Reverse Logistics – Opportunity of Returns

Underlying Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Does your company struggle with managing returns? Could you use help maximizing the value of your reverse supply chain?

Maximizing the value of returns through managing reverse logistics was a key topic at this year’s Association for Supply Chain Management annual conference.

Per Abe Eshkenazi, ASCM CEO, as reported by Supply Chain Dive, “I think what organizations are recognizing now is that the reverse logistics supply chain is a significant market opportunity for them," he said. "It used to be just an aftermarket and a cost of doing business — now it’s a revenue source or a potential revenue source."

With liberal return policies and changing expectations, returns have grown from $171.4 billion in 2007 to $369 billion in 2018, according to Appriss.

Not sure where to begin to improve the handling of your returns? Supply Chain Dive offered 4 strategies summarized below to handle reverse logistics.

  1. New return and repair policies. While generous return policies are a competitive necessity in today’s retail environment, retailers are also taking more steps to minimize the abuse of those policies. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that some Amazon customers who returned too many items had their accounts closed without warning. Some manufacturers are empowering customer services associates to make returns more efficient for low-cost items by simply shipping out a replacement and no longer asking customers to return old products.
  2. More collaboration with retailers. Manufacturers are also taking a closer look at their vendor agreements, as per Joe Hsu, director of solutions at Optoro. While price has often been a point of dispute, many are also re-evaluating their return policies. "[Manufacturers] generally don’t like processing returns from retailers. There is a lot of overhead and dispute of those returns from their wholesale customers," Hsu said. Also, collaboration eliminates any additional responsibility on manufacturers’ behalf. Companies such as goTRG and B-Stock Solutions offer reverse logistics solutions they say can boost recovery rates, reduce dependence on liquidators and automate the process of disposition.
  3. Optimizing processes with data. Many manufacturers are now looking to new platforms and reliable third-party partners to sort, process and resell or dispose of returns, said Hsu. Retailers and manufacturers are also looking to partners who can help them process returns more cheaply and partners that can liquidate and handle the inventory. A common strategy is to outsource some, if not all, reverse logistics operations to a 3PL. Others are also designing their connected products with software and operating systems that can be updated or troubleshot from anywhere. Some are also using easy-to-replace hardware and components that can be sent to consumers for self-repair.
  4. Rethinking logistics and transportation. As more consumers buy products online, transportation costs are on the rise. According to the annual State of Logistics report by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, logistics spending topped $1.5 trillion in 2017. One strategy suppliers are using to reduce costs and improve efficiency is to combine delivery and pickup. "We’ve always used that as a marketing technique for our organization to be able to minimize our customer shippers’ expense by being able to perform a new delivery and return at the same time," Batcha said. "You’re already [at the location]." They’re also looking to new infrastructure either by expanding existing facilities or opening Centralized Return Centers to improve the efficiency of returns.

It might be time to exam your logistics and distribution policies to see if you are missing out on ways to reduce costs or resell items and maximize revenues. Per Eshkenazi, "It had been sort of the wild west for a long time — thought of as a cost issue as opposed to a revenue item. I think what organizations are recognizing now is that the reverse logistics supply chain is a significant market opportunity for organizations. So now we’re seeing the extension of the full end to end supply chain."

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 500 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities. Fall certification classes are fast approaching. Click the links below for more information:

  • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional): Starting 10/2, last day to register is 9/27/19. The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.
  • CLTD (Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution): Starting 10/2, last day to register is 9/27/19. The CLTD program helps you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics to set you apart from your peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners.
  • CPIM Part IIStarting 10/3, last day to register is 9/27/19. The second part of the CPIM certification workshop designed for comprehensive professional development and exam preparation for CPIM certification.

 

APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – click here to join today!

Looking for more information on how APICS Milwaukee can help you in your career and with reverse logistics? Visit our website at: https://apicsmilw.org.

Supply Chain KPIs Best Practices from APICS Breakfast Roundtable

Does your company have a challenge identifying the right Supply Chain KPIs? Does it seem at times various departments have KPIs that conflict with each other?

If so, you are not alone! Last week in the intimate setting our Breakfast Roundtable, we talked about supply chain KPIs [Key Performance Indicators] and how various companies use them or even misuse them.

The group shared examples of how at times different areas within a company can have conflicting KPIs. For example, purchasing will have a KPI to keep inventory as low as possible when the planning group has a KPI to have 98% or 99% net availability in the warehouse which translates to having more inventory. Also, the planning team had a KPI for keeping the machines running which also meant having excess inventory whether it was needed immediately for orders or not. Obviously these are conflicting points of view.

What KPIs are not:

  • Overall KPIs are not supposed to be used to blame or to point fingers. 

How KPIs should be used:

  • To show where a person or department is tracking in relation to the goal. 

  • As tools to be used to help drive improvements.

  • To track various departments or metrics such as supplier KPIs for supplier cost, quality and on-time delivery.

  • To monitor past due invoices, PPM for the shop floor and the size of a shops backlog.

  • In every department, from Accounting to Quality to Shipping!

So how do some companies combat seemingly competing KPIs? Many companies have calmed the animosity between departments and confusion around KPIs through the S&OP [Sales and Operations Planning] process. S&OP forces departments to communicate and agree on what is feasible and what is not. S&OP gives a chance for production to show sales why they can or cannot produce all of their customers’ orders by a certain date. S&OP helps sales communicate to production upcoming orders, spikes in demand or a loss of demand, purchasing can communicate on any supply issues.

A book called Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, written by Gino Wickman, was highly recommended from the group on what techniques can be used to get the leaders of your company all on the same page and working together.

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 500 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities. 

We host events every month to help supply chain professionals get together and share best practices! Check out our upcoming events to join in the discussion.

We also have still have spots left in the upcoming fall instructor-led supply chain certification classes.  Click the links below for more information:

  1. CSCP (CERTIFIED SUPPLY CHAIN PROFESSIONAL): The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field. Class starts 10/2. 
  2. CLTD (CERTIFIED LOGISTICS, TRANSPORTATION AND DISTRIBUTION): The CLTD program helps you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics to set you apart from your peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners. Class starts 10/2. 
  3. CPIM PART II – The second part of the CPIM certification workshop designed for comprehensive professional development and exam preparation for CPIM certification. Class starts 10/3.

APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – CLICK HERE TO JOIN TODAY!

Congratulations to Greg Studer on his CSCP Certification!

Congratulations to Greg Studer, CPIM, CSCP on his recent Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification!

Greg shared a few words with us on his recent APICS CSCP experience below.

 

At APICS Milwaukee we are proud to offer various supply chain certification classes throughout the year. Greg Studer, CPIM, CSCP was a student of our CSCP class last spring. He recently passed the CSCP exam and shares his thoughts below.

“With 30 years of experience in different areas of supply chain and manufacturing, I have always appreciated that my industry is constantly growing and changing. It is not only Amazon that is changing the landscape. For example, we now have other factors like 3D printers that are producing two parts for the Air Force in seventy-three hours compared to the one year lead time of the past!

I earned my APICS CPIM certification first in 2017. Based on that experience, I took the CSCP class this past year. CSCP is not just about manufacturing, the principles can be used in any business. 

The reality is that in today’s fast-changing world if you are not making changes and adjustments to your process you are behind. You need to be always thinking about your future benchmarks and goals, personally and professionally. What an exciting career field that continues to be an adventure.”

Congratulations again to Greg for his efforts on earning the CSCP certification! The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.

Looking to advance your career and earn your CSCP in 2019? Our fall CSCP class in Milwaukee starts on October 2nd. Click here for more information or access the APICS Milwaukee website at www.apicsmilw.org.  

Recently Certified Supply Chain Professional Preparation Tips for Passing CSCP Exam

 

Are you looking to advance in your supply chain career and interested in getting a certification? Are you curious what it will take to earn a certification yet in 2019?

Rikki Thomas Martin, Senior Trade Compliance Specialist for Colony Brands recently earned her CSCP certification. She shares below how she prepared to take the exam and pass. 


At APICS Milwaukee we often get asked the best way to prepare for certification exams. First, we’d like to congratulate Rikki on working so hard to earn her CSCP certification! We’d also like to thank her for sharing how she passed the exam three weeks after completing the instructor-led CSCP course conducted on-site at her company this past summer.
 

Per Rikki, “Instead of relaying what to study, I thought I would explain how I studied as I set out to tackle this on a pretty ambitious schedule – less than 3 weeks after the last class. I know it took me a bit to figure it out.

Prior to the end of class, I completed the steps below:

  1. I read all three books, cover to cover.
  2. I took all the chapter quizzes.
  3. I took all the section quizzes.
  4. I tried not to miss a class.

Then, I got down the studying. My approach included:

  1. Retaking all of the section quizzes. While I was taking them, if I got something wrong, I went to the corresponding slide in the slide book and reviewed the slide, or if it was an applied concept, I wrote out the concept and answer to cement it in my brain.
  2. Once through the quiz for a section, I took it again, immediately – almost like flashcards to aid memorization.
  3. I re-took the post-test and both sample exams.
  4. On the morning of the exam, I paged through the slides as a refresher and review.  In hindsight, I would have added the flashcards into my prep. There were a couple of easy questions I feel I stumbled over because I didn’t know my synonymous terms or had insufficient context in the question to get to the answer.

I hope this is helpful to future exam takers and I wish future students all the best!”

Rikki also shared feedback on her APICS CSCP Instructor Gary Kerslake below:

“I appreciated his dedication and engagement as an instructor. His acronyms quiz was also super helpful. Finally, his wealth of experiences and interest in our company’s processes provided memorable stories to help drive concepts home.” 

Congratulations again to Rikki for her efforts and earning the CSCP certification! The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.

Looking to advance your career and earn your CSCP in 2019? Gary Kerslake, CSCP, will be teaching our CSCP class in Milwaukee starting on October 2nd. Click here for more information or access the APICS Milwaukee website at www.apicsmilw.org.  

Value of APICS to You & Your Company

Picture: APICS Milwaukee Informational Breakfast Aug 2019

Are you looking to advance in your supply chain career? Could your company use help improving processes, reducing costs or increasing revenue?

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 500 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities. 

This past week we hosted a well-attended informational breakfast sharing the value of APICS for your career and your company. Highlights are below.

  • As one of the largest US chapters, we provide:
    • Networking opportunities each month at our Professional Development meetings and breakfast round tables
    • Globally recognized Supply Chain certifications delivered by experienced instructors for individuals and groups at affordable prices
    • Valuable Supply Chain educational workshops & webinars
  • Per the ASCM 2019 Supply Chain Compensation and Career Survey Report, The median salary for respondents with at least one APICS certification is 25% higher than those without a certification.
  • Supply chain cost savings flow directly to the bottom line. Per Benchmarking Success supply chains accounted on average for around 9.8% of sales, the overall rating for best in class for supply chains as a portion of sales was just 5.7%. For Manufacturers: BEST IN CLASS was 6.8% and industry average is 10.3%. APICS training can help reduce supply chain costs!
  • Per Tim Wild, VP Global Supply Chain at Briggs & Stratton, “Job experience plus and APICS certification can be as valuable as an $80,000 MBA.”
  • Fall certification classes are fast approaching. Click the links below for more information:
    • CPIM Basics (Certified in Production and Inventory Management)STARTS 9/5, LAST DAY TO REGISTER IS 8/30! The perfect introductory course for production and inventory management personnel and CPIM candidates. This is the recommended first course in the APICS CPIM program.
    • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional): The CSCP designation is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field. Class starts 10/2. 
    • CLTD (Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution): The CLTD program helps you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics to set you apart from your peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners. Class starts 10/2. 
    • CPIM Part II – The second part of the CPIM certification workshop designed for comprehensive professional development and exam preparation for CPIM certification. Class starts 10/3.
  • APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – click here to join today!

Looking for more information on how APICS Milwaukee can help you in your career and help your company reduce costs and grow revenue? Visit our website at: https://apicsmilw.org.