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Successful Companies Employ Reverse Logistics

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 10/06/2015 | 6:16 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

FutureofRLReverse logistics completes the business cycle in a manner that offers new value to any organization.  While current sales are important, true success comes from being able to harness sales that take place in the future. If customers buy today and are happy with their purchase, they will buy again in the future. 

Reverse logistics practices such as retrograde, refurbishment, repairs, remanufacturing and recycling all contribute to building a sustained customer relationship.

Tapping into the adage, “Sell a man a fish, and he eats for a day,” companies that sell a man on the merits and value of a specific fish market sell that man fish for the rest of his life. For that matter, companies that do this well will also be selling that man’s family fish for the rest of their lives.

An example of this is my relationship with Nike. As a runner, I have purchased a lot of Nike shoes. I might occasionally purchase another brand, but I prefer Nike.  This means that I also buy Nike shoes for my children because I know that they are reliable and last. 

Some might argue that I am just a product of clever marketing. While I cannot dispute that point fully, a brand must fulfill a need and be something with which consumers want to affiliate. Growing up, my family shopped at K-Mart a lot. When that brand faltered, we would shop elsewhere. 

Products and companies that are built to last are responsive to the customer long after a purchase. This is where reverse logistics comes into the equation.

Through the years, I have purchased Nike shoes though various retailers and they all replace defective items without question. Customers want an easy, “no questions asked” replacement when there is a problem. People expect the brand to stand behind their product.

People want a relationship, not a one-night brand. Customers expect the brand to extend that relationship to the environment, to fair labor practices, and to value that endures the test of time. Companies need to ask themselves if they seek to build a relationship or just make a sale. Building something that endures requires that reverse logistics be built into the operation.

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About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..



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