RLG Impact Series: Impacting Product Returns
04 February 2021

RLG Impact Series: Impacting Product Returns

The COVID-19 crisis has led people in many countries to significantly limit physical interactions. Social distancing and strict confinement measures implemented by governments, have put a large share of traditional brick-and-mortar retail on hold. All of this accelerated the already strong trend toward e-commerce and has led to an all-time high in returns. Our experts from Cycleon are responding to this development with tailored reverse logistics solutions and are committed not only to creating value for customers and consumers but to reducing the environmental footprint associated with returns.

Cycleon is continuously improving the way returns are managed, offering sustainable end-to-end solutions. Read on to learn how that is done:

 

Smart Routing

Companies orchestrating logistics face the same challenges: Those who want to efficiently coordinate transport chains must have a flexible network, must analyze data in real-time, and manage data flows across systems and applications. Cycleon operates with an integrated platform for its returns, including an ecosystem of network partners with global scope and local reach that ensures efficient and secures logistical business processes.

Using data from past returns and their in-depth analysis, as well as relying on its extensive network of warehouses, outlet centers or recyclers, the Cycleon platform enables intelligent returns management and allows smart routing of products.

Cycleon's platform thus optimizes flows of goods, shortens transport distances, and minimizes the time required, making the return process more environmentally friendly.

 

Value Recapturing Warehouse Activities

In warehouses and distribution centers, there are yet more opportunities to embrace a more sustainable return process, largely through the warehouse activities that help to recapture the value of these items. Cycleon offers product grading, reconditioning, and re-fulfilment options as part of the return solution that is offered to retail partners. 

Product Grading – Cycleon assesses the quality and condition of a returned item, from which a grade is assigned. If a product is still in pristine condition (A-Grade) then an ideal end destination for this return can be immediately assigned. For example, it can be re-routed to somewhere it can directly be resold. Returns of a lower quality product can either be sent to outlet stores, resale platforms, or reconditioned so that they meet the criteria for a higher grade. 

Reconditioning – Here Cycleon cleans, repairs, re-bags and re-tags items so that they can be resold to customers as new. This recaptures the value of the product and the original sale, all the while preventing these non-A-grade items from becoming waste stock.

Re-fulfilment – In a return flow designed to integrate with the circular economy, smart re-routing is an item’s final destination in a warehouse setting. Returned products are sent to where their value will be maintained. This not only benefits retailers by protecting profit margins, but it’s also a greener solution. Ensuring that returns have a second life, and do not end up as waste material.

 

A Network of Localized Solutions

An important step in securing a more sustainable return operation is to have access to a network of local solutions, including postal carriers, warehouse activities, and redistribution locations, such as stores and storage facilities. In short, the sooner returns can reach these touchpoints, and the fewer emissions are spent transporting these items longer distances. 

Especially, in a post-Brexit marketplace embracing local solutions represents a valuable addition to facilitating returns. Meaning that the unnecessary transport of goods across the UK/EU border is avoided, along with the associated costs and environmental footprint.  

The consolidation of returns is also essential to this process. Grouping items together that are of a similar nature, from the same brand, or heading to the same destination, avoids unnecessary and overseas/cross-border transport.

Keeping returns within a local circular economy is not only beneficial to the environment but also for customers. They can expect quicker lead and refund times as a result, an attribute that is highly valued and improves the consumer experience. 

 

Learn more about what Cycleon can do for you here.