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How to Move Forward with Reverse Logistics

Everyone has experienced this scenario: a great event is planned in advance, a timeline is set with a predetermined flow of the party, from when guests arrive to the food and music, all the way to their departure at the end of the evening. But as with most events, the host may experience some hiccups along the way. The same goes for many planned and well-organized supply chain processes – they carry with them the threat of unplanned and unintended events, especially when moving product from the point of origin to its final destination. And it is when that shipment does not arrive in its best condition that shippers experience the reverse logistics process.

Reverse logistics is the invariable result of unintended consequences, which are typically referred to as “over, short and damaged” (OS&D). This includes unsold and returned items that must be dealt with in a timely manner. It can also represent a significant supply chain cost, as there tends to be disorganization around managing reverse logistics that is more challenging than conventional “forward” logistics management. The critical difference is that transportation is the last step in forward logistics and the first with reverse, which can cause problems.

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October 27, 2015