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Tackling the parcel flood

The booming e-commerce business requires completely new service concepts

Tackling the parcel flood

The moment he slips into his brand new, just delivered running shoes, Rudolf Sommer realises that they are too small. That’s a pity but no need to worry as he bought them online - which means he may easily send them back and get them exchanged into another size.  Sommer just needs to download the appropriate label from the website, print it out and take the parcel to the parcel shop.

Now, it’s up to the sports equipment manufacturer who sells its products through an online shop: Once the running shoes have arrived at the dispatch centre, service employees must first assess whether the goods description and the contained articles match: Is it in fact the new shoes delivered? Or perhaps an already used pair of shoes? Or even a pair of worn out sneakers or other rubbish? If everything is alright, the money will be retransferred with a mouse click. In the next step, the returned goods need to be categorized: Are they going for resale? Do they have to be repaired? Or is disposal the only possible way?

E-commerce is assumed to grow tremendously in the future while customers still expect fast delivery and short response times. Designing appropriate internal processes therefore becomes a crucial competence in this highly competitive business. However, many retailers fail to tackle the associated challenges on their own.

For the sports equipment manufacturer, the number of items sold through its online shop has increased significantly within a short time – resulting in a corresponding high number of parcels returned. Hundreds of parcels like that of Mr. Summer’s come back every day due to wrong size, colour, not liked or a broken seam and buckling the retailers infrastructure. Effort and cost for returns handling have literally exploded and process times often times last too long, leading into customer dissatisfaction.

Today however, returns handling runs smoothly and fast as an external service provider takes care of all return shipments. An integrated IT solution controls all processes now and provides a complete overview of all returns. Since it can be linked to the retailer’s proprietary CRM system, the gained data may also be used for Business Intelligence. Additionally, the service provider handles all logistical challenges as, for example, transportation or recycling of defective products.

As a result, not only process times have been reduced, also costs could be halved. Moreover, the internal employees’ workload could be reduced and customer satisfaction has increased measurably. But the best thing is: From now on, everyone in the company can concentrate again on selling sports equipment.

Rudolf Sommer's doorbell rings. It’s the parcel man with the new shoes. In the parcel, Sommer finds a piece of paper with the slogan “Return to Value” and a handwritten note: “Hopefully everything fits now – have a good run!” “Nice service”, thinks Sommer while putting on the new shoes and leaves immediately for a run.

“We do end-to-end returns management, always thinking about the consumer.” Interview Jelle Schoemaker, Sales Director Cycleon

Cycleon
Reverse Logistics Group
Orteliuslaan 899
3528 BE Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel +31 30 299 55 00
E-Mail: info@cycleon.com

Cycleon is part of the Reverse Logitics Group (RLG). We design, build and manage on behalf of our customers tailor made reverse logistics solutions that will enhance your customer loyalty and create value.

The Reverse Chain Solutions of Cycleon provide transparency, operational efficiency and control. Any return management solution can be designed for any product or service, from envelopes to pallets; there are no limitations to our service offerings!