When it comes to running a business, reducing waste and cutting costs are high up on an owner or manager’s priorities list. One way to achieve both is through reverse logistics management (RLM).
RLM is the process of planning, organizing, and executing the return of products and materials to their original manufacturer or supplier. Implementing it can help your business save time and money while reducing environmental impact. Keep reading to learn more about waste management logistics and how it can benefit your business.
What is Reverse Logistics Management?
RLM is the process of handling physical products after they have been sold and used by the customer; that is, from the point of consumption back to the point of origin for the purpose of either proper waste disposal or recapturing value. This covers product returns, repairs, and recycling.
Some examples of situations where it is applied are:
- at a grocery store where consumers return defective, expired, or dissatisfactory items
- at a repair shop where customers bring their broken items for fixing or upgrading
- at recycling companies that receive returns from stores and people for items or packaging to be recycled
How Does Reverse Logistics Management Benefit A Company?
There are many benefits of reverse logistics management. One of the biggest perks is that it helps companies lower their operating costs and improve customer service levels.
When reverse logistics is managed internally or outsourced to a company, companies can save money on equipment, labor, warehousing space, transportation costs, turnaround times on repairs, and more. This can help them stay competitive and profitable.
A company that applies reverse logistics to their products can also generate more revenue, as this can literally put money back into savings. All these are achieved with minimal impact on the environment.
Waste Management Logistics vs. Reverse Logistics Management
Waste management and reverse logistics (RLM) go hand-in-hand when it comes to protecting the environment and keeping resources available for future generations.
If you reverse the logistics management process, you collect products after they have been used by consumers. If those products are not collected, recycled, reused, or disposed of properly, they will end up as waste. This is why reverse logistics is often used interchangeably with the term “waste management logistics.”
In reverse logistics recycling, there are three different types of materials that can be recycled:
- Natural resources from products such as timber, ore, oil, and coal, which can be recovered for their energy content.
- Products themselves can be recycled again to make new items or converted into a combustible fuel instead of being landfilled or incinerated.
- Components within a product may contain valuable materials that can be extracted and reused if recycled efficiently before going to landfill/incineration.
5 R’s of Reverse Logistics
There are different types of reverse logistics, but the five R’s of reverse logistics management cover the most common processes.
Returns represents a company’s ability to take back products from customers who either want refunds, exchanges, or store credit.
Repairs allow a company to offer their customers an opportunity for their faulty products to be fixed instead of sending them straight to landfill.
Reuse is often more cost-effective than recycling and can generate more revenue if done properly. Products that have been repaired or refurbished may be resold in the marketplace by a retailer or wholesaler who has access to this type of inventory through reverse logistics channels.
Repackaging is often recommended when repairing, refurbishing, or reselling products that will later be sent to a different market than the one they were originally intended for. By doing this, companies can reduce the risks of warranty claims and product liability issues caused by potential misuse.
Recycling turns old products into raw material for new products to be made or used as energy sources through other processes, like incineration.
Reverse logistics is important to manufacturing and industrial businesses (or any other business that handle large waste volumes) because it helps maintain the smooth flow of goods while reducing costs, decreasing risk, and creating value. By turning waste into sales, it creates revenue while building customer trust.
Need Help With Reverse Logistics Management? Call The GMR Team
Generated Materials Recovery (GMR) is a materials recovery company that handles reverse logistics recycling. We partner with businesses to help them build and refine their reverse logistics management processes and minimize waste handling costs without making a huge impact on the environment.
We own and maintain our own waste reduction and industrial recycling equipment, as well as operate our own fleet of roll-off trucks and tractor-trailers. If you are a plant manager in need of a recycling services partner, not a buyer, we would love to work with you.
Contact the GMR team today to learn more about how we can apply reverse logistics management to your company so you can boost your recycling revenue and meet sustainability goals.