Reverse logistics refers to the control over 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 need it.
Although returns make up a sizable proportion of online sales in lots of industries, companies fearing bad publicity are reluctant to talk about them. Consequently, reverse logistics gets little discussion. However, it can have enormous implications to the smooth and efficient running of a business.
Key elements of reverse logistics – There are a variety of key components to effective reverse logistics. To help keep customers happy, online stores (called e-retailers) must have a very good returns policy in position, and ship exchange items/issue credit notes or refunds efficiently and quickly. According to research, eighty-nine percent of online buyers say return policies influence their decision to look with the e-retailer.
Additionally it is important to minimise the price of reverse logistics to a business. One way to make this happen is always to manage the retention or disposal of returned products. This is known as asset recovery.
Asset recovery – E-retailers place returned products into action categories to recover costs. These usually include:
1. Restock – unopened items that can go straight back into inventory
2. Repackage on the market – opened goods in “as new” condition suitable for repackaging and resale
3. Repair/recondition available for sale – faulty products appropriate for repair and resale at a lower cost
4. Come back to vendor – items to be returned for 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. Performing these tasks manually is slow and inefficient, which bleeds money. This can be 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 opportunity to track parcels. Automated sortation systems are ideal for any company that includes 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. Merchandise is 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 out items to specific destinations for additional processing. Destinations include facilities for the action categories, such as repackaging areas and waste collection sites.
Identifying parcel labels – Automated sortation systems utilize one of two kinds of technology used to identify parcel labels: traditional laser scanners and camera based machine vision systems. Lasers rely on barcodes, and possess been employed 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 program uses sophisticated computer algorithms and optical character recognition (OCR) methods to interpret these images.
Users can configure camera systems with multiple units to photograph up to six sides of any parcel. This means the label can maintain any orientation on these faces.
Some great benefits of camera systems – Read rates are crucial to the efficient running of the automated sortation system. When connected to 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 – ideal for warehousing or some other industrial environments. Long service lives mean these are cost efficient 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, economical solution for e-retailers under pressure to slice budgets and meet efficiency, productivity, and throughput targets.