News / Retailers must defuse ‘ticking time-bomb’ of returns threatening their supply chains

first_imgBy Gavin van Marle 29/09/2014 Gartner also found that just 48% of returned goods are resold at full price, which acts as a disincentive for retailers to invest in returns logistics. But, at the same time, not promoting their returns options, or having restrictive policies, would lead to a decline in sales.“Retailers must drive improvements into their multichannel selling activities by developing ways for customers to engage with them across their existing and new selling channels. Higher sales will be dependent on greater conversion rates, which, in turn, are dependent on providing more attractive returns processes and policies.“The ticking time-bomb emerges when retailers pursue strategies that lead to increasing returns volumes, while operating supply chains that lack the ability to cope with the increase that is generated,” Gartner said.Neil Ashworth, chief executive of CollectPlus, the store-based parcel network, added: “Three-quarters of customers would be more likely to use a retailer if they offered free returns. Our research further showed that if you charge for returns, three-quarters of your customers are likely to walk away – charging for returns is a first-rate sales prevention strategy.“If you want to reduce your sales, charge for returns, it’s an absolute winner,” he told delegates at the Customer Returns summit in London last week.In autumn 2013, CollectPlus launched a pilot programme to handle returns flows for Marks & Spencer, during which it also ran a three-month survey for M&S in the final quarter of last year, which had 28,000 respondents. The company operates drop boxes at 5,500 corner shops around the UK.The overriding reason for customers using a CollectPlus drop box was convenience, Mr Ashworth said, and over the period of the study returns delivered directly to M&S stores dropped from 75% to 72%, while returns delivered by Royal Mail dropped from 25% top 19% of returns. 9% of returns were delivered into CollectPlus lockers.Mr Ashworth said that the study’s findings suggested retailers should look to offer consumers as much choice about ways of returning goods as possible.“Two-thirds of customers who choose to shop online will do so if the delivery and returns – both together – suit their lifestyle requirements. You have to have the outbound and return working in harmony.“Just by putting another returns option onto the table, we increased the brand perception of M&S, with 79% saying that it proved the company to be ‘forward thinking’.“We gave the customer control. Customers are in control when they shop online and they want to be in control of the whole delivery aspect, and as part and parcel of that they want control on returns – and the key elements of that are speed and convenience“We see ourselves as being part of a portfolio of options for a retailer. We now know that if retailers offer customer choice, we will have a share of that,” he said. A forgotten corner of the logistics industry is rapidly becoming a new battleground where retailers can win and lose significant numbers of customers.With the rapid uptake of online retailing, a major headache for retailers is how to develop a cost-effective returns policy. E-commerce experts have described the growing amount of returns of unwanted goods as a “ticking time-bomb” that threatens to destroy multichannel retailers’ balance sheets and throw supply chains into chaos.A recent report by Gartner outlined the central problem facing retailers trying to capture some of the enormous growth in multichannel retailing – a significant portion of consumers, up to 70%, will not complete an online purchase if the retailer does not offer a clear returns policy, with free return shipping increasingly a major factor.However, by offering more generous returns policy, with more liberal terms and conditions, retailers are likely to see higher volumes of returned goods, and the consultancy warned that many do not have a reverse supply chain to cope.last_img read more

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Babcox Media Names New Editor Of Underhood Service

first_imgLSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement  AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  Markel joined Babcox in 2000 as associate editor of Brake & Front End and was named editor in 2003. He took on the additional role of editor of Servicio Automotriz, when it launched in December 2004. An ASE-certified automotive technician, Markel worked as a technician and service writer prior to joining Babcox Media. He will continue as editor of Brake & Front End and Servicio Automotriz, in addition to his new assignment with Underhood Service. Markel can be reached at 330-670-1234 ext. 296 or [email protected] AKRON, Ohio – Babcox Media Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Markel to editor of Underhood Service. Markel succeeds Ed Sunkin, who was named editor of Engine Builder, effective October 1, 2013. “Andrew’s proven track record of success with Brake & Front End and Servicio Automotriz, combined with his technical expertise and aftermarket service heritage, make him the ideal individual to direct the editorial content of Underhood Service and ensure its continued success,” said Jim Merle, publisher of Babcox Media’s Tech Group properties, which include the Brake & Front End, ImportCar and Underhood Service print and digital properties.last_img read more

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Collective bargaining fails in Cargolux dispute

first_imgIn its offer, the company says it had agreed to re-instate the collective work agreement (CWA) until December 31, 2014 in return for the unions agreeing to a USD12.5 million reduction in employee costs for the airline’s 2014 financial year.The airline said that that productivity and efficiency improvements would be the first priority in reaching this target; and that only in the event of the target not being achieved through these measures would other employee cost savings measures be effected, with the unions given the first opportunity of identifying which additional measures would be introduced.The airline also said that the agreement would have also seen management agree to reimburse, up to USD6.25 million, of any savings achieved through the implementation of other employee cost savings, provided the financial targets of the company were achieved for its 2014 financial year.Previously the two unions has demanded full repayment of the USD12.5 million personnel cost savings should the airline return to profit during 2014.Many see the entry into the conciliation process as the first step towards full-scale industrial action.www.cargolux.comlast_img read more

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Nearly 1,500 Sudanese refugees begin voluntary return to South Darfur

first_imgSudanese refugees [Photo_ File] After a decade of displacement, nearly 1,500 Sudanese refugees began to return voluntarily to their home village in Dafaq, South Darfur State, announced United Nations High Commissions for Refugees (UNHCR) Tuesday.Sudanese refugees [Photo_ File]“Today (Tuesday), the first 45 Sudanese refugees touched down in Nyala airport,” said the UNHCR in a statement.The returnees will be hosted in a transit center for up to three days in the capital of South Darfur State before heading to their village, some 350 km from Nyala, according to the statement.“The UNHCR welcomes the voluntary return of these refugees,” Noriko Yoshida, UNHCR’s representative in Sudan, said in the statement.She further reiterated that the UNHCR and the Government’s Commission of Refugees (COR) would be monitoring the situation of the returnees closely.“This repatriation exercise is guided by a formal Exchange of Letters between the government of Sudan and UNHCR, which incorporates international standards governing refugee returns, including the benefit of amnesties, as well as UNHCR’s role in monitoring the returns,” she said.She went on saying that “to help the returnees re-establish their homes and livelihoods, they will have access to land, and UNHCR and COR will provide them with return packages.”The UNHCR would also work with government authorities and other partners to enhance service provision in the return area, she added.The UN official further reiterated that “returning to South Darfur is expected to be a lasting solution, as we continue to see security and development improvements across the region.”In 2007, nearly 3,500 refugees fled from South Darfur during conflict between the Government of Sudan and armed groups.“We decided to voluntarily return to Dafaq, one of our final destinations, because we are well informed that security has returned with the effective implementation of the disarmament of armed groups,” Ahmad, one of the leaders in Pladama Ouaka refugee camp, was quoted as saying the UNHCR’s statement.“I am extremely happy to return home with my family after 10 years in exile,” he added.In late November, the refugees expressed their willingness to return to Sudan when a UNHCR and government of Sudan delegation visited Pladama Ouaka camp, following an assessment of their desired return area, which was deemed to be safe.According to the UNCHR, more than 650,000 Sudanese refugees are still displaced in other neighboring countries, including Chad and South Sudan.On May 31, 2017, Sudan, Chad and the UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement opening the door for the voluntary return of more than 500,000 Sudanese refugees from Chad to Sudan and return of over 8,000 Chadian refugees from Sudan to Chad.Around 592,000 Sudanese refugees are currently in Chad, 392,000 live in 13 refugee camps in eastern Chad, while the remaining 200,000 are in the border area and Chadian cities.last_img read more

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