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reverse logistics

What You Can Learn From the Hi-Tech Industry and Its Post-Sales Success

For many companies, particularly in cutting-edge high technology industries, an evolution has occurred as post-sales services have become an important part of their business. Post-sales services have become a significant source of revenue and profit, a way to build long-term customer relationships, and a source of competitive advantage. As healthcare evolves, the importance of services is likely to grow, creating a corresponding need for post-sales supply chain management.  

Supply chains can be thought of in three categories:

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Tis’ the Season for Returns
UPS Package Car

Did you get any gifts that were the wrong size or color? You aren’t alone.

UPS doesn’t slow down after the holidays. As more consumers shop online, they will return or exchange those unwanted holiday gifts. UPS is expected to transport more than 2 million packages back to retailers during the first week in January 2013.

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Reverse Logistics Whitepaper: Is there an “Elephant’s Graveyard” for High Tech Gadgets?
laptop repair

I’ve always believed in thinner, lighter and more powerful when it comes to electronic gadgets.  A new smart phone.  A tiny television.  A color electronic book.  All of these things fill me with inexplicable glee.  But what happens to those gizmos once they’ve been replaced with newer models?  Or when my pre-ordered device has to be returned because early units are defective?  What’s out of sight and mind for me often represents opportunities for high tech companies.

Enter reverse logistics.  Reverse logistics is the processes of receiving returned components or products for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.  It is much more than simply counting defective items returned by customers.  Reverse logistics can uncover hidden profits, reduce liability and enrich customer satisfaction.

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I’d Like to Return this Item, Please!

Did you know that, in 2010, U.S. consumers returned $200 billion worth of goods? That’s more than the GDP of 66 percent of the countries in the world. And, I bet you didn’t know that manufacturers spend 9 to 14 percent of sales on returns. All of this occurs, despite the fact that only 20 percent of the goods returned are actually defective! (2011 Greve-Davis)

Reverse logistics provides opportunities for businesses to control costs while also improving their customer’s experience. Yet many companies don’t focus enough on their reverse logistics process despite the fact that Forrester Research shows that 81 percent of consumers are more loyal to companies with a generous returns policy. But reverse logistics is not easy. In fact, it is very complicated – particularly for high-value products like computers or smart phones. Not only must the consumer return an item – they must also be given a replacement.

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