I like to research, look for good articles that help me keep in touch with the Reverse Logistics Industry. I find that there are a lot of opinions out there on the best processes, in-house or outsourced and other ways of getting the job done. As many who know me, I worked for the Reverse Logistics Association for a long time. In those years, I was privy to a lot of behind the scenes conversations. The one true telling story was always that an OEM or Retailer felt their service provider was not doing a good job, or charging too much, or whatever reason they had for not liking the company. Inevitability and ironically, this always lead to the company then deciding to take things in-house. Every time I heard that, I could almost predict that in a few years, they would either be struggling financially or out of business. Look at Circuit City. Perfect example. A lot of issues there, but taking that process in-house was a death wish. Then there is the OEM or Retailer that insists on telling their service provider how to do things. I laugh because they outsourced the program in the first place to save money and to get things done right, and the first thing they do is put their stamp of approval all over the program. The lack of trust some people have or the desire to micromanage things is almost insane. Why do you want to outsource if you think you know it all?
So as I look for good content to study, I run across articles that tell a good story. The article "Why Reverse Logistics Needs to Become a Core Competency Inside Your Supply Chain" was written by three guys I really respect in the industry. It was written two years ago, but I feel it still has some strong points. In fact, some of the data points they use, like the GNP and RL opportunity are some the exact point we came up with and launched when I was at RLA. One of the key items I like to share with people is to understand your supply chain and the reverse side of it as well. In fact, inside that supply chain of your is money,revenue, profit. Reality is, grab it with the right partner if you choose to outsource, and outsource the right way. You do your job and let your partner do theirs. Then at the end of the day, we you are both in business, making good money, you can sit back and be grateful for all you have, versus stressing about needing a job.