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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

MATERIAL FLOW Sometimes

MATERIAL FLOW Sometimes they do come back Thomas Wiesmann With online business on the rise, the number of returns is bound to increase. This includes not just clothes and shoes, but also – for example – electronics goods. For many online retailers, returns are a necessary evil that comes at a considerable price and this makes professional handling of the returned goods correspondingly important. With easily-integrated, cross-belt sorters for versatile deployment, Beumer Group ensures that mail order retailers or service providers can rely on efficient, end-to-end returns handling and rational goods processing. The customer’s purchasing behavior has changed. Printed catalogues may still be popular, but most customers only browse them for information before purchasing online. Technologies such as smartphones and tablets are pushing this trend even further. However, according to forecasts by market researchers, up to 30 % of all articles ordered are returned to the retailer. For example, customers ordered TV sets before the World Cup, and then sent them back immediately afterwards. Clothing is often ordered in three to four sizes and colors. Germany’s customer-friendly remote retail- Thomas Wiesmann, sales manager sortation and distribution technology with Beumer Group 34 f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

MATERIAL FLOW ing legislation supports this behavior by allowing free returns without stating a reason within 14 days. Trying out is permitted, articles can be checked in line with their “intended use”, TV sets can be connected, clothes tried on and electronics articles tested. However, this costs retailers a huge amount of money, as they are not only forced to bear the costs of returns and in case of a full return also the shipping costs. They also need to unpack the goods in question, check whether they are soiled or damaged, and then possibly re-pack the goods and put them back onto the right shelves. Targeted returns management can be a major factor in ensuring your business’s success. Keeping pace with volume growth To ensure fast re-stocking and availability, a major mail order company optimized its returns handling and relies now on sorters designed by Beumer. Prior to this, returns were handled in line with strict tayloristic principles – the work was divided among the staff in very small units. However, this prevented the kind of productivity gains that would have been necessary for handling future volumes and the retailer in particular wanted to be able to react to seasonal fluctuation. On top of this, the work was extremely monotonous for the staff. The requirement was thus to find efficient and flexible systems with low maintenance requirements and a fast return on investment. As a system integrator, Beumer Group sees its strength in technology and supports its customers from planning to commissioning. Through its Logistics Systems Division, Beumer Group bundles the competencies of Beumer and Crisplant with the aim of leveraging and developing the best solutions from both companies in terms of technology and processes. The product base includes modular high-speed sortation systems that enable fast, safe and accurate sorting, distribution and control of high volumes of very different goods such as parcels, bags and bulky goods. Up to 90,000 items of merchandise per day The returns process, of which Beumer planned, installed and commissioned the key components, covers more than 28,200 square metres distributed over three floors. 01 The product base includes modular high-speed sortation systems that enable fast and accurate sorting, distribution and control of high volumes f+h Intralogistics 5/2015 35

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