Reverse Logistics Flow

Process for returning items

Most business concentrate on refining the processes to get their goods out to their clients with the best possible service. Few however give much thought to  the process of getting goods back when there has been quality, not required, wrongly ordered issues. Whether this is from domestic consumers (B2C) or other buyers/retailers(B2B).


There are three parts to dealing with returns as shown in the above illustration:


  1. Collection of the goods from the Retailer, Business or Consumer and returning to the warehouse
  2. Checking the goods and determining what to do with them
  3. Re-export either back to the manufacture or end Consumer


Starting with the collection there are several issues to deal with.


  1. Who arranges the return of the goods and who pays?
  2. The warehouse handling returns needs to know what exactly what is being returned and how many. It is no good arranging a courier to collect the products if it is several pallets.
  3. Facility to advise collection time and location needs to be considered. For business collections there may be restrictions as if its from shops then could be parking issues. For collections from consumers they be a work 9to5 and so scheduling a collection would be pointless. It may be more beneficial to allow the consumer to use a nearby drop off point.
  4. If labels need to be generate for the shipment to be returned can they be printed out at the collection location. Still issues with private consumers not being able to do this.


Once the goods have been received by the handling warehouse:


  1. A set of rules need to be generated for each product to be returned to determine how to classify. This may include taking photographs.
  2. How is it repackaged. Does the supplier provide replacing packaging or is the warehouse providing the new replacement packaging
  3. How are write off’s handled. Are the returned to the manufacture or disposed of in accordance with local regulations


Finally once goods have been inspected and re-worked or disposed

  1. If exporting them, who generates the export paperwork
  2. If re-exporting them, how are the packed.
  3. Delivering back to retailer / consumer. Arrange convenient delivery date and time


We can handle returns even if we are not the original fulfilment warehouse. If you have questions regarding this or require help to integrate a system into your processes please contact us.