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Reverse Lifecycle Management: The Next Opportunity in Reverse Logistics

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Given the huge potential for cost savings, risk protection, and revenue gains, companies should seriously consider building a business case and ROI justification for investment in an RLM solution. By Michael R. Blumberg, CMC

Enterprise software solutions are widespread, but not until recently have integrated, multi-function, end-to-end systems been available for global deployments in the reverse logistics industry.

Many companies involved in the reverse logistics industry have had a myriad of fragmented, disjointed systems, leading to a series of issues for manufacturers, retailers, and 3rd party service providers.

In short, many firms miss opportunities or incur higher costs due to the lack of efficiency and service productivity in their reverse supply chains. This white paper explores many of the systemic challenges that companies face when managing Reverse Logistics Supply Chain (RLSC) operations.

In a new market research study of 250 reverse logistics professionals recently conducted by Blumberg Advisory Group, Inc., more than 50% of respondents rated their current systems as not effective (3 or less on a 5-point scale) in many critical performance metrics due to the fragmented and disjointed nature of the reverse logistics management systems they currently have in place. Because of this, the majority of respondents believe that an end-to-end solution would greatly improve the performance of their operations.

In the following pages we discuss issues that affect many enterprises engaged in reverse logistics and how they ultimately affect the bottom line. Additionally, we introduce a new holistic concept for understanding end-to-end reverse logistics processes called Reverse Lifecycle Management (RLM). Finally, we describe the characteristics of the ideal RLM solution, the business benefits, and take a look at how a particular vendor’s software system (Kewill Reverse Logistics) illustrates some of these concepts.

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