Three global trends, direct-to-customer commerce, the experience & share economy, and the circular economy all result in product returns. Companies that sell products need to be prepared for product returns.


The Customer Journey continues after the delivery

Customer have multiple reasons to return while using a product. When returning a product customers ask for service. Therefor the service journey is part of the overall customer journey. The service journey offers undiscovered opportunities for service interaction with the customer.

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The Reverse Supply Chain offers many opportunities

Returns can be a burden but are an opportunity if managed well. The Reverse Supply Chain delivers value in 5 different areas.

Returns management


The returns process starts and ends with communication between you and your customer. Communication about what is being returned and why and communication about the service that is offered. Communication turns an unhappy customer into a happy customer.


The returns process is continued with a planned execution. Execution of transportation, receiving and disposition of the returned product. Execution brings the value of returned products to life in a new value chain.


A unified returns process delivers unified data that can be turned into valuable insights for your business. Insights about your customer, about the product and about the returns process itself. Insights that can be used to prevent future unwanted or promote future wanted returns.


The Supply Chain needs to be circular

Companies need return-cycles in their supply chain to support product returns in different phases while the customer is using the product. Typically, a company deals with 3 main return-cycles that can be visualized in following supply chain diagram.

Returns management

Returns & Exchanges

Excess inventory, point-of-sale returns, and distance selling returns. Offer a hassle-free returns process to meet the shopping preferences of your customer. Turn returns into sellable stock and customer repurchases. Use insights to prevent unwanted returns.

Warranty & Repair & Recall

Defects, maintenance and recalls. Offer a fast and reliable returns process that gives confidence to your customer. Deliver a reliable after-sales service that safeguards availability and up-time of your products. Use insights for preventive product improvements.

Take-Back & Recycling

Trade-in, take-back, and buy-back. Enable your customer to return obsolete products into a sustainable asset recovery process. Unlock Re-Commerce and Circular Economy opportunities.


The Reverse Supply chain needs a business process

Return-to-Settlement is a new business process that exists of a customer part that is typically service focussed (Returns Authorization and Returns Settlement) and an operational part that is typically cost and product focussed (Reverse Logistics and Returns Processing).  Together with Record-to-Report, Procure-to-Pay and Order-to-Cash it completes the suite of business processes for a Closed Loop Supply Chain.

Returns Management

Returns Authorization

Reverse Logistics

Returns Processing

Returns Settlement

Customers submit a request to receive authorization for a product return (Return Material Authorization).

Products are returned from the customer to the location where returns processing takes place.

Product returns are received, inspected and dispositioned through various actions like restock, repair or recycling.

Finally, the product return is settled with the customer through various actions like a refund, exchange or reward.


Implement a Returns Management Process

The Return-to-Settlement process comprises of 4 processes that manage product returns from customers. Returns Disposition brings products to life in a new value chain.

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Flexibility and Scalability

12Return is the leading cloud-based solution for product returns management in a customer-centric and circular economy. The 12Return platform streamlines the inflow of product returns from customers and the recovery of product value in a new value chain.


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