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 incorrect product or just decide they do not need it.
Although returns take into account a sizable proportion of online sales in many industries, companies fearing bad publicity are reluctant to talk about them. As a result, reverse logistics gets little discussion. However, it can have enormous implications to the smooth and efficient running of any business.
Key components of reverse logistics – There are numerous of key components to effective reverse logistics. To help 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 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 important to minimise the cost of reverse logistics to your business. One way to accomplish this would be 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 recover costs. These usually include:
1. Restock – unopened products that can go straight back into inventory
2. Repackage available for sale – opened goods in “as new” condition ideal for repackaging and resale
3. Repair/recondition on the market – faulty products appropriate for repair and resale in a lower cost
4. Return to vendor – things to be returned for the original vendor or manufacturer for credit or exchange
5. Scrap – products with little if any recovery vale
The difficulties of asset recovery include sorting items in to these categories, updating inventories instantly, and recording customer returns. Doing these tasks manually is slow and inefficient, which bleeds money. This really is unacceptable, particularly in the current economic system.
Automated parcel sortation
Automated sortation systems, which many e-retailers already use to optimise order fulfillment and delivery, help solve the difficulties 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 has a returns policy.
Sortation systems for asset recovery – a good example.
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 out items to specific destinations for further processing. Destinations include facilities for all of the action categories, including repackaging areas and waste collection sites.
Identifying parcel labels – Automated sortation systems use one of two kinds of technology utilized to identify parcel labels: traditional laser scanners and camera based machine vision systems. Lasers count on barcodes, and also have been used to scan parcels for over thirty years.
Camera based systems use auto-focus, line-scan, high-speed cameras to capture high-resolution photographic images of parcel labels. The device 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 a parcel. This means the label can maintain any orientation on these faces.
The advantages of camera systems – Read rates are vital to the efficient running of your automated sortation system. When connected to a videocoding system, a facility that 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 durable – perfect 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 countless 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.