The paper "Reverse Logistics Management" is a great example of management coursework. Logistics is usually defined as a process of handling items as they travel through a supply system back and forth. It is usually termed as the management of the flow of materials and services between their source and point of use by consumers and corporations. It involves integrating information from inventory, warehousing, packaging, transportation, handling and security. It adds the value of time and place utility. Reverse logistics involves handling of materials moving back through a supply. It is basically the flow of goods from the consumer to the retailer or producer.
It accounts for a high percentage of losses incurred by firms in their production and hence the need for proper management. This paper will discuss the importance of logistic activities of demand forecasting and customer service in any reverse logistics operation. This paper will focus mainly on how demand forecasting and customer service adds value to reverse logistics in terms of place, form, and time utility. Discussion Logistics has over the years become a specialized function. It supplies services and processes that are required for the flow of materials and goods efficiently.
These processes according to Jan (2007, pg. 11) mainly include transportation, handling of goods and warehousing. Specialization of logistics function usually leads to the formation of new departments which combine transport and handling together with warehousing options. Logistics can also be used as a coordinative function. Coordination of flow of raw materials from the source to the end-user and the entire supply chain requires that the materials are supplied in good time. It also requires that supply be carried out in the means most suitable to reduce expenses involved. In most cases of demand and supply, the end-user is always the consumer.
In reverse logistics, there is a reversal of the chain of supply from the consumer to the manufacturer. This, however, does not affect the chain of supply as more goods are produced and supplied to the consumer. Furthermore, according to Dowlatshahi (2010), the returned goods can be reprocessed and hence, brought back to the market for use by the consumer. Reverse logistics being the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow of materials, is related to the reuse of products and materials.
It usually involves finished goods and relevant information moving from the point of consumption to production. It is mainly for purposes of proper disposal or recapture of value. This according to Jan (2007), may include remanufacturing or refurbishing of goods. It involves the sale of any surplus and returned machines for leasing out. In this case, goods move at least one step back in the chain of supply from the customer. Customers require high standards to be maintained in the goods and products they purchase.
Failure to meet these required standards may result in the goods being returned to the supplier and if not well managed this could to great losses. It is important for any logistics company to ensure that the period or timeline for the return of goods or services is shortened. This will make it convenient for both customers and suppliers. It is important that reverse logistics be carried out efficiently as it plays a great role in customer retention.
Dowlatshahi, S 2010, A cost benefit analysis for the design and implementation of reverse logistics systems: case studies approach, International journal of production research. March, Vol.48, Issue 5, pp. 78-89.
Jan, D 2007, Logistics outsourcing relationships: measurements, antecedents, and effects of logistics outsourcing performance, Springer, New York.
Jayaraman, V 2007, Creating competitive advantages through new value creation: A reverse logistics perspective. Academy of management perspectives, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 56-76.
Ramirez, A 2011, Effect of reverse logistics and flexibility on organizational performance. Economics & Management, Vol.16, p. 873-881.
Weeks, K & Gao, H 2010, An empirical study of impacts of production mix, production route efficiencies on operations performance and profitability: a reverse logistics approach. International journal of production research. Vol.48, Issue 4, p. 23-56.
Zhang, B 2008, The game research on reverse logistics of enterprise under complete information state. China-USA Business review, Vol.7, Issue 10, p. 34-56.