age of austerity that has followed the financial crash means that companies have been under increasing pressure to improve how they manage their inventories. While some have been doing this with increasing success, others are finding it difficult to move away from their prior practices. Problems for organizations in the latter category will become more acute as the holiday season approaches.

These two categories of retailers can be further defined as those who are “open to buy” and those who are “open to sell” in their respective outlooks. Open to buy is the classic approach to retail, which dictates a backward-looking and formulaic approach to inventory acquisition and is often ignorant to developing trends. A retailer will look at what they did during a composite period previously and attempt to modify their approach using this information in conjunction with any other qualitative data they can generate.

The second category of open to sell retailers encompasses an approach which is much more focused and analytical in its basis. This group looks at what is moving off of the shelves and the relative market value of these items in real-time. These retailers are able to observe their margins in real time, providing an opportunity to increase margins and ultimately, enhance their trading capacity.

Technologies such as big data and cloud computing provide the basis for the open to sell approach, and the capacity to implement these technological improvements is what separates the winners from the losers in a contemporary retail environment. Practices such as trend monitoring and inventory analytics give retailers the opportunity to respond to new trends as they occur. This is critical in order to remain relevant as young consumers come online and competition increases. Businesses can improve their practice via an analytical approach, which is centered around ecommerce and social media analytics, data strategy and taking affirmative action where needed.

Social media and ecommerce can provide a huge amount of data for analysis and businesses can observe what their customers respond to online—they can even track the behavior of the customers of their competitors. If this research is carried out with an intensely systematic approach, it can provide real insight into developing consumer habits. Companies who look long and hard at the data they generate via website analytics on their ecommerce outlets can gain insight on customer responses to their products, allowing them to plan strategically and invest in the right areas of their business for the coming seasons.

Further investment must be directed towards strategic data analysis, even where budget is hard to find, this is a must for any retail operation. Even taking the relatively small step of increasing access for an industry intelligence unit within an operation can enhance seasonal planning. Once the company has generated sufficient data, it is imperative that it is acted upon to stay ahead of the curve this holiday season. This means that lines to suppliers must always be open and that inventory management practices must be upgraded where necessary. Moving from an open to buy approach towards an open sell strategy means that retailers can meet demand wherever and however it occurs.

Will you be ready for this holiday season? Learn more about inventory management solutions today.

The definition of supply chain involves a network of trading partners engaging in the exchange of information and goods. People and organizations within a supply chain are often spread out over the globe and across various organizations, so it makes sense that cloud computing is the resource of choice when establishing a well-networked supply chain.

Support for this theory is evidenced from a study recently authorized by SCM World entitled “Supply Chain and the Future of Applications“. Claims made within the study notably includes that 46% of participants in the study claim that more collaboration within a supply chain means that problems will be solved in half the time. Further to this, the report claims that the larger supply chains are becoming more dependent on platforms within the cloud in order to achieve faster and more accurate problem solving by harnessing the enhanced capability for collaboration.

The main benefits of using cloud computing to enhance the capability of the supply chain include a higher visibility of items as they move through it, faster and more consistent sharing of information with global partners and more capacity for the automation of components within the supply chain.

Higher visibility of goods as they travel through the supply chain is achieved via hosting in the cloud as their status can be distributed throughout the supply network. For example, the exact time goods will arrive can be revealed in order to ease the organization of delivery processes. There are many working parts to a logistical system, these include suppliers, manufacturers, distribution centers, retailers and finally customers. With so many components, greater visibility within the supply chain of goods as they pass through is essential in order to inform the interested parties about the whereabouts of specific products, potential re-networking and other specific needs to ease the passage of goods.

The capacity the cloud provides for information sharing in real time between interested parties means that supply chains now have more in common with social media networks than the former platforms for enterprise communications, due to the currency and speed of information. By harnessing the potential of the cloud, partners within the supply chain have the capacity to give up to date reports on shipments, products and factory and logistical challenges for example. All of this information is available in real time via one update from the holder of specific information. This is an astounding progression in the capability for the sharing of information provided by the ascension and availability of cloud computing.

Automation of the supply chain within the cloud means an increase in reliability, responsiveness and efficiency. The former cumbersome method of using paper documentation to chart payments and the status of products and deliveries is done away with. As a further advantage, less hands in the supply chain process means that margins for error are all but eliminated. As interactions are increasingly handled electronically the potential causes for consternation of the former labor intensive and error prone supply chain processes are eliminated.

A report by Gartner predicts that the value of the supply chain market will reach $3.8 billion some time in 2016. The main challenge to this predicted growth is the growing complexity of the technology involved. Many of these complexities will be solved by cloud computing’s capacity to provide greater visibility of goods in transit, the ability to share information instantaneously throughout the supply chain network and greater facilities for automation among other potential benefits. These three factors combined with the potential for more development provided by the cloud mean that the challenges posed by supply chain communications and logistics are more easily remedied, leading to more efficient operations.

Still haven’t moved to the cloud? Find the right solution for you.

The management of returns is usually not considered to be among the most costly aspects of an enterprise. However, a combination of competition, pressure from customers and increasingly more stringent environmental policies and regulations mean that the management of returns is being identified as a rising priority for a growing number of companies.

The processes involved in the management of returns are numerous and evolving. They include recycling, waste disposal, substituting materials and reusing them. The American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) created a report entitled “Open Standards Benchmarking Logistics,” which states that 78% of companies who responded to the report have varying degrees of policy relating the return of goods in place.

The report is broken down into three categories of policy for comparison by the APQC including: no implementation (23%), some implementation (31%) and extensive implementation (47%). From the results, it is apparent that companies believe formalizing returns policy leads to higher costs, however, they might be prudent to consider generating revenue from reuse and refurbishment practices.

Data generated by the APQC points to a trend for organizations without a policy for the management of returns spending less than their counterparts whose costs are inflated by logistical costs arising the from handling returns. The actual difference amounts to $20 out of every $1000 of revenue.

Other indications from the APQC’s data bring to light the implication that organizations who have policies for the management of returns have a greater amount of money being spent in order to manage and process the return of products. This same group also has comparatively higher costs associated with warehousing and logistics.

The amount of difference in costs generated by those who have policies and those who haven’t is not insignificant. However, perhaps a longer-term view is needed when considering whether a return of goods management policy is worthwhile. If the potential for generating additional revenue is harnessed, these policies could pay for themselves and even return a profit. This would be subject to industrial regulatory requirements. At the moment, the management of returns is indisputably an additional cost, which may be worth investing in for the future.

Does your organization have a returns process in place? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook or twitter pages.