As the market leader in spiral
conveyors in the logistic industry we
think of solutions for handling cases &
SKU’s. It’s what we do.
At AmbaFlex it’s not just about
building the right equipment, it’s
about developing a special solution
for you. Here’s to spiral conveying.
Spiral elevators for goods-to-man
systems, picking modules and sorting
BY AMBAFLEX | WWW.AMBAFLEX.COM
001_ADV_packaging_AW_MHPN.indd 1 24-01-14 13: 32 44 DC VELOCITY DECEMBER 2016 www.dcvelocity.com
rately and efficiently, while making certain your customers are
satisfied? We asked several experts for advice. What follows
are their recommendations and suggestions.
First of all, be sure that the company you select has experience in handling your type of products. “You don’t want to
be the beta site,” warns Bob Lieb, professor of supply chain
management at Northeastern University in Boston.
As with PlanITROI, there are companies out there that
specialize in specific product categories, such as electronics,
food, and clothing. Find a company with experience handling
your full range of products. For instance, if you sell washers
and dryers, you need a partner with the capacity to handle
large, bulky items. Price should not be the determining factor
in choosing a partner. “Don’t just look at a quote,” says Gailen
Vick, founder of the Reverse Logistics Association. “Find a
partner that understands your total business.”
Second, look at the company’s financials. Many companies
are getting into this lucrative field, but do they have a solid
business model and the capital, facilities, IT infrastructure,
and other resources to back it up?
Another key consideration is the provider’s ability to track
the real-time status of each return. “Visibility into the return
is very important to our clients’ customers. They want to see
that credit issued quickly,” says Ryder’s Brouillette. Sciarrotta
of the RLA agrees. He says the trend is to provide credit to the
customer immediately upon issuing a tracking number, even
before the product is received and evaluated. The view is that
it is better to lose a product than a customer. “You can’t put
procedures in place that negatively affect 99 percent of returns
for the 1 percent that is damaged or fraudulent,” he says.
Next, agree in advance with your partner on specific performance metrics. Be sure both parties understand who is
responsible for what and who is responsible for the costs associated with each process. You don’t want surprises.
Access to secondary markets is also important. If the product cannot be sold as new, does the provider have a network
to dispose of the products, either as recertified, refurbished,
or recycled items? “One of our customers uses our services
because it doesn’t want to see its returns put in a landfill,”
says Brouillette. Ryder’s capabilities to break down and recycle
components were a big draw for the environmentally conscious client, he explains.
In some cases, a manufacturer may not want its products
sold in the secondary market because of concerns about diluting its brand’s image. “And some retailers may not want their
products to be resold at all, as it might impact their other sales
channels,” says Vick. He notes that in these instances, they
might prefer that their goods be given to charities. It’s best
to determine in advance which channels should be used to
dispose of specific goods.
Regardless of which partner a company chooses to manage
its returns, establishing a good working relationship is critical
to long-term success. Keeping communication lines open can
help reduce both the risk and the mess, while assuring many