The Reverse Logistics Executive Council (RLEC) estimates that Reverse Logistics costs account for approximately one-half of one percent of total GDP. Therefore, Reverse Logistics is becoming an increasing area of focus for retailers and manufacturers looking to improve profitability and competitive positioning.
No area is this more apparent than within grocery logistics where sustainable distribution is a hot topic, and refused deliveries are commonplace. In practice, product refusals are normally due to damaged or miss-picked goods – leaving the driver needing to drop off the refused goods quickly in order to get to the next job. This means taking them to the provider’s nearest depot.
Logistics providers running national distribution will therefore have refused product scattered across not just their own depots but also those of their subcontractors’. The job of the logistics provider is to identify and manage the return of these products to the original manufacturer or arrange their authorised disposal. In sectors with perishable goods, for example the food and drink sector, a delay in this process will result in goods being written off that would otherwise be saleable. However reverse logistics is often a neglected area in the systems used to manage transport companies, which leaves the logistics companies and their customers exchanging spreadsheets to keep track of the stock.
Perceptant (www.perceptant.com), a pioneer of cloud computing supply chain collaboration and electronic data interchange (EDI) solutions, has developed a Reverse Logistics Portal, aptly named RLP, to give manufacturers, and the logistics service providers delivering their goods, better control and visibility of returned and refused stock without resorting to supplier access to ERP systems. Designed to compliment SAP, Epicor, Infor, Unit 4, Microsoft Dynamics and Warehouse/Transportation Management Systems, Perceptant RLP, includes a secure log-in and product code verification suite that supports secure processes while promoting efficiency across all parties.
“With a foundation of world class messaging capability we are able to ensure that the portal is efficient for all parties”, says Matthew Slinn, CEO and founder of Perceptant “Users only enter the data that cannot be interfaced from their existing systems. The portal supports users with all levels of sophistication and can therefore be rolled out to entire communities, with the only prerequisite being an internet connection”.
Perceptant has used the services of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting to specify the portal. “Where transport is contracted out separately from warehousing, the management of return and refused stock is difficult using Transport Management Systems, as access to data such as product codes is not normally part of their functionality”, says Jo Godsmark, Director of Labyrinth “Perceptant’s portal plugs this gap and gives 4PLs working on any contract, but particularly those involving perishable goods, a tool to reduce their customers’ stock losses.”
Perceptant provide software solutions that drive the integration, synchronisation and collaboration of supply chains. Available via cloud computing and simple monthly charging tariffs, our fully managed supply chain management, SaaS Integration and EDI 2.0 solutions help companies of all sizes automate B2B transactions, integrate enterprise software applications and implement collaborative business applications. Perceptant has its headquarters in Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK.