Warehouse workers unload packages from a truck using a receiving line
By Matt Van Bogart | February 13, 2024

Industrial Automation Insider: What Role Should RFID, Machine Vision and Other Automation Technologies Play in Reverse Logistics?

And where exactly should these technologies be used within the reverse logistics chain? Alex Whiting, founder of MiTEQ, reveals what he’s found to work best.

Just when you thought you could take a breather, the returns start flowing into your stores and warehouses, adding an additional burden on your supply chain and bottom line. But what if there was a way to relieve both of those burdens? What if you could better vet the items being returned to improve routing, prevent overstocks, generate more revenue from resales and reduce waste? What if returns could become a profit center versus a loss leader? Would you invest in certain technologies to automate part of the reverse logistics process, assuming they don’t further deplete your resources?

I’m assuming you would. That’s why I invited Alex Whiting, founder of MiTEQ, to join me on the latest episode of the Industrial Automation Insider. He and his team have been working with retailers, warehouse operators, 3PLs and others in the reverse logistics chain to strategically automate the returns process, including decisions about whether items should be restocked, redistributed, recycled, or otherwise disposed of. 

Hit play on the video below to hear about:

  • The types of industrial automation technologies he’s been working with customers to implement to improve reverse logistics, and why RFID and machine vision are among those proving to deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI).
  • The different ways that strategic automation techniques in the reverse logistics process are impacting front-line workers (labor) and customers (loyalty).
  • How much process re-engineering may or may not be required along with these technology investments to facilitate more efficient returns and reverse logistics processes in your value chain.
  • Where you should focus first from both a digital transformation and process re-engineering perspective if you want to reduce returns-related losses and increase revenue from restockable items. (Should it be the store at customer service? The warehouse receiving dock? Somewhere in the middle?)

You can also read the transcript here or download the MP3 to listen later below:

Industrial Automation Insider: What Role Should RFID, Machine Vision and Other Automation Technologies Play in Reverse Logistics?

Podcast, Interview, Automation, Loss Prevention, Quality Control, Partner Insight, New Ways of Working, Digitizing Workflows, RFID, Machine Vision, Manufacturing, Retail, Transportation and Logistics, Warehouse and Distribution, Podcast,
Matt Van Bogart
Matt Van Bogart

Matt Van Bogart is a 20+ year veteran of the industrial imaging and machine vision market. He is currently responsible for machine vision-focused strategic business development at Zebra and previously drove the global channel strategy for industrial automation at the company.