Reverse logistics processing

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
merchandise returns
The modular system design allows users to re-configure the layout

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — Dematic has introduced a Merchandise Returns System, reverse logistics processing for omnichannel retailers. It is a material handling sub-system for the distribution centre that manages the processing steps required to provide customer credit, enter the exchanged order and make returned items available for sale.

The Dematic Merchandise Returns System minimizes the processing cycle time from receiving to “sale ready.” The results include increased sales since items go back online faster, typically within 24 hours. The customer experience is enhanced when credit for returned items occurs immediately upon receipt/check-in while an exchanged order is entered.

The entire process is more efficient, accurate and organized. Defined workflows occur in specialized functional work zones to optimize labour productivity and improve operational effectiveness.

The Merchandise Returns System is designed to reduce operating costs attributed to the reverse logistics activities in the DC.

“The Merchandise Returns System maximizes operational flexibility by effectively accommodating the daily and seasonal fluctuations in returns activity,” says Mike Khodl, vice-president of solution management for Dematic.

“The modular system design allows users to re-configure the layout and change software parameters to execute a new operating plan or to revise workflow strategies. Furthermore, the modular, pre-engineered automation can scale-up to increase processing capacity.”

The Dematic Merchandise Returns System consists of an automated material handling subsystem managed by Dematic iQ Optimize, the company’s Warehouse Execution Software (WES).

Workstations are dedicated to a function: credit/exchange, inspection, repairs/special services, re-pack. The conveyor network connects the workstations and optimizes material flow — automated sorters divert items to the appropriate workstation or functional area of the DC. The system interfaces with devices such as auto-baggers and other subsystems including storage, picking and the Dematic Pouch System (for buffering, sequencing, sorting and order consolidation).