The secondary market is all too often a secondary thought for many retailers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). However, in the new retail supply chain, what you don't know can hurt you. Without intending to, organizations can be negatively impacted by a number of factors in their reverse supply chain — from lost margins to brand distortion — simply by missing how they're managing their returned and overstock product flows. By applying the old paradigms for managing the return-to-vendor (RTV) process, you put yourself behind in the race against your competitors.
No retailer (including store, catalog and online merchants) wants to see products returned, but as the National Retail Federation reported in 2008, more than $219 billion of merchandise made its way back to retail stores through consumer returns. Many astute companies, however, are winning customer loyalty, decreasing costs and creating positive revenue by effectively managing their returns processes.