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Help track returns

07 April 2016

You can use WMS to track returns and attach important attributes to each item, says Esther Dutton from MACS Software.

Retail has changed. As the popularity of online shopping has blossomed, so the concept of returns management has taken on a new importance.

Modern warehouse management systems, such as MACSwms, control the entire returns process ensuring that customers are satisfied, valuable stock is tracked, records updated and profits retained.

A key element in MACSwms is its ability to automatically allocate each returned item a specific status that clearly identifies the reasons for its return and the course of action required.

The process will be different for each customer, designed to meet the specific needs of the business. However, once in operation, it will not only ensure that returned stock doesn’t end up on the stock room floor and that customers are kept happy, it will also identify important trends that can help to direct decisions. For example, if a product line suffers from a high number of returns, perhaps it should not be stocked in future or the entire batch should be recalled. Conversely, items that are rarely returned can be promoted knowing that a delivery is more likely to turn into a sale.

Through a streamlined process of alerts, scheduled reports and continual stock analysis it is possible to identify these trading patterns, understand which items are returned, why and how best to maximise the profitability of the business.

Whether your company is managing its own stock, is providing a 3PL service or is trading through e-fulfilment, returned stock is a fact of life. The efficiency with which returns are managed can make the difference between profit and loss, success or failure. As guardians of the stock management process, today’s warehouse management systems play a huge part in helping companies get it right.