Understanding Reverse Logistics

I once bought a laptop through an online distributor. The laptop worked well for the first couple of months, but started to show some strange signs within the third or fourth month. Understanding that this sometimes happens, I simply wrote the company, asking for either a reimbursement or replacement of the laptop. The company acted quickly, paying for the return shipment for the laptop. I was kept updated throughout the entire process, and I was sent a new laptop within a week. It never had any troubles, and I was very satisfied with the quality of service that the distributing company provided.

This process is best described as reverse logistics. Forward logistics, as explained in this article titled Understanding Reverse Logistics,
 refers to getting products onto the shelves and into the costumers hands, while reverse logistics refers to the product or service  after the sale has been made. This may involve returns, organizing shipments, retesting products, repairing, recycling, etc. If you are to master reverse logistics, it is important to more fully understand what it is and why it’s important.

As stated in the article, “the main objective of reverse logistics is to find efficient and cost effective means for the collection and return of merchandise.” Data is kept on all returns, and with proper evaluations, management will discover the products greatest reason for being returned and can find ways to cut down on the amount of returns a company has. Reverse logistics also includes the rate at which a company responds to a costumer, and which direction they take. In my case, the distribution company was very formal, apologetic and understanding, and they fixed the problem swiftly and as best as they could. This demonstrated a firm understanding of reverse logistics and how it can help them. They could have acted differently, but doing so would cut them short.

Read the full article here to more fully understand reverse logistics. 


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