Reverse logistics services have long been in place in a number of industries around the world. Even though the term itself is somewhat novel, the concept is age-old. Understanding how it works, quickly reveals several benefits. It’s a concept that allows you to use it to your advantage in ways that you perhaps have not yet considered. Here is a basic explanation of what reverse logistics services are and how they can be used.
What Is Reverse Logistics
Reverse logistics represents all processes that help in the reuse of things that are sold or made. It involves putting things “in reverse” in that the starting point is the point of consumption, not the point of origin or manufacture. It is the process used to get something from the consumer to a manufacturer for either further use or reuse. It can also include getting things from the consumer to a point where they can be properly disposed of, but this typically also involves some sort of either reuse or recycling process.
Reverse logistics is a big part of the recycling process. However, it has been in place long before recent decades when recycling has grown in popularity. It’s easy to find great example of reverse logistics services if you start by examining the home lives of many people in North America. The process of composting is a crude, yet very efficient method of reverse logistics, for example. When someone composts, they are taking something that used to be in the hands of a consumer, a component of a food, such as a banana peel, and they are using it to help produce more food. As the peel is included with the composting material its purpose is changed. It becomes an element in the creation of a new food item. The alternative would be to not use a reverse logistics system and just toss the peel. Depending on where it is disposed of, it could be nothing more than an ugly liability. This helps emphasize one of the primary benefits of reverse logistics services: sustainability.
Sustainability Through Reverse Logistics Services
If a consumer takes a product they don’t want and they return it, it can be managed and repackaged using reverse logistics services. For example, if you have a phone that no longer works, it is likely that the phone has some parts that are fully functional. There is also the chance that only one element of the phone is faulty, and it could be something as minor as a battery or a connection that helps transfer power from the battery to the rest of the phone. In this case, reverse logistics services can help benefit all parties involved due to the sustainability they introduce into the equation.
If the battery is bad, that means the rest of the phone is good. The same can be said if a component used to transfer power from the batter you to the rest of the phone has gone bad. If that is replaced, the phone is once again functional. If it doesn’t have any other damage, it can be repackaged and resold to a new consumer. If the phone has a similar problem in the future—as long as it’s not thrown away—it can be used once again, thanks to reverse logistics services.
Reverse Logistics and Public Image
It’s not hard to find a movie that begins with a post-apocalyptic image of the Earth. What was the catalyst that drove the planet into a dismal spiral of destruction? Waste, trash, garbage, or excessive consumerism. Reverse logistics is viewed by many in the public as a solution to the wasteful lifestyles many people have become so accustomed to these days. When something isn’t thrown away but re-used, it avoids the trash heap, the same trash heap that threatens to overtake people’s living spaces. Naturally, this applies to food grade logistics, but it also applies to warehouse logistics even though the image of warehouse-related systems is often far less obvious than that of the food pipeline. If a company uses reverse logistics, they can let the public know via press releases, and this could boost their image.
Reverse logistics checks off a lot of boxes. It helps save time, money, and even the environment.