Reverse Logistics: what it is and what are its benefits

Reverse Logistics: what it is and what are its benefits

In general terms, it could be said that logistics is the set of all those processes necessary for a product or service to reach the end user; it mainly covers transport, storage and distribution operations.

In turn, and due to the constant change in processes and ways of doing things, largely due to technological advances, different modalities in processes coexist, such as reverse logistics.

La reverse logistics It is a very broad concept that can encompass a myriad of activities since, for example, some of them have ecological purposes (with the objective of avoiding harm to the environment) or others for commercial or productive purposes only, since their actions are interconnected to market supply.

So... What is Reverse Logistics?

With the rise of the already known ecommerce, logistics processes have been forced to adapt and update themselves to new trends and market processes in order to maintain competitiveness vis-a-vis other companies. One of the aspects in which logistics has had to adapt the most due to these b2c stores is, precisely, in the logistics of returns or returns (those users who have purchased an item online and want to return it directly).

In this way, reverse logistics can be defined as the set of practices and processes responsible for managing the returns and returns of those products purchased by users. These returns or returns are managed from the points of sale of the products to the manufacturer itself (to carry out the repair, recycling or disposal of the product at the lowest possible cost).

In addition, logistics is already another process and of vital importance when planning the supply chain for the satisfaction of the end customer.

What are the differences between regular logistics and reverse logistics?

The infrastructure required to manage reverse logistics processes is, as a general rule, the same as for any other logistics process in use. However, we can find differences both in its planning and in its monitoring: the operation is different, since now the customer is the one who can act as a “warehouse” and wait for the collection of their product for subsequent evaluation and economic compensation. In this way, new adapted processes must be considered and taken into account, such as the user's pickup or the treatment of the return product.

Types of Reverse Logistics

According to the article on Reverse Logistics From the company Imatica, specialized in IT services and management software, two types of reverse logistics can be differentiated due to the difference in their approach or objectives.

Business: consists of managing the returns that customers make to inventories or manufacturers.

Eco-friendly: one of the priorities of reverse logistics is precisely the reduction of the environmental impact caused by business activities. For this reason, its use for waste treatment, such as recycling, is also very popular (discarded objects are grouped together for their subsequent recovery process to promote their use).

Benefits of Reverse Logistics

The benefits of reverse logistics are diverse, since they can have both an impact on a better corporate image of the company as well as contributing to a cost reduction. In addition, it is also necessary to highlight the enormous environmental benefit in ecological reverse logistics thanks to practices such as recycling.

Economically, this type of logistics can be significantly beneficial since it is reduced both in time and in costs because there is no need to invest in new materials in the production chain.

Also, and taking into account the typology, “ecological inverted logistics” promotes environmental protection as long as practices such as recycling are carried out (raw materials are created from waste, thus generating a second life cycle for products). All of this also contributes to the improvement of the company's corporate image, since all actions that take advantage of sustainability are increasingly recognized and better valued.

For all these reasons, reverse logistics must be increasingly optimal and efficient, since the management capacity that any company has to manage services such as product returns or customer returns will determine its business success.

As with traditional logistics and last-mile delivery services, reverse logistics also requires tailored planning and optimization, since the user's requirements will be the same: a satisfactory experience both in terms of quality and economy with timely collections and quick returns.

In order to plan reverse logistics that meets the needs of users, it is essential to adopt a last mile management software that allows the efficiency and optimization of all the resources available in your company.

With Routal Planner you will get specialized software that can carry out the different operations that involve reverse logistics, such as the collection and return of products, thanks to optimal planning of the process and with real-time monitoring of its development. Below, we show you a short video in which we show you how to carry out this type of operation in a simple and, above all, efficient way thanks to the use of Planner.

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