Problems with Free Returns

As the cost of returns continues to rise, retailers are looking for ways to reduce or recapture their costs. In 2021, the e-commerce returns rate hit an all-time high of 20.8%–up from 18.1% in 2020. The cost of online returns averaged 21% of order values.

In addition to the cost, there is the impact on the environment for returns (see “The Dark Side of Online Returns”). Many products are sent to the landfill, and there is the consumption […]

By |2022-07-27T04:57:52+00:00August 2, 2022|Tags: , , , |

Excess Retail Inventory

The COVID-19 pandemic has had lasting disruptions on inventory levels and supply chains for retail stores.

A combination of changes in demand for certain items based on being quarantined, as well as disruptions in shipping and production, led to inventory shortages. In many cases, inventory was delayed and arrived late and out of season.

Demand then changed due to a re-opening of the economy. This fluctuation resulted in combinations of shortages and excess inventories.

Now, add in the inflation on essential items, such […]

Use of RFID Tags Expand

RFID tags are increasingly being used throughout the supply chain to track material. Individual item-level tracking is now possible with RFID tags, allowing more detailed tracking information.

Walmart has just expanded its use of RFID tags in stores to track inventory. In 2019, Walmart required suppliers of apparel, footwear, sunglasses, and watches to place RFID tags on these items. Now in 2022, Walmart has added wireless devices, consumer electronics, and home goods to the list. The primary reason is tracking inventory, […]

Time for a New Just-In-Time in the Auto Industry

Is Just-In-Time (JIT) going away?

Increased uncertainty and shortages have challenged the belief that JIT production systems are mistake-proof. The auto industry has widely and thoroughly embraced the systems for several decades. However, recent events have highlighted their limitations and the need to make them more resilient. This new imperative is consistent with the lean philosophy of continuous improvement.


Video Spotlight: Canada Trucker Protests Impacting U.S. Manufacturing  (February 10, 2022, NBC News) 


This post is based on the […]

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