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How much is your returns process costing you?

Discover how your business could save money by streamlining your returns process.

by Mark Hallett

Most retail organisations that make or sell manufactured goods face the inevitable returns process of faulty items for repair. A time-consuming and potentially costly process then kicks in, during which the product is assessed, repaired (if possible), repackaged and returned to the customer. 

Research carried out by Accenture, found 5% of returns have a fault. This might not sound high, but with many organisations retaining a manual, paper-based process for logging repairs, there is huge potential for human error – both in terms of information recorded, and the possibility of information going astray. With such errors, come inevitable cost implications.

So, how can you streamline this process? 

The same Accenture research recommends organisations work to understand the total landed cost of returns. Accounting for factors such as transportation and shipping, inventory, labour and materials, simply cannot be achieved with paper-based systems. It’s vital to implement an automated platform to gain control.

Returns should have a slot on the sales and operations planning agenda, where returns data is reviewed and continuous improvement opportunities are identified. Needless to say, this is another approach that can only be achieved with a digital platform in place to provide visibility.

If this sounds like a huge challenge, then you may be pleased to discover that Castrum can help automate this process, ensuring a streamlined system is in place to deliver a seamless repair and return process.  

To give you an example of how this can benefit your business, Castrum worked with a large mother and baby retailer on their pushchair repair process. Before Castrum, the process cost the business over £30m a year. They had a paper-based process for repairs with limited visibility, meaning staff instore couldn’t see where the repair was in the process. They now have a clear workflow for processing repairs, and their suppliers have access to the Castrum Portal so they can provide an update to the store on the progress of the repair

If returns and repairs are costing your business money, talk to one of the team today to discuss how Castrum can streamline and automate your process.

*A “Returning Problem” Reducing the Quantity and Cost of Product Returns in Consumer Electronics