How to Develop a Reverse Logistics Strategy
• The SmartLabel program from Newgistics allows customers to drop off returns at any USPS location. The postage-paid label amount is then deducted from the customer’s return. Catalogers either can pass off all returns-processing functions to Newgistics or retain some of the function in-house.
Current Newgistics users include Neiman Marcus, Chef’s Catalog, Horchow, Abercrombie & Fitch, Eddie Bauer, J. Crew, Speigel, Newport News, and Frederick’s of Hollywood.
Contact: (512) 225-6000; www.newgistics.com
• UPS can integrate its returns labels to your Web site allowing your customers to initiate the returns process online from your site. This allows you to see in advance the items being returned to you.
The customer then can print a UPS label directly from your Web site, apply the label to the returning package, and either call for a pick-up or drop it off at a UPS location.
UPS also offers product testing and disposition, refurbishing, re-packaging, product disposal, and technical repair services.
Contact: (800) 742-5877, www.ups.com
• The new Consolidated Returns Service from FedEx allows customers to drop off returns at any FedEx location.
The company uses bar-coding to provide data visibility for the entire returns process. Returns are consolidated at regional FedEx facilities based on merchant name and product disposition code, and then reshipped.
Actual inbound freight savings vary, of course, but one large company with whom I talked reported savings of at least 15 percent.
Contact: (800) 222-7657, www.fedex.com
• USPS recently launched Parcel Return Services, a two-year pilot program in which direct marketers can retrieve returned items directly from the Postal Service’s delivery units or Bulk Mail Centers (BMC).
Customers use a prepaid return label that shippers can place in the original packages, mail to customers, or make available to customers for download via the Internet.
The price for pieces picked up at the post office nearest the customer is $2 per parcel, according to the USPS. Prices for pieces picked up at a BMC depend on the package weight and the distance traveled. USPS says that by picking up parcels at the BMC, merchants can save 24 cents to $1.51 per parcel off existing rates.