A fortune in reversals
Here’s a look at some organizations and solution providers who specialize in reverse logistics, whether for a portion of the operation or total control of returns, from customer request to final product disposition.
The Reverse Logistics Executive Council (www.rlec.org) is a collaborative effort by retailers, manufacturers and academics to help better manage the flow of returned goods. Housed at the Center for Logistics Management at the University of Nevada, Reno, the Council targets three primary areas for streamlining:
- The process by which products come back through the pipeline.
- The technology available that enables products to move expeditiously while providing causal information as to why they were returned.
- The disposition options available for products once they are returned to the retailer or the manufacturers.
eBoomerang (www.eboomerang.net) aims to quickly return money to the bottom line. It markets software tailored to a customer’s specified business rules. The pre-configured solution focuses on rapid inventory and asset recovery and reuse. In addition to optimizing transportation routing, eBoomerang’s technology can process credit information and reconciliation.
GENCO (www.genco.com) offers a full range of services, including the design of a central return center, purchase of property and a plant, and such matters as full and part time staffing, as required. Basic to the company’s service is its retail reverse logistics software, which features the ability to determine disposition of returned assets and tracking of the location and movement of inventory.
ReturnCentral, which was recently acquired by Manhattan Associates Inc. (www.manh.com), focuses on reducing the costs of returns through increasing operations efficiencies in shipping, warehousing, call centers and labor. For the end customer, the company emphasizes an easy return process, improving communications and providing quick credit.
ReTurn Inc. (www.returninc.com) offers consulting services, proprietary software applications and complete off-site return centers, staffed and managed, if desired, by ReTurn personnel. All services are designed around an Oracle database, Windows NT server technology and direct automated returns tracking (DART) software. The range of services includes complete turnkey returns management, asset recovery and consulting.
USF Processors (www.usfc.com) offers its services at 20 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. It opened a facility in Fort Worth, Tex., in August to handle pharmaceutical unsaleable product for customers nationwide. Additionally, USF Processors handles return products in such industries as toys, automotive parts and groceries. Offerings include full reverse logistics services, package damage analysis and data management.