Returns Handling

In order to correctly process all information and keep stock levels up to date, it is essential that all returns are handled precisely, especially in the areas of e-commerce and online retailing. The increasing volume of returns is not only creating logistical challenges for pure online retailers, but the return rate is also on the rise in the omnichannel sector. Reprocessing returns for resale consumes a lot of time and money. GEBHARDT optimises your returns management, minimises the costs incurred, increases turnover and works with you to implement efficient and individual processes.

From quality control of incoming returns through to preparation for reshipping or storage in the appropriate warehouse - we design your customised intralogistics system. This allows you to check, sort, label, prepare and ship your goods to the warehouse or to your suppliers and customers.

Advantages of Automated Returns Management

  • Improved Processes through Automation and Software
  • Returns are readily available again for resale
  • Scalability across the number of lines and workstations
  • Ergonomic workstation design
  • Increases the processing speed
  • Possible workstation functions include exchange, repair, inspection, remanufacturing, forwarding to the manufacturer, completing a return or initiating a refund

Examples of Return Solutions

Automatic Infeed and Outfeed of Returns

The solution is used to process the accumulating volume of returns with greater efficiency. To achieve this, the packages are loaded onto a belt conveyor and then conveyed slightly upwards to the working height of the returns handling employees. This enhances the ergonomics. There, the packages are divided into different work areas. The return packages are accumulated on the conveyor system and the employees can pull return packages from the conveyor system onto the work tables, where they can process them. Gaps on the conveyor resulting from the removal of packages are automatically closed. Unpacked goods are either placed directly or in containers on the conveyor line between the workstations and transported under the upper conveyor lines for further processing. The resulting packaging waste is either thrown onto a separate empty carton belt, which then flows directly into a waste compactor, for example, or collected separately and disposed of at regular intervals. This solution can, for example, be connected to an automatic miniload warehouse or even to a pocket sorter.

 

Manual Feeding of Returns and Automatic Forwarding

Returns are transported to the workplaces in package trolleys. There, they are unpacked and credited to the customer. The packaging waste can be fed to a waste compactor by means of an empty carton belt. The goods are then repacked into containers and pre-sorted by a conveyor system. Depending on the contents, the containers are forwarded to different functional areas in the returns processing. The goods are inspected and processed further in the respective functional areas. The goods can, for example, be forwarded to a shuttle warehouse or to a pocket sorter or overhead conveyor system. Damaged goods will either be sent to the manufacturer for repair or disposed of. The workstations are designed according to the requirements of each functional area.

Automatic Infeed and Manual Discharge of Returns

This solution is used to process the volume of returns with greater efficiency. To achieve this, the packages are loaded onto a belt conveyor and then conveyed slightly upwards to the working height of the returns handling employees. This enhances the ergonomics. The return packages are accumulated on the conveyor system and the employees can pull return packages from the conveyor system onto the work tables, where they can process them. Gaps on the conveyor resulting from the removal of packages are automatically closed. Unpacked goods are then transferred to the order picking trolley for further processing. The resulting packaging waste is collected separately and disposed of at regular intervals.

Example of the "Goods-to-Person" Principle: Fully Automated Shuttle Solution at 11teamsports

The StoreBiter® OLS perfectly integrates into a "goods-to-person" order picking solution, such as at the football outfitter and sporting goods retailer 11teamsports at its new headquarters in Satteldorf. It worked together with GEBHARDT to completely reorganise its logistics. With the installation of a high-performance shuttle warehouse, the company is well equipped for the growing challenges of the omnichannel business.

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