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 a bad product or just decide they do not want it.
Although returns account for a sizable proportion of online sales in numerous industries, companies fearing bad publicity are reluctant to talk about them. Consequently, reverse logistics gets little discussion. However, it can have enormous implications towards the smooth and efficient running of a business.
Key aspects of reverse logistics – There are a variety of key components to effective reverse logistics. To keep customers happy, internet retailers (known as e-retailers) must have a good returns policy in place, and ship exchange items/issue credit notes or refunds quickly and efficiently. Based on research, eighty-nine percent of online buyers say return policies influence their decision to shop with the e-retailer.
It is also important to minimise the expense of reverse logistics to some business. One way to accomplish this is always to manage the retention or disposal of returned products. This is referred to as 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 suitable for repackaging and resale
3. Repair/recondition on the market – faulty products appropriate for repair and resale with a lower cost
4. Come 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 challenges of asset recovery include sorting items into these categories, updating inventories live, and recording customer returns. Doing these tasks manually is slow and inefficient, which bleeds money. This is unacceptable, specifically 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 cabability to track parcels. Automated sortation systems are perfect for any company which has a returns policy.
Sortation systems for asset recovery – a good example.
At sorter induction points, operators scan returned products, inspect or test those 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 piece of equipment vision system mounted overhead identifies product labels and instructs the sorter to deliver things to specific destinations for more processing. Destinations include facilities for all the action categories, such as repackaging areas and waste collection sites.
Identifying parcel labels – Automated sortation systems use one of two kinds of technology employed to identify parcel labels: traditional laser scanners and camera based machine vision systems. Lasers depend on barcodes, and also have been utilized to scan parcels for 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) techniques to interpret these images.
Users can configure camera systems with multiple units to photograph approximately six sides of the parcel. What this means is the label can be in any orientation on these faces.
The benefits of camera systems – Read rates are essential towards the efficient running of your automated sortation system. When associated with a videocoding system, a facility that enables 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. This makes them tough and durable – perfect for warehousing or some other industrial environments. Long service lives mean they may be affordable long term.
Conclusion – In reverse logistics, Automated Vision Inspection Machines quickly separate items for asset recovery and send them for additional processing. They reduce costs and prevent loading docks becoming jammed with thousands, sometimes even an incredible number of pounds amount of returned merchandise. Automated sortation systems really are a highly beneficial, affordable solution for e-retailers under pressure to cut budgets and meet efficiency, productivity, and throughput targets.