By Mike Cope, Senior Strategic Account Executive, SATO America, Inc.
Supply chains focus on delivering merchandise to Retailers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Store shelves stocked with new products mean Sales. Merchandise, however, moves in both directions. Retailers return defective, overstock, or out-of-season merchandise back to suppliers. While ASN (advanced shipment notice) are standard for shipping merchandise to Retailers, they are less frequent when merchandise is returned to the vendor. Given that merchandise is returned from a variety of Retailers, and can be returned directly from stores or DCs (Distribution Centers), the packaging and documentation accompanying the shipments varies greatly in quality. This causes delays at the supplier DC as warehouse personnel play detective – from where was the merchandise returned, why, and where does it go next?
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