Browse Prior Art Database

Improved Returns Handling Process within a Mail Order Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109200D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 136K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gregory Jr, WD: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Within the Mail Order business, between 20% and 25% of all merchandise ordered comes back into the company as a returned item. The processing and re-stocking of this merchandise is an added cost to the company. The article provides a method of improving the return process.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 54% of the total text.

Improved Returns Handling Process within a Mail Order Environment

       Within the Mail Order business, between 20% and 25% of
all merchandise ordered comes back into the company as a returned
item.  The processing and re-stocking of this merchandise is an added
cost to the company.  The article provides a method of improving the
return process.

      The use of computer systems in warehouses and distribution
centers has been steadily increasing.  These systems may employ
portable data collection devices to record information and to inform
operators of the next step in the process.

      One area in which a significant amount of labor is currently
spent is in the processing of customer returns.  This is a key area
to focus on in the Mail Order business because of its immediate
impact on:
.   Inventory Levels
.   Customer Satisfaction (Refund Check)
.   Turn-around time for an exchange
.   Availability of returned merchandise for resale (which could
prevent a backorder)
.   Quality control of returned goods

      The article also describes a process which streamlines the
input of data, directs merchandise to appropriately-skilled workers,
and provides real-time dispositions to return claims.

      The proposed method requires that the DC control system produce
a Return Authorization Label with each outbound shipment.  This
label, as illustrated in Fig. 1, contains the information required to
send the merchandise to the return center a...