Reverse logistics is the movement of goods from customers to the manufactures to capture their value or proper disposal. The reverse logistics in pharma industry process involves collecting goods from the customer and sorting the different components to either dispose of or retrieve them at different points in the supply chain and remanufacturing process.
What is reverse logistics needed for?
Reverse logistics plays a crucial role in enhancing the value extraction process for returned goods, further helping the economics of manufacturers. For instance, if a laptop is returned by a customer because it’s defective, a manufacturer can employ the reverse logistics process to extract working parts from the device and use them for another laptop. Reverse logistics isn’t just used for returned products but also for goods that are at the end of their lifecycle. Using 3PL reverse logistics, you can gain some value by reselling items as is or refurbishing and selling them to a liquidator. Materials that cannot be salvaged can be recycled or disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
Another reason why reverse logistic solutions are required is that they help increase the effectiveness of a traditional supply chain by segregating the operations into functional parts.
Types of Reverse Logistics
Reverse logistics can be employed for a variety of businesses and industries. Here are some of the common situations that call for reverse logistics solutions:
- Returns: For goods that are returned under a warranty
- Returns avoidance: Reverse logistic solutions aimed at minimizing returns by employing local repair partners or support websites
- Remanufacturing: Building products using a combination of reused, repaired and new parts
- Refurbishing: Fixing returned goods to resell them
- Packaging: Using durable packaging that can be reused by sending it back in the supply chain
- Unsold goods: Return of unsold goods to the manufacturer, if the contract mentions it
- End-of-life: Collection of goods at the end of their life or recycling or reuse
- Delivery Failure: Product returns in cases of delivery failures, for instance, when the customer refuses the delivery
- Rentals & leasing: Returns of goods or products that have been rented or leased for a specified duration
- Repairs & maintenance: Return of products for repairs or maintenance
How can reverse logistics help the Pharma industry?
Reverse logistics in pharmaceutical industry is a growing occurrence and holds high importance from economic, environmental, and regulatory points of view. Returns in the pharmaceutical industry are pegged to be worth more than $2.5 billion with the reverse flow of goods estimated at $5 billion. In the pharmaceutical business, common reasons for returns include wrong shipments, counterfeit or fake goods, expired or damaged goods, product recalls, and clinical trial recovery.
Reverse logistics solutions for the pharmaceutical industry are extremely important given the sheer volume of the goods and the money associated. Factors to consider when implementing reverse logistics in pharmaceutical industry include traceability of the returned goods, using automation to keep costs low, the security of goods returned by customers, and the final stage of disposition.
Reverse Logistics Best Practices
Logistics and reverse logistics are crucial aspects of any goods-based business. Here are some best practices to follow when establishing your reverse logistics strategy:
- Create a comprehensive disposition strategy for goods returned by customers
- Establish detailed codes to track reasons for returned goods and devise appropriate plans to eliminate the root cause
- Work with experts to create clear reverse logistics flow for both information and goods
- Work out the actual cost of returns and reverse logistics solutions
- Train your supply chain partners in optimal reverse logistics and collaborate with them to enhance overall efficiency
- Make sure information about returns is traceable throughout the supply chain channel
- Consult with partners to set up joint reverse logistics processes and initiatives
- Identify and eliminate factors that disrupt reverse logistics chains with targeted and functional measures
You can create a robust reverse logistics system using Tookan’s powerful and efficient delivery management toolkit. With Tookan’s end-to-end route planning, real-time tracking and automated dispatch, you can easily build a reverse logistics chain that’s both functional and cost-effective.
You can better manage your reverse logistics operations using Tookan’s dedicated dashboard that allows you to control all aspects of your business from a single page. To save on operation costs, you can use Tookan’s smart analytics to improve and optimize the performance of your fleet.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you get your reverse logistics operations off the ground.
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