Returns Reduction

Retail’s New Mantra: “Drive for Show, Putt For Dough”

What does golf have to do with Retail? The long tee shot gets the “oohs” and “aahs,” but great putting wins the match.

What does golf have to do with Retail? The long tee shot gets the “oohs” and “aahs,” but great putting wins the match.

In Retail, the long booming Drive is your Top Line Revenue.

A booming top-line draws the attention and accolades, but it’s not a win until all the points are counted. To calculate a total win, you must factor in the cost of Returns. Lost margin, as well as increased operating, shipping, and product disposition costs all add up to erode your bottom line.

Putting equates to the final shotyour Bottom Line EBITDA.

How well you putt determines whether you win or lose. A great “putting” strategy is also one that is sustainable over time. Small, successful putts can have big rewards. In retail, $1M of Reduced Customer Returns equates to $500k to the Bottom Line!

But how does one “putt for dough”? Luckily, retailers don’t need to reinvent the wheel: A few readjustments to how you approach your supply chain process can help you win the game.

We putt for dough with a customer who identified a problem we call “The Case of the Short Pants.” A loyal customer made repeat online purchases and returns of petite jeans only to find each pair delivered to her was too short. Knowing this problem was becoming increasingly expensive and could cost the company the customer, a distribution center employee took some steps to resolve the issues.

Analyze your company’s returns history data.

By pulling together not only transactional data but product and consumer sentiment data as well, the employee found that the issue was widespread. Multiple units from stock were found to be incorrectly labeled and off-spec. Furthermore, while reviewing QC inspection reports, the team discovered that the vendor was exempt from QC, which explained how the issue went unidentified. Check out our white paper to learn more about the importance of building a Returns Intelligence process.

Business team collaborates with data

Facilitate collaboration across all functional areas.

Connecting the Operations team with QC, Buyers, and Customer Service was key to resolving the issue. As soon as the issue was reported, the inventory was put on hold to avoid further shipments. Once the error was identified, the Buyer pursued the vendor to replace the jeans and processed a chargeback for the error caused. Customer Service then followed-up with the customer to identify a solution and provide incentives.

Build a returns reduction process around every return touchpoint.

Moving forward, Newmine helped the team put together a returns management solution to make sure this kind of issue would be resolved as soon as it arose next time. A few of the initiatives included:

  • Consistent monitoring of returns results, customer feedback and supply chain details in one place.
  • An evaluation of how to handle QC exempt products
  • Building a bank of suggested actions to resolve issues quickly

Cashing in on a better bottom line, like developing a killer putting stroke, requires unique expertise. You need strategy and execution from experienced specialists to tackle this phase of the game. Newmine is the coach you need to help you to eliminate the “bottom line three-putt.” With solutions like…

  • Chief Returns Officer™, an AI-driven software, is your virtual returns manager to manage all of your data in one place.
  • Prescriptive and Predictive Returns Management strategies based on your business.
  • A Returns Management Success Team with expertise in Returns Reduction operations best practices.

Speaking of putting for dough…

Newmine is proudly sponsoring New Beginnings Wellness Programs 1st Annual Charity Golf Outing, taking place on September 23, 2018. The New Beginnings Wellness Programs are a comprehensive wellness education initiative to educate schools, parents, and communities about teen substance abuse prevention. This event will promote awareness, acceptance, and prevention of drug use (opioids), alcoholism and other dependencies as health issues. Tee-off is at 1:00 PM at Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland, MA.

To support the cause, read more here.

New Beginnings Wellness Program Charity Golf Classic 2018 flyer

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