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supply chain and logistics

Factors that will Impact Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Transformations in Europe

SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICSCustomer experience is now one of the key trends that is shaping the supply chain and logistics sector in European countries including the UK, Germany, and Spain. As a result, companies in the industry are on the lookout for innovative supply chain and logistics strategies that could help them deliver a delightful and superior customer experience. But how can logistics companies achieve this without any heavy impact on their operational expenses? Digitization of core supply chain and logistics processes could be the answer to this. Experts at Infiniti reveal some critical factors that will impact and make it imperative for supply chain and logistics companies in Europe to embrace modern technologies.

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Highly fragmented market

One of the biggest challenges facing supply chain logistics players in Europe is that most of these companies fail to even cater to 10 percent of the market. Most of these companies are heavily dependent on 3PL providers in the region to meet the gaps in their logistics needs. This eventually creates a fragmented and disjointed delivery ecosystem, making supply chain and logistics services in Europe suffer from poor collaboration and delivery visibility challenges in the supply chain. Leveraging advanced supply chain and logistics tools can help companies in the sector to enhance freight movement and improve visibility into the supply chain.

Frequent purchase behavior

Europeans prefer to buy in small quantities, but more frequently. For instance, Grocery retailers in Western Europe are adapting to the changing consumer demands by heavily investing in convenience stores. To adapt to these changes, it must be ensured that there is an efficient supply chain and logistics plan in place to avoid out of stock situations. To overcome the bottlenecks to meet increasing demand, companies can consider automating core delivery processes including order placement and route planning.

Logistics companies are facing an era of unprecedented change as digitization takes hold and customer expectations evolve. Is your business prepared to adapt? If not, get in touch with an expert to know how we can help you stay updated with the changing supply chain and logistics trends.

Regulatory compliance

The changing regulations in countries across Europe could have a major impact on supply chain and logistics activities. These regulations could have a massive impact on shippers. By leveraging tools that give them greater autonomy and visibility of their fleet’s delivery can help businesses cope with these changes.

Click and collect model

Click and collect is an e-commerce model that has been gaining increasing popularity across Europe. One of the prime reasons for this is the changing preference of consumers to collect packages at their convenience rather than having it delivered to their homes. To reap maximum benefits out of this model, businesses must use a platform that empowers them to improve the transparency of delivery processes.

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reverse logistics

How an Optimal Reverse Logistics Process can help manage increasing apparel returns

reverse logisticsWith the rise of e-commerce in the retail sector, the rate of returns has increased manifold over the past decade. As retailers are now forced to implement customer-friendly returns policies, the high returns handling costs and other challenges of reverse logistics can give retailers a tough time. Reverse logistics often proves to be particularly challenging due to factors including uneven product quality, lack of clarity over disposition options, and erratic inventory management practices. One of the key challenges of reverse logistics here is that it takes almost a dozen steps more to process returns that it does to manage reverse logistics. In this article, experts at Infiniti have curated some key strategies to ensure an optimal reverse logistics process.

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Reverse logistics strategies for retailers

Kiosks for omnichannel returns

The proliferation of omni-channel retail is one of the main reasons why retailers are in the need to enable omni-channel return processes in their business. Top retailers are even going to the extent of opening small kiosks to return goods that have been sold online. The returned products are then sent to a regional processing hub, followed by the retailer’s fulfillment centers, and finally the goods reach third-party logistics companies or liquidators.

Reverse auctions

This is a reverse logistics technique that is used for the secondary sales of the merchandise that has been returned by a customer. In the case of B2B returns, implementing a private auction space for returns liquidation ensures greater visibility and control over processes. It also helps retailers identify and work on performance improvement gaps.

Do you think investing in reverse logistics could hamper your business’s overall profits? Not if you do it the right way. Get in touch with our dedicated team of experts for more insights on how we can help you plan your reverse logistics strategy.

Real-time processing of returned inventory

In the case of returns, the speed of liquidations is the deciding factor for the level of value recovered. When the goods returned are processed in real time, retailers can ensure value maximization from the merchandise returns.

Flexible return portions

Just like the purchase process, retailers must aim to make the returns process hassle-free and as easy as possible. This can be achieved by giving customers the opportunity to process their returns through on-demand mail or even collection and drop-off at a store in the convenient location. This kind of flexible return options will help retailers increase their online sales and gain a delighted and loyal customer base.

Liberal returns policy

Although a liberal returns policy is essential, several retailers have already begun reevaluating their returns policy. The recurring new product drops are one of the major reasons why retailers are taking such steps. Many retailers are even cutting short the period of return from 90 days to 35 days. Such strict measures will also reduce the return of used or post-purchase damaged returns.

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Top 4 Strategies Retailers Must Follow for Better Reverse Logistics Management

Reverse logistics management is a multilayered and nuanced process that presents a manufacturer with several challenges including tracking routing status and warranty, beefing up analytics, analyzing target market, handling suppliers and contractors and driving efficiency in repair processes. Market size analysis for any reverse logistics process has become even more challenging due to rapid growth in the number of customers and their rapidly changing behavior.

If the target market is not analyzed properly, reverse logistics management fails and businesses fail to provide customer satisfaction. Additionally, it increases resource investment levels and storage and distribution costs. Therefore, it is important for the reverse logistics businesses, especially e-commerce, to understand that with the increasing volume of returns, they need to have a proper market analysis mechanism in place.

At Infiniti Research, we understand that better reverse logistics management can act as a sort of asset recovery for manufacturers, so they can extract as much value from the product as possible, providing the second return of investment. And to help companies in careful market size analysis and better reverse logistics management, our team of experts has highlighted four best strategies that can help market players to become global leaders.

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Strategies for Better Reverse Logistics Management

Strategy #1: Adopt new repair and return policies

With retail facing an immense number of returns today, generous return policies have become a competitive necessity. Retailers are also taking better and more steps to reduce the abuse of those policies like Amazon customers who have returned too many items have had their accounts closed without any warning. Both retailers and manufacturers also need to empower customer service associates to make returns more efficient.

Strategy #2: Better collaboration with retailers

Manufacturers and retailers need to take a closer look at their vendor agreements. While the price has often been a matter of dispute, many are re-evaluating their policies of return. For big products like furniture and electronic items, returns are a major issue. So, good collaboration between the supplier and retailer is the need of the hour for better reverse logistics management.

Strategy #3: Optimize your reverse logistics process with data

Manufacturers and retailers both should look for new platforms and third-party partners to sort, resell, process or dispose of items to have better reverse logistics process. With the help of data, return processing becomes cheaper and partners can easily liquidate and handle the inventory. Many manufacturers are now using sensors, IoT, and connectivity to monitor, troubleshoot or repair products in the field and minimize the need for consumers to send products back. Also, they are designing their connected products with software and operating systems that can be trouble shooted or updated from anywhere. Some of the manufacturers and retailers are also using easy-to-replace components and hardware that can be sent to consumers for self-repair. Data they track can include the condition of the products, the volume of returns, and the reason for return along with the percentage of sales.

Strategy #4: Rethinking transportation and logistics

One strategy that suppliers can use today for better reverse logistics management and to reduce costs and improve efficiency is to combine delivery and pickup. With the increasing number of consumer purchasing online, the volume of returns has increased. It is likely that firms in the logistics industry will need to address the growing number of returns by finding drains where they can resell slow-moving and returned product.

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Competitive Intelligence Helps A Renowned Reverse Logistics Provider Stay Ahead of The Competition

In 2015, the return delivery costs amounted to around 246 billion U.S. dollars in North America alone and global return costs of over 600 billion U.S. dollars.

Reverse logistics is the process including the return movement of goods away from their final destination to capture value or proper disposal.

Over the past few years, the reverse logistics industry is witnessing robust challenges in terms of low margins, high operation costs, and a shortage of talent. As a result, firms in the reverse logistics industry are planning to streamline their service capabilities to enhance delivery performance and increase customer satisfaction levels. Additionally, with the rising demand for one-stop solutions, firms are entering mergers and acquisitions to tap potential markets and enhance their functional capabilities. Furthermore, the growth of reversed logistics industry can be attributed to factors such as globalization, robust GDP growth, and increasing foreign direct investments.

However, a few factors are expected to influence the growth of the reverse logistics industry in the coming years. These factors include:

  • Improving efficiency: It is essential for the businesses in the reverse logistics space to leverage the use of innovative technological capabilities to streamline their work and deliver efficiency. This is because the industry is witnessing competition with the presence of several competitors. With the help of advanced software, firms can become much more productive and offer reliable services to the customers.
  • Tracking warranty: Today, companies in the reverse logistics space are facing challenges in tracking the warranty of the products as reverse logistics involves the process of replacing commodities directly from the customers. Additionally, in case of third party repair by an OEM, it is essential for companies to track secondary warranties and generate appropriate claims for the warranty services offered.

Many such factors are compelling reverse logistics industry players to leverage the use of competitive intelligence solutions. IR_BrochureCompetitive intelligence solutions help firms identify and profile the major competitors across the industry and generate meaningful insights to enable informed decision-making.

The Business Challenge

  • The client: A renowned reverse logistics provider

The client, a leading reverse logistics provider with business units spread across the globe, wanted to profile the key competitors and benchmark their pricing plans. Additionally, the client wanted to understand the prevailing competition to benchmark their products, accordingly allocate resources to meet the business requirements, and enhance their competitiveness across the market.

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Our Journey

The competitive intelligence experts at Infiniti carried out extensive research comprising interviews and discussions with prominent stakeholders in reverse logistics space to help the client enhance their competitiveness across the market. The experts also compiled information across a wide array of reliable sources such as trade shows, paid industry databases, and company presentations to help the client formulate effective business strategies.

The Solution Benefit and the Business Impact

With the help of Infiniti’s competitive intelligence solution, the reverse logistics client gained actionable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors and identified their unique selling propositions. Additionally, the client identified the gaps in terms of their capabilities and performance and ranked their business against the major competitors. This helped the client successfully launch and market new services across the industry.

The Future

Firstly, for reverse logistics, the use of self-driving trucks is going to revolutionize the transportation of materials from distribution center to retail outlet in the near future. Secondly, there will soon be a technology revolution with regards to the processing of returns. Both these developments are going to change how large companies are going to conduct their logistics and reverse logistics.

A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the reverse logistics industry


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Top Drone Delivery Companies Laying the Groundwork for Drone Delivery

Last-mile drone delivery companies have always been a burning problem for players in the logistics industry. Added to that, rising consumer expectation hasn’t helped the cause. Consumers’ demand one-day or same-day shipping which can be logistically impossible or economically unviable. Even major logistics companies only offer few items to be shipped within a day. Furthermore, delivering goods via road poses many uncertainties including the unavailability of drivers and uncertain traffic and road conditions.

So how can logistics companies effectively tackle such problems? One area such logistics companies are exploring is the viability of drone delivery. Drone delivery companies can efficiently solve the everlasting last-mile delivery problem. Additionally, the ability to operate autonomously saves personnel costs along with fuel costs. Although drone delivery companies are currently bound because of regulatory hurdles, governments are looking at provisional measures to make drone delivery a reality.

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Amazon Prime Air

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed plans for Amazon Prime Air in the year 2013 and completed drone delivery after three years in 2016 by delivering a parcel to Cambridge, England. To implement full-scale delivery, the company plans to use miniature UAVs which will be able to carry loads of less than five pounds and deliver within 30 minutes to locations that are within the 16km radius of an Amazon fulfillment center.

The company is planning to roll-out the service on a small-scale depending on country’s regulatory rules. Currently, the most significant challenge facing Amazon Prime Air is its ability to successfully navigate more tricky urban environment to successfully deliver the package. Once they figure out a solution using AI and get regulatory approvals, drone delivery would become a reality.

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza is testing the possibility of delivering a pizza by drone. They successfully performed a drone pizza delivery in New Zealand by partnering with drone delivery service startup Flirtey. Such delivery option will allow the food giant to reach more rural customers and improve delivery times in congested environments.

Domino’s Group CEO advocated for drone delivery system stating that it doesn’t make economic sense to deliver a two-kilogram order on a two-ton machine. With the advancements in artificial intelligence systems, drone delivery companies can be the perfect option for delivering food to the consumers quickly and efficiently. Their current drones can deliver pizzas within 10 minutes to any location within a 1.5km radius of a Domino’s Pizza chain.

Ukrainian Postal Service

In 2016, Ukrainian Postal Service teamed up with Flytrex Aviation to begin testing drone delivery service in Ukranian cities. The drone, named Mule, is capable of carrying loads of up to 3kg to a distance of 23km. The drone can travel at a maximum speed of 70km/h, reducing the delivery time to a mere 30 minutes.

The logistics company has deployed a unique release mechanism in the drone to avoid parcels being stolen or tampered. The drone uses a battery instead of fuel and saves a lot of cost in terms of maintenance and fleet management.


Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled the Vision Van, which employs two drones capable of delivering packages of up to five pounds within a radius of six miles. The company partnered with drone startup company Matternet to develop the Vision Van. The Vision Van would enable the company to increase its productivity up to 50% in last-mile delivery service.

The mini aircraft has already successfully delivered more than 100 packages within Zurich, Switzerland. When compared to other drone delivery companies this company has invested about $597 million in an effort to speed delivery times for online orders.


Workhorse is an American electric mobility solution provider that developed Horsefly, an autonomous drone delivery system. The device is able to carry a 10-pound package for about 30 minutes flying at a speed of up to 50mph. It can deliver packages at a meager cost of $0.01 per mile in electricity costs.

The company claims the drone to work even in rain and snow, but wouldn’t handle high winds particularly well. The company is looking for an ingenious solution to overcome US regulatory rules that demand drones to stay within line-of-sight by mating the technology with its electric delivery trucks.

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Where’s the Logistics Industry Heading in 2018?

The logistics industry is the backbone of industries such as retail, e-commerce, healthcare, and FMCG. Such sectors are highly reliant on the logistics industry to move their products across the world to maintain customer satisfaction. Increasing consumerism is pushing the logistics industry to deliver superior performance and offer services such as overnight shipping. For instance, UPS operates more than 2000 flights a day to more than 200 countries and territories, which enables them to receive a package late at night and deliver it by 8 AM the following morning. Apart from making strategic changes to achieve efficiencies, the logistics industry has embraced a host of new technologies to help them save costs and reduce wastages. So what are the upcoming top logistics industry trends for the year 2018?Get More Info

Top Logistics Industry Trends


The blockchain technology has made numerous headlines currently due to the exploding popularity of theBlockchain Technology in Logistics cryptocurrency Bitcoin. However, the technology has a wide range of applications because of the security and transparency it offers. The ability to record a chain of transactions that cannot be tampered with is especially useful in the logistics industry where the product goes through a sequence of custody handovers and transactions to reach its final destination. In such a case, it becomes vital to know who is responsible for the goods during each handover, which, in turn, enables package tracking as well as accountability. It is one of the most significant logistics industry trends that can potentially save companies billions of dollar when implemented on a mass-market level.

Infiniti’s Competitive Benchmarking Assists a Leading Reverse Logistics Company Establish Market Presence

A recent study revealed that a considerable percentage of revenues in the manufacturing organizations is spent on the returns.

The ongoing economic volatility is forcing companies in the transportation space to look for sustainable alternative distribution networks such as reverse logistics. In this competitive space, businesses are looking for effective ways to streamline their supply chain by investing in technology and developing better operational models. In the reverse logistics space, customer satisfaction plays a pivotal role and leading logistic managers are trying to meet the customer’s preferences through easy replacements, refurbishing, and recycling of the sold products. To manage exceptions and better manage the supply, leading businesses in the reverse logistics space need to understand their counterparts and their product offerings. Competitive benchmarking solutions help leading businesses understand their competitors and strategize their inventories to create additional value.

In the retail sector, competitive benchmarking can help reverse logistics providers identify flaws in their offerings and effectively meet the client requirements in terms of repairs, refurbishment, resale, and warranty recovery. Also, leading logistic companies can focus on reverse logistics to reduce costs and address maintenance requirements while meeting customer expectations.

The Business Challenge

A renowned reverse logistics company wanted to benchmark their competitors and optimize and standardize their existing process. The client wanted to profile their competitors and offer better services to the customers in terms of maintenance and repairs. With the help of Infiniti’s competitive benchmarking solution, the client wanted to streamline their existing process, gain a competitive advantage over competitors, and improve their overall customer base. Moreover, the reverse logistics client also wanted to seek ways to analyze the data on returns and reduce customer complaints and enhance customer retention. Moreover, the client wanted to bring about agility and efficiency in their supply chain process.

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Benefits of the Competitive Benchmarking Solution

The competitive benchmarking solution offered by Infiniti assisted the client in assessing the competitor’s offerings and devise plans to stay ahead of the competitors. The reverse logistics client also witnessed a gradual improvement in their service offerings and curtailed issues related to packaging. With our help, the client was able to enhance the shelf life of the products and enhance customer satisfaction levels. The engagement also ensured seamless movement of goods while keeping account of the environmental laws and concerns. The solution further helped the reverse logistics firm to precisely measure the recoverable value of the products and maximize the value of returned goods.

Additional Benefits Offered by Infiniti Include:

  • Effectively saved transportation costs through the direct shipment of the products
  • Eliminated the need for the initial transfer of products to the warehouses
  • Improved the prevailing business operations and enhanced the business revenue

A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the transportation industry


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