The use of reverse logistics operators was never considered by commercial managers in past generations. If items had to come back through the supply chain for local businesses, that was seen as an irritation which was handled on a case by case basis. The fact remains that larger enterprises are ahead of the competition because they take these considerations seriously and dedicate professionals to these exact tasks. However, participants won’t select any old specialist to come in and play this role. They will examine each brand on their merit before agreeing to a project.

Seeing Who is Affordable

The first piece of criteria that managers still study about reverse logistics operators is their price of doing business. The good news is that financial rewards will be discovered in due course when there is less waste encountered and better practices put in place to worry about returned materials, but there is still an investment necessary to ensure that they can deliver this expertise. Participants in this field will take note of the quotes they access and compare them against each other according to their value proposition.

Examining Who is Approachable

While some reverse logistics operators might appear to tick all of the boxes for management, they might very well be unavailable or consider the job too extensive or not extensive enough given their target market. That approachability is a key question to ask, even in the event that they extend a consultation in the process. Clients want to see that they are transparent and have a plan for a company of that size, helping to put the pieces of the puzzle in place if an agreement is formed. It is often a subjective exercise, yet it will tell enterprises a lot about what they are working with.

Assessing Their Impact Through Infrastructure

Sending goods back through the supply chain requires a number of physical elements to be in play. From trucks and transport systems to methods of packaging, storing, and assessment on site, reverse logistics operators have the chance to utilise proficient infrastructure components that take the business to another level. The fact remains that many clients will already have these elements in place, but if there is a need to seek upgrades or to enact efficiencies, then it should be explored with these participants.

Reflecting on Software & Digital Expertise

Female worker scanning packages for reverse logistics

The nuts and bolts of introducing reverse logistics operators will be a key talking point, yet it is the digital intervention and software application processing that also has to be considered by managers. Especially in a 2021 context, so much of the transporting, tracking and management of materials is undertaken without any direct contact, seeing suppliers, vendors and manufacturers all communicate through computer and smartphone pathways. If they are in a position to upgrade these facilities or adapt a new design, they will be worth talking to about a customised brand project.

Taking Note of Industry Reputation

What other community members say about reverse logistics operators is worth reflecting on for commercial managers before progressing any further. Ratings and comments will be published online, but industry peers will also have a lot to say about their experiences if their circumstances are comparable. It is a great way for management to be thinking and acting in a strategic sense, assessing past performance and determining if they are in a position to deliver quality results for them given the expectation.

Deciding on which reverse logistics operators are suited for commercial management teams is unique for every entity, but it will require some research and consultation before clients have confidence in these professionals. If they do mesh with the team and identify areas that can be improved for the organisation, it will be an investment worth making.