Returns Management Best Practices


With greater than 10 percent of corporate revenues spent on returns management[1], it is vital for executive leadership to focus their efforts on this important part of the supply chain. In addition to margin improvements, effective returns management practices positively impact the customer experience, help drive repeat purchase, as well as, enhance a firm’s brand and reputation for acting responsibly in the circular economy.

Too often the importance of the reverse supply chain is overlooked (lack of investment, talent/resource shortfalls, disparate technologies, etc.) and a holistic view, one that utilizes five lenses, is never achieved. To take advantage of leading practices we must look at how People, Process, Technology, Policy and Metrics support the overarching strategic objectives of your business.

When looking to get a leg up on the competition, many companies find improved returns management practices can be the catalyst/differentiator. To achieve greatness in this domain, companies must first understand their returns management
strategy, then establish the necessary supply chain capabilities and refine the metrics needed to answer the “what does good / great look like?” question. Typical topics for consideration include Labor Management and Workforce Flexibility, Proactive Transportation Management, Secondary Market Strategies, and Consumer Market Engagement.

[1] Ashutosh Agrawal: “Turn Your Reverse Supply Chain into a Profit Center”; CSCMP Supply Chain Quarterly; Q1 2012

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the importance of the reverse supply chain.
  2. Identify the five lenses of returns management.
  3. Explore the role the five lenses play in a returns management strategy.


Paul Adamson

America's Remanufacturing Company


Paul Adamson is the Chief Revenue Officer for America’s Remanufacturing Company (ARC), the only vertically integrated returns management solution provider offering Recovery, Remanufacturing, Resale, and Recycling. ARC is the premiere partner to brands and retailers of Small Appliances, Floor Care products, Outdoor Power Equipment, Powered Hand Tools, Compressors, and Generators.

Paul is responsible for leading the business development, channel development, marketing and M&A activities for the business. His priority is to help Fortune 1000 companies derive value from returned products – reducing costs, providing valuable data, and developing new sales channels, all while managing risk.

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