For many businesses, returns are a natural, frequently occurring part of the day, and most customers treat them as such. Buyers expect a smooth return and exchange process from both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers — but for some companies, creating this experience is easier said than done, especially if they struggle to organize products behind the scenes.
Creating a positive return/exchange experience starts with return management software. This robust piece of technology can help you improve your overall inventory management and better control the product that gets added back into your system. Multiple dispositions, locations and operational programs can complicate the task, but with the right return management solution, you can effectively deal with any of them. You can even improve several aspects of your business, like efficiency, product visibility and customer satisfaction, with the right product returns management software.
What Is Return Management Software?
Return management software, also known as return merchandise authorization (RMA) software, refers to a program that assists companies with inventory adjustments and other aspects of the product return process, including disposal, recycling and refurbishing. It helps streamline the product flow and enhance visibility for a more efficient business.
RMA software usually ties into comprehensive inventory management software, working off of overlapping data points. The system as a whole may also offer features like inventory tracking, order management, barcode solutions, serial number tracking and other business-specific capabilities.
As for the RMA software, it typically offers aspects that help you control the flow of added inventory and any new conditions it may carry as a result of being returned, including damage or open-item statuses. Some of the features that RMA software provides are:
Count cases or individual products:
Many items will be bought and sold in cases. Use case functionality to work with these larger quantities of products in packaged formats.
Integrate with third-party platforms:
If you use any third-party platforms like Shopify or Square, an RMA that syncs up to them can save you countless hours of processing. You can even create custom application programming interfaces (APIs) to work with your own system.
Handle multiple locations:
You may receive returns that affect inventory in more than one place. You can maintain separate inventories or merge them together as needed. For large operations with many warehouses and shipping centers, the ability to handle several locations is a must-have. Plus, if items need to be sent off to another site, you can track that too.
Generate separate product IDs:
Often, when products get returned, they are given a new status. Someone may return an item without packaging, with damage or some other altered condition that changes how it is handled when it re-enters your warehouse. In these instances, you don’t want them in your inventory as new items that you can sell to customers. Instead, return management software allows you to link these conditions to unique product IDs. For example, if your original product ID is 3LD1001T, a product ID for the returned, opened item could be 3LD1001T-R. You can easily see that the item is not new and is altered in some way, but it still reflects the code for the original product.
Adjust inventory immediately:
If a product is returned in an unopened condition and you’ll be putting it back into inventory, you can update your quantity on hand as soon as you receive the return. This up-to-date reflection of stock allows you to have an accurate image of your inventory with no downtime. You can make business decisions with the confidence that you’re using the most current data and have a comprehensive view of the product across locations. You’ll also be able to change your inventory to view counts that adjust for returned items in conditions that are not as straightforward to resell, such as those that are damaged or missing packaging. You can exclude those items from the number of products available to sell and begin to start the process of refurbishing, repackaging or recycling.
Improve Your Returns Management Process with Finale Inventory
Almost every business will find powerful, efficient tools in an RMA program. Businesses that deal with everything from fashion to electronics to food to cleaning supplies can improve their product movement and overall process with the features this software provides. Whether you want to view your returns adjustments in real-time, find integration with third-party software or perform another efficiency-boosting task, a program like Finale Inventory can help.
Finale Inventory offers robust features and customization options for every business. It is scalable and adaptable, adjusting to the needs of your company. Plus, when you work with Finale Inventory, you get a personalized approach to inventory management with a single point of contact and a collaborative experience.
To learn hands-on how Finale Inventory can take your product management to the next level, start your free trial today.
Benefits of Using Return Management Software
Quality return management software offers benefits to inventory visibility, customer satisfaction, efficiency, record-keeping and more. Below are some of the advantages of implementing return management software.