Are You Maximising the Full Value of Your Returns?


Posted by katy on
Reading time: 4 minutes

Faced with today’s pressures, many enterprises are rethinking their returns management, looking not only at the efficiency of their processes but whether or not they are getting sufficient financial yield for their returns.

As shopping habits change and consumer expectations rise, traditional returns processing is struggling to keep up, leading many retail enterprises to consider new or innovative ways of managing reverse logistics.

The shift towards an omni-channel retail experience has driven enterprises to invest heavily in technology that analyses the way returns are processed.

However technology alone cannot match the benefits that can be achieved by focusing on the right disposition routes for returned product, which may involve replacing parts or packaging to increase the yield price.

Customers increasingly want a returns processing partner who is as focused as they are on cash and the bottom line impact.

Using the six lens approach to maximise value

At Unipart, we have developed a six lens approach through which we support customers through the inception and set up of returns management solutions that focus on the bottom line.

1. Returns processing

Intelligent decision modelling identifies which of the four channels returns should go down: resale, repair, return to manufacturer, or recycling. Combining this diagnosis with knowledge of product conditions, customer demand, market rate and the cost to repair/refurb, we enable customers to process their returns rapidly to maximise their value and satisfy their customers. Some customers use our in-store platform to correctly diagnose the appropriate channel with the customer, thus avoiding a return altogether if it can be resolved in store.

2. Resale

One of the opportunities our diagnostics looks for is the potential for resale. In many instances, we are able to sell returned product on behalf of our customers, increasing the financial yield.

3. Repair

Our trained technology team are able to take product that was previously deemed unrepairable (or not of a suitable standard to return to the customer), identify the construct of the product and then repair it, enabling the customer to re-use the product.

4. Return to Manufacturer

By detecting faults in stock that would result in a full refund from manufacturer, we retain full value for the customer.

5. Recycling

Our innovative cardboard packaging solution helped one customer reduce landfill to zero and remove single-use plastic from their supply chain—that’s good for our customers and good for the environment.

6. Reduce

Research suggests that, on average, your returns pass through seven pairs of hands before reaching their final destination. Our deep understanding of products and materials means we can identify the root cause of issues at initial screening, minimising the need for future touchpoints. We also feed insights into product design and work with customers and engineers to influence consumer behaviour to reduce returns.

Supporting this solution is our customer-facing platform that ensures each customer gets the right resolution quickly, and avoids unnecessary lead times and costs.

Do you have the right returns processes in place?

Returns are not just an issue for retailers. The automotive and utilities sectors are equally under pressure to reduce the cost of returns and maximise the value of their assets. Faced with these pressures, many enterprises are rethinking their returns management, looking at whether their processes are right for today’s increasingly complex supply chain landscape.

Can you confidently say your retail company is achieving each of these points? Are you maximising the full value of your returns and satisfying your customers? Our six lens approach to rethinking your returns management could be the answer.