Reverse Logistics

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Reverse Psychology

If you are having difficulty implementing Reverse Logistics systems then why not consider engaging the services of a Reverse Psychologist.

My thanks to Frank at Bifsniff ( for their permission to use this cartoon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Favorite Reverse Logistics Web sites

I have been studying part time for an M.Sc. in Supply Chain Management for the past three years. To complete my studies I am currently writing a Dissertation focused on IT in Reverse Logistics. While doing my research for this dissertation I found several good Web sites relating to Reverse Logistics and to after sales service in general. Here are seven I found particularly interesting with a short note on each.
This is a fascinating site that collects warranty cost information from published annual reports of listed corporations.
This organization, headed by Gailen Vick, seems to be the most active reverse logistics organization on the planet with three conference/exhibition held annually (USA, Europe, Far East) and multiple workshops. They offer free profile registration to third party service providers 3PSPs. These profiles are then available to members.
The Association for Service Management International is a global not-for-profit professional member based association for customer service and support executives and has been in existance since 1975.
After you reach the site, select the Issues tab on the menu and go the the 'After Sales Issue Group'. Eicta publish the IRIS coding system which is a multilingual coding system to facilitate data collection and feedback of service information in the Brown (TV &Hi-Fi) and White (Electrical Kitchen Appliance) goods sectors and the ICT sector. Be sure and download the 'IRIS Course'.
CompTIA offer lots of resources for the Electronics and IT sectors. In particular they list members in different geographic areas. This is useful if you're looking to appoint a Service Centre.
The Reverse Logistics Executive Council is a small but very focussed group. Be sure and download the free book by Dale Rogers and Ronald Tibben-Lembke. The book is extremely good and is the most quoted reference on Reverse Logistics ever written.
Rosettanet is an organization that develops Partner Interface Processes (PIPs). These are standards to define eCommerce communication messaging and orchestration. PIP 6 relates to Reverse Logistics.

Please let me know if you have found other Reverse Logistics web sites of interest. For the record, I am not connected in any way with these Websites or with the organisations that publish them other than as a subscriber to their services.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My First Blog

My New Year resolution for 2006 is to start a blog to share my views and stimulate discussion on issues relating to reverse logistics, service logistics, or the after market supply chain. So here goes:-

I have been working in Service Logistics in the IT sector now for nineteen years and to get this blog started I asked myself what is the most important single lesson I learned in all that time. What gem of information could I share with blog readers with an interest in Reverse Logistics that would be of most value to them? And the answer is undoubtedly; you must know what is the oldest RMA in your process and you should be doing something about it.

A quick explanation of what this means is as follows. If you are the manager of an After Sales Service Centre, or you are responsible for After Sales Service for a manufacturing company you are obliged by law (and by good marketing practice) to offer a Warranty on the products you sell. An RMA (short for Return Material authorization) is the name given to each return from a customer for credit, exchange or repair. The TAT (short for Turn Around Time) is length of time from the customer complaining, to the customer getting satisfaction. (Memo to self, do a blog in the future that talks about different definitions of TAT and how Microsoft measure it for XBOX repairs. Its not as simple as it sounds.) If you know which RMA, currently in process, has the oldest TAT then you know your current case of worst customer service.

The benefits of knowing this simple fact are enormous. Funnily enough, fixing the problem that is holding up your oldest RMA usually gets a whole load of other RMAs moving also. Customer complains plummet. Average TAT decreases. Nirvana ensues.

OK, so that's the best piece of information I could come up with. If you are an After Sales Service Manager why don't you share your best gem with me.

Update on 6th January, 2006:
The development team at Chip eServices read my blog above and as a New Year present to me they put the details of the oldest RMA on every Warrantor and Service Centre login screen for the application. It kind of hits you in the face when you login.

Thanks guys! Let me know the customer feedback.