Returns management can become a hassle if you don’t have an effective strategy. It takes a lot of planning and substantial resources to attend to the challenges of returns management. Fortunately, returns management has evolved phenomenally in recent years and it doesn’t have to be daunting any more. All you need to do is ensure the basics are in place and that you have a seamless, organized approach to handling all returns.
Here is a brief guide to help you improve your returns management strategy.
- One of the key components of returns management is time. How quickly you can respond to returns, how you manage them and whether you can ensure that the value of the goods is not affected would depend largely on how well you have automated the whole process. Automation is imperative if you want to speed up your returns management. You cannot take hours to approve or reject the eligibility of a particular return, you cannot take days to have the returned item to be shipped back and then accounted for in your warehouse. You cannot allow returned goods to linger in your inventory and be delayed in getting re-circulated or resold due to labels, logistics, inventory management issues or other problems. From automating the eligibility to speedy returns, efficient inventory management to protecting the value of the goods, everything will be correlated with time. Improve time management or the efficiency and you would get better with returns management.
- Returns management is heavily dependent on the data you have. You must have all the necessary customer data. You should have shipping details and the information pertaining to every personnel that has worked on the particular order. This will allow you to track complaints, manage the returns and you wouldn’t have to go back and forth to collect the necessary data in crunch situations. You can also hold those who have erred responsible. Tracking the returned goods would become simpler if you have all recorded data integrated with the status of the goods.
- Returns management should be synchronized with other aspects of supply chain management. You cannot have goods returned lying in the inventory and not being accounted for or factored in when you have new orders. You cannot allow devaluation of the product. You cannot facilitate a scenario when the goods have to be disposed off when they could have been capitalized on. These can only be ensured when every step or phase of returns management is under stringent control.