The holidays are over, and the returns are flooding in. But there are ways to keep those periwinkle turtlenecks from choking your warehouse, says the newsletter Distribution Digest, whose editor offers these tips:
Know exactly what was returned. The product may not come back in its original package. Providing an RMA and giving employees access to the order helps identify the item.
Train workers to identify the product’s condition. Give them the tools they need to check each item as it comes in. Electronics, for example, may require testing equipment; assembled products must be checked to determine if all the components are still there.
Record the information. This process doesn’t have to be fancy — use paper, a spreadsheet, returned merchandise software, or whatever you have available. The important thing is to write down all the details of the transaction as soon as possible to expedite credit to the customer.