It is once again that time of year when reverse logistics executives need to start planning for Christmas returns. For both retailers and manufacturers, the Christmas returns season is the by far the most important time of year. Your ability to process the tidal wave of returns during the first quarter of year will have big impact on your company’s bottom line.
In order to help you prepare for this, we have put together our own Christmas Checklist. It’s like Santa’s list only it not about being naughty or nice, it is about maximizing the value of goods that will be coming your way after Christmas and minimizing the cost of processing those goods.
Use our 31 Point Christmas Returns Checklist tp ensure that all preparations have been made for processing all your Christmas returns. Just like those Christmas calendars, there is something for every day in December, but don’t wait until December to start planning.
The Christmas Returns Checklist
- Update defective returns estimates based on sales since Thanksgiving
- Update seasonal recall volumes by SKU and vendor / OEM / ODM
- Review existing processed inventory waiting to ship – clear out as much as possible
- Prioritize shipments by value and cube to reduce inventory and create space
- Contact primary and secondary temp agencies and review requirements
- Review management staffing and organization chart for the first quarter
- Review volume estimates and plans for outbound shipping with carriers
- Contact the provider of storage trailers and ensure adequate supply will be available
- Inspect temporary space that will be used during peak season
- Review plans for temporary space and storage trailers with Loss Prevention
- Contact top 20 vendors / ODM’s to review plans and estimates
- Review manpower plans for quality assurance and inventory control
- Review plans with Systems to ensure NO major systems changes are planned during peak season or with any systems that directly interface with the RMS
- Review plans for leasing temporary fork lifts and other power equipment
- Review all parts supplies and ensure procurement plans and sourcing is ready
- If additional shift are anticipated, procure addition lift batteries if needed
- Review shipping plans and requirements with top salvage buyers
- Review inbound sortation plans and shipping plans with internal Liquidation Department
- Test all risers, security systems, and emergency procedures immediately
- Schedule preventative maintenance ASAP for all equipment and conveyor systems prior to January
- Review first quarter manpower plans by function, by shift
- Review plans & volumes with recyclers and with waste management companies
- Send any special instructions to all stores, branches, etc.
- Notify all stores, branches, customers, and/or vendors contact information during peak
- Review plans of all outsourced repair vendors,
- Get reports of existing backlogs for all repair vendors or outsourced support areas
- Review weekly communications plans with key internal and external teams
- Review aged files for any claims or disputes to clear up prior to year end
- Meet with financial support systems management and review plans
- Contact high volume vendors and ask if they have any plans to shut down during the first quarter for retooling
- Have a merry Christmas! – Enjoy your family while you can!
With a good plan for peak returns season, and working through the 31 point Christmas Checklist, you can be assured the reverse logistics function is well prepared for this most critical time of the year.