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Business Stories

Scoring a Goal with Reverse Logistics

We all know forward logistics – about moving goods from Point A to Point B. This is the intuitive route when we think shipping and warehousing. But how well do you know reverse logistics?

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is going to be the most sustainable FIFA World Cup ever, and for the first time a stadium – Ras Bu Aboud –is designed to be fully dismantled and shipped overseas, along with 40,000 seats from the remaining host-country stadiums.

Achieving this level of sustainability can only happen with vision, foresight, planning, and careful execution. For your business, effective use of reverse logistics can lead to reduced costs, faster service, managed losses, and even unplanned profits!

Reverse Logistics are all of the logistics activities performed in supporting products sold to customers, refurbishing returned goods and disposing of end-of-life goods.

Let us walk you through how GWC is investing to grow our own capabilities in reverse logistics and what it can mean for your business, whether you’re established here in Qatar already, or you’re gearing up to meet the demand of the world’s greatest sporting event!

It starts with a reverse-logistics mindset

Reverse logistics can only be implemented if we change the way that we think about the supply chain and product lifecycle. It’s about capturing and creating new value from areas where you may have recognized, accepted, and even priced-in costs that you felt were a natural part of your business.

A reverse logistics mindset-shift can help unlock value by measuring what can be returned, re-used, re-furbished, or re-cycled. Beyond product value-capture, it will also allow you to manage customer satisfaction and experience, smooth out kinks in your supply chain fulfillment, and balance in-bound and out-bound loads.

Next is finding an integrated logistics partner

Once you’ve decided to make the reverse logistics mind-switch, you’ll need to evaluate your logistics partnerships and channels, making sure that you have a partner that can take you from point of origin to point of use and back again with a fully integrated service. At GWC, we’ve been investing heavily to support the complete logistics lifecycle, including freight forwarding, customs clearance, storage, distribution, venue access and reverse logistics.

If forward logistics is like rolling a ball down a hill, reverse logistics is just the opposite, and rolling a ball up the hill means that you need to have the support at every juncture along the way, ensuring security and preserving value through effective tracking and monitoring. Even a single break in the logistics value chain can lead to a knock-on effect that severely reduces the potential of reverse logistics.

Typical Reverse Logistics Services

Establishing reverse-logistics processes and protocols

Identifying the chokepoints and how you’re going to handle them is the next big step in managing a change. This is particularly true in small markets, where most all shipping is passing through customs points. A professional service team that can help to build and manage clear processes quickly and effectively will shorten turnarounds and make sure that all documents, procedures, and expectations are set in advance.

Work with your services team to clearly evaluate and establish the processes that matter to your turnaround, whether it’s a focus on speed and throughput, or ensuring equipment quality and documentation to make sure that everything arrives as expected in its onward destination. With the right pre-work and services team, reverse logistics is an easy decision.

Disassembly, repair, and return through a defined system

The final consideration in the reverse logistics chain is what repair, disassembly or refurbishment will be required before final onward shipping. For many consumer manufactures, this may be simply sorting and packing, but this step can vary widely depending on your industry, re-use plans or onwards final destination.

The key is to remember that service doesn’t end at the point of turnaround but needs to extend back through the existing value chain, or even creating another through re-manufacturing. Work to match your in-house sales and service team with the starting point manufacturer, the end-point user, and your logistics provider to plan, test, and trial your reverse logistics chain before putting it into full use. The stronger your partnership, the more value that you’ll be able to create and capture on this journey.

GWC – Delivering Logistics Innovation