Current Issues in Logistics Management
Reverse logistics can be used to describe the way in which goods move from their final destination with the aim of creating value or securing proper disposal. The processes that come after the delivery of goods to the customer or after the sale of a commodity are classified as reverse logistic operations. Examples of reverse logistics are the cases when a customer returns a product back to the manufacturer or the merchant when the commodity is defective or not in the desired condition. After receiving the defective product, the manufacturer may then dispose of, dismantle, recycle or repair the product and these processes are other examples of reverse logistics (Ai?t-Kadi 2012). The commodity will have to travel in reverse through the supply chain process for the manufacturer or the merchant to get some value from it after its original recipient rejects it.
Current Logistics in Australian Post and Future Trends
Australian post is a self-funded government institution that delivers parcels and letters to and for the community. Since the government as its primary stakeholder, the company does not pay huge amounts of money regarding taxation, and this has made the company grow and soar to higher heights in that it has no equal rival or competitor. The post operates as a bridge between the community and the people living overseas whom they would desire to communicate with as well as foreign merchants. People can shop from foreign markets and then have their commodities delivered by the post at their doorstep (Hunter 2000). Through managing the process of returning products the company has managed to create a trust to their customers and significantly made them happy and satisfied. The company plans to establish a digital system whereby the recipients can be notified of the arrival of their commodities and hence avoid late deliveries or issues of people not picking their goods.
Reverse Logistics Dimensions
Various issues happen when the letters, as well as parcels, are in transit that is in the supply chain cycle (Christopher 2011). The commodities may get spoilt or defective before they reach to the destined owner. The Australian post acts as the intermediary between the recipient of the parcel or the letter and the sender. In the cases where the package is tampered with, or the customer rejects it, the company takes up the responsibility of sending the commodity back to the sender. The company repackages the merchandise and ensures that it is safely delivered to the original sender (Bonev 2012). The company works to ensure that the goods and all the parcels rejected by the recipient are presented back to the sender and in the condition that the customer handed them back to the post. There are challenges involved, however, especially when the client receives the commodity, goes home with it and returns it the next day since it's hard to identify if the defect happened in transit or at when in the hands of the customer (Bag 2016). The issue, however, has been resolved by having customers confirm that the goods are in good condition before leaving the post office.
In the case of failed deliveries, the Australian post resends the packages and the letters back to the senders after keeping the parcels in their warehouse for a given period of time. Since the company accommodates sending and receiving of merchandise overseas, cases of recipients not picking the goods for a given period are common (Vitale n.d.). The company, therefore, ensures that the products that the customers failed to collect or the ones whose physical deliveries were not possible are sent back to the merchant or the manufacturer within the stipulated period. For ease in the processes, the Australian post demands that the sender shares details on the contact or the delivery address in case the customer or the intended recipient fails to pick their goods within a given time.
For risk management, after the delivery of the products, the Australian post agents perform the de-installation of the commodities such as electronics at the customer’s location. The service saves the merchant extra costs of having to send their agents to carry out the de-installation and saves the customers the cost of having to hire a specialist to perform the de-installation at their site. The service brings in merchant and customer satisfaction (Nikolaidis 2013). The service, however, has some adverse effects on the postal company in that in case the commodity becomes faulty in the process of assembling, the company pays for the damages or in some cases replaces the commodity with another one.
To mitigate risk and avoid unnecessary losses, Australian post also ensures visibility of returns data so as to enable proactive decision making on the merchant’s side. The company records the details of the goods returned by the customer including the condition in which the goods were when the customer returned then as well as the time they took to return them (Walden 2012). The information helps the merchants to decide whether to replace or repair the commodities returned (Bonev 2012). The post company also offers express delivery and exchange of returned goods between the customers and the merchants.
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Hunter, M. (2000). Australia Post delivering more than ever. Edgecliff, N.S.W.: Pocus Pub.
Nikolaidis, I. (2013). Quality management in reverse logistics. London: Springer.
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