If you have too many product returns, focus on quality control

We work with distributors, manufacturers and professional field services companies that experience two key problems that lead to excessive returns from their customers:

  1. Shipping defective or damaged products

Sometimes products arrive from your vendor damaged or defective. If you don’t notice, it can be costly when you sell the product months later and your customer calls you for a replacement. Your vendor may tell you that you can’t return the product to them because it’s been too long—who’s to say the problem didn’t happen after you received the product?

  1. Shipping the wrong products

When the sales order specifies the right product but you pick and pack the wrong item and ship it to your customer, it’s costly to deal with a return and an angry customer. But it’s easy to pick the wrong item when several items on a shelf look similar, or when a new employee hasn’t learned your product line.

Sometimes it’s the sales order that specifies the wrong product. For example, you could upsell some accessories, but the accessories weren’t the correct item number that’s compatible with the main item.

How can you stop the problems?

Add quality controls. To prevent selling defective or damaged products, add an inspection step before you receive new goods into your warehouse.  Then contact your vendor immediately about any bad items.

To prevent human errors during order entry and order fulfillment, add verification steps to your order entry and your picking and packing, such as a re-check of items against the sales order during the packing step.

What if you simply have too many items to control quality easily?

For companies that have thousands of items or a more complex business that makes it impossible to manage things manually, we set up accounting and ERP systems to automate quality control with a great ROI, making it super-easy to manage.

For example, we helped a distributor that had a 50% mis-ship rate. We added automations and quality control checks like matching sales orders against order picking, and a second scan to check items as they are boxed—and their mis-ship rate dropped to 0%. If you’d like to streamline your inventory management, we’d welcome a conversation about your unique situation.