fragile warehouse logistics with returns

Warehouse Productivity: A Two Way Street

Often when considering the processes of your warehouse inventory and supply chain management, all the concentration goes into getting quality products out the door in record time. One often hears the term speed to market when speaking about supply and manufacturing industries. In fact, speed to market is a key element when investment funds are considering a CPG (consumer packaged goods) company, especially those focused on food, beverage and wellness categories.

Speed to Market

Speed to market places one’s concentration on getting the good developed, manufactured, and delivered. The business process is focused on getting an item out the warehouse door and into a customer’s hands. However, there is a very important aspect to warehouse efficiencies – especially in the retail industry. And as e-commerce continues to grow exponentially each year, so do…

Returns

What seems like an obvious aspect of business process consideration has been, to date, sorely overlooked by executive leaders. A recently published report by Newmine and RVCF states that, “market pressure to satisfy the increasing expectations of today’s consumers has resulted in a $400 billion problem (customer returns) that has been called retail’s ‘ticking time bomb.'”

Lead the way: Executive Ownership

In an Apparel posting today, Navjit Bhasin, Founder and CEO of Newmine, writes, “most retail organizations have yet to execute and institutionalize a returns reduction effort that’s sustainable”. Bhasin goes on to give a real-world scenario on the impact of a customer return experience to the retail organization.

We currently have our own real-world scenario regarding warehouse productivity and returns. One of our team members is encamped in a client’s warehouse putting out fires right and left. What was believed to be a two week fire-fighter situation has stretched out for over a month. There are two primary issues playing into the deterioration of the warehouse environment and productivity; handling returns and leadership support.

Removing Fuel

The earlier a company incorporates customer returns, whether it is lot traceability, return policies, and warehouse processes, the less likely this ever increasing issue of product returns will burst into a full scale fire. Getting a headstart and implementing your business processes for returns will not only help with your bottom line, but will also increase and support a positive work environment, as the above mentioned job again proved to us.

Warehousing and productivity is truly a two way street!

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