Windward Insider Blog

How to Navigate Return Merchandise Authorizations & Win at Reverse Logistics

how-to-navigate-return-merchandise-authorizationsSometimes your customer's journey requires them to return a product due to failure.  As a retailer you have your customers' loyalty top of mind, but also have to balance the potential loss in profit that comes along with such a transaction.  On top of that, your suppliers are protective of their own bottom line. So, how can you win the RMA game?

Having a set procedure to manage your returns process is the key to a fair transaction for all parties involved.  Many different scenarios may come up when handling a Customer's damaged item.

You could:
  • Repair and return the item to the customer
  • Send the item to the supplier for repairs and then return it to the customer
  • Coordinate an on-site repair
  • Credit the customer in the case that a repair cannot be completed
  • Also, consider those cases where items are mishandled at the store
Return Merchandise Authorizations are sometimes required from manufacturers, and in certain situations, the item is too large for a Customer to simply bring it back to your store. 

If you offer repair services, your supplier may reimburse you for the repair and add the replacement part to your next order rather than paying for separate shipping.

RMA's for serviceable items may have an entirely different process that will coincide with activities in your service department.


Read Also: How You Can Handle Customer Returns With Ease  

By using an RMA process you are re-cooping the monetary loss of a defective product typically by charging back the supplier for the part, or your labor for repairing the item. Getting a replacement from the supplier is also a typical remedy.

What about the inventory management aspect?

Many software programs fall short because when a damaged item is returned, it simply goes back into your inventory.  

But wait, you can't sell that!

On top of that; it messes with your reordering process and confuses employees.

So, how do you keep track of all of this?

Windward's RMA Wizard is the answer

Windward System Five on Cloud has considerations for processing the supplier side and customer side of the Return Merchandise Authorization process.
With Windward System Five you can:
  • Enter new RMA's RMA-options
  • Report on outstanding RMA's by
    • supplier
    • status
    • customer
  • Manage RMA invoices to the Supplier
  • Manage repairs from start to finish
  • Upgrade your customer to a new item on trade if necessary
  • and much more...

Any bookkeeper can tell you that there's a lot of accounting that goes along with Return Merchandise Authorizations.

Windward's RMA Wizard takes care of that accounting for you as your customer's item goes through the RMA process.

Windward's RMA Wizard is included in all Windward System Five on Cloud subscriptions.


Read also Mitigating the Impact of Inventory Adjustments

This Windward Solution Series video is an introduction to the RMA process in Windward System Five. 

The entire series can be found as a course in the Windward Learning Academy by searching for tag RMA


Windward clients, please contact your Account Manager to talk about a Professional Services plan for advanced help with  RMA's.  +1 (800) 633-5750

Or you can start by checking out this webinar where we will discuss different types of RMA's and their functions. We will also discuss how each type affects inventory. As always there will be a live demo with examples and a quick Q & A will follow.

Sign up for this Windward Webinar

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If you are not yet a Windward client, one of our Business Developers would be happy to talk to you about your current business challenges and see how Windward System Five can help.

Please reach out at +1 (800) 633-5750


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