Reverse logistics refers to the management of product returns. Just like working with unsatisfied customers and counting stock, it is part and parcel of the Top Machine Vision Inspection System Manufacturer. Online shoppers return goods for many different reasons. Products may be broken or damaged, not as expected, or of insufficient quality. Orders may arrive late, incorrect, or incomplete. Sometimes customers order the wrong product or just decide they do not want it.
Although returns make up a big proportion of online sales in numerous industries, companies fearing bad publicity are reluctant to discuss them. Consequently, reverse logistics gets little discussion. However, it can have enormous implications for the smooth and efficient running of any business.
Key components of reverse logistics – There are numerous of key components to effective reverse logistics. To keep customers happy, online retailers (referred to as e-retailers) must have a very good returns policy set up, and ship exchange items/issue credit notes or refunds efficiently and quickly. Based on research, eighty-nine percent of online buyers say return policies influence their decision to look having an e-retailer.
It is also vital that you minimise the cost of reverse logistics to a business. A good way to accomplish this is to manage the retention or disposal of returned products. This is called asset recovery.
Asset recovery – E-retailers place returned products into action categories to recuperate costs. These usually include:
1. Restock – unopened items that can go straight back into inventory
2. Repackage available for sale – opened goods in “as new” condition appropriate for repackaging and resale
3. Repair/recondition available for sale – faulty products suitable for repair and resale at a lower cost
4. Go back to vendor – things to be returned towards the original vendor or manufacturer for credit or exchange
5. Scrap – products with little or no recovery vale
The difficulties of asset recovery include sorting items in to these categories, updating inventories live, and recording customer returns. Performing these tasks manually is slow and inefficient, which bleeds money. This really is unacceptable, particularly in the current economic climate.
Automated parcel sortation
Automated sortation systems, which many e-retailers already use to optimise order fulfillment and delivery, help solve the problems of asset recovery. They expedite the sorting and processing of returned goods, and incorporate software that automatically updates inventories.
Benefits include improved efficiency, reduced costs, and the ability to track parcels. Automated sortation systems are best for any company that includes a returns policy.
Sortation systems for asset recovery – an illustration.
At sorter induction points, operators scan returned products, inspect or test them to determine their asset recovery value, and designate appropriate action categories. Products are then placed onto conveyors or sorter trays manually or using automatic feeders.
A unit vision system mounted overhead identifies product labels and instructs the sorter to send items to specific destinations for additional processing. Destinations include facilities for all of the action categories, such as repackaging areas and waste collection sites.
Identifying parcel labels – Automated sortation systems utilize one of two types of technology utilized to identify parcel labels: traditional laser scanners and camera based machine vision systems. Lasers count on barcodes, and possess been employed to scan parcels more than thirty years.
Camera based systems use auto-focus, line-scan, high-speed cameras to capture high-resolution photographic images of parcel labels. The system uses sophisticated computer algorithms and optical character recognition (OCR) strategies to interpret these images.
Users can configure camera systems with multiple units to photograph as much as six sides of a parcel. This means the label can maintain any orientation on these faces.
The benefits of camera systems – Read rates are crucial for the efficient running of your automated sortation system. When connected to a videocoding system, a facility which allows operators to input unreadable labels manually, camera systems achieve read rates approaching 100% at high-speed.
OCR technology allows camera systems to read text, supplier numbers, and even human written address information, as well as barcodes and 2D codes. Cameras also identify dirty, marked or damaged codes, and codes behind droupq packaging.
Camera systems contain few moving parts and require little maintenance. As a result them tough and sturdy – perfect for warehousing or some other industrial environments. Long service lives mean they may be inexpensive long term.
Conclusion – In reverse logistics, Automated Vision Inspection Machines quickly separate items for asset recovery and send them for further processing. They reduce costs preventing loading docks becoming jammed with thousands, sometimes even an incredible number of pounds worth of returned merchandise. Automated sortation systems certainly are a highly beneficial, affordable solution for e-retailers under pressure to reduce budgets and meet efficiency, productivity, and throughput targets.