The Essential Business Guide to Returns Management, Recovery, and Recommerce 

 

consumer technology technicians (1)

Introduction

This guide consists of insights into three core focus areas of reverse logistics: returns management, recovery, and recommerce. Throughout, it extensively uncovers the defining activities behind these processes as well as showcases tips and practical expertise. It aims to empower your business with the knowledge to make sustainable improvements to your processes, leading to beneficial outcomes across the economic and environmental pillars.  

Put simply, the act of returns management is the processing of products that are issued back from the purchasing customer to you, as either the originating point of sale/lease or manufacturer. Outputs of this can be the disposition of your products through responsible recycling or onward movement. 

Recovery refers to procedures that restore cosmetic quality, function, or value to your product so its lifecycle is extended, enabling re-use. 

Recommerce is selling your used products on the secondary market.  

Together, these three steps fall within the end of a reverse logistics process, working to receive unwanted goods, grading their condition, and restoring the condition before reuse either within your business or elsewhere. This ensures your products go on to another useful life with the next user or owner rather than become e-waste.  

The efficient return of a product can be influential on your user’s experience, even more so if there’s a financial impact for them. A seamless reverse logistics supports customer retention, lowering the customer cost of acquisition. The addition of recommerce enables a new revenue stream while exposing your product to a new segment of the market. 

All these activities boost your sustainability efforts by reducing the risk of technology potentially becoming hazardous landfill waste. At a time when mindsets are shifting from an ownership economy to a sharing economy, deploying resources to extend the lifecycle of technology gives you a competitive edge.  

Current Chapter:

Defining Key Services

Returns Management

Definition and Scope

Product returns can occur for multiple reasons. These can be triggered by the user because they’ve perhaps had a change of mind within the cooling-off period or have received a faulty product. In this case, the user no longer has a use for the product they have. Alternatively, if the product was leased, the return needs to occur at the end of the contract. The leasing company needs its product back.  

The logistics behind the receipt of the product need to be orchestrated, either by the issuing business or a returns management provider. For example, supplying packaging for the return or arranging collection of the return. 

The dedicated returns handling center receives the returned product, keeping a live inventory of all goods that have come in and are ready for processing. In some cases, this may also involve issuing an update to the previous product owner on the current status. 

The received goods must be marked against what’s expected so if there are any issues, for example, if the wrong product is sent, this is detected and correction is sought.  

Once the product is logged, it is screened and graded to accurately determine the product quality, use, and value. This involves product testing and potentially root cause analysis to fault-find, should there be a problem with the usability of the product.  

Larger products, particularly Small Domestic Appliances (SDAs), have the main components separated and cleaned. For example, the power cable, any detachable waterproof parts of the main unit, and the outer casing. 

A Visual Mechanical Inspection (VMI) is conducted where parts are visually assessed for damages and to ensure all required parts are accounted for. This inspection also assists in determining whether a repair falls under the terms of the product warranty. 

After cosmetic tests come model-specific functional tests. These checks are conducted by a trained technician or retail operative to a pre-agreed specification to ensure consistent results.  

The grading and assessment outcome is used to define the next step in recovery services. Automatic routing can ensure set criteria are adhered to when determining the next stage for a particular product. 

Role in business operations 

Processing returns in a fast, efficient manner involves the swift grading and testing of products, getting them ready to either reuse or resell, and ensuring the least amount of depreciation. The longer a return sits on your balance sheet, the prolonged risk of depreciation it faces. 

It’s important not to create a backlog of returns that are taking up space in your returns center, especially if these are larger or bulky products, like SDAs.  

If the return is a data-bearing product, this adds additional complexity as you must ensure compliance with data security regulations and policies. It should be a priority to move data-bearing returns through the data-wiping process as quickly as possible to reduce your risk of exposure to data breaches. 

This specialized software ensures that residual Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or confidential business data is securely wiped. Any highly confidential data-bearing items, such as hard drives, may need to be shredded to guarantee that data recovery is impossible.  

Often, when a product owner triggers the returns management process, it can be an indication of an unhappy experience – but not always. Making sure the reverse logistics process flows efficiently with as minimal effort on the customers’ part as possible is key. 

Failing to provide a satisfactory experience for your customer can result in damage to your reputation, loss of customers, lower lifetime customer value, and higher customer acquisition costs.  

Assessment and grading of returned products must be as accurate and as efficient as possible to limit unwarranted expenditure from your business. This stops repairs, exchanges, or refunds when the product isn’t protected under consumer rights or warranties. An inaccurate outcome from an assessment can lead to a customer refund where perhaps one wasn’t due. 

Recovery Services

Definition and Scope 

This includes repair and refurbishment processes that restore function, cosmetic quality, and value of the returned product. After such a product has been assessed, the grade it’s given determines whether it’s economically viable to repair and refurbish it, whether it should be recycled, or whether the parts should be harvested.  

Repair and Refurbish 

These techniques are triggered when either the product function or aesthetic isn’t to a high enough standard. There are three levels awarded based on the intensity of the recovery required – Level 1 is non-invasive work, whereas Level 3 is high-level skilled, mechanical, and technical work.  

These are rapid, high-quality technical processes that may be invasive (opening up the product) or non-invasive (typically surface-level, cosmetic work). The most common instance is a battery replacement if this is found to hold less than 80-90% of its original charge. Other common processes include:

By receiving Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) accreditations, the repair partner will have access to a supply of genuine parts and will follow their approved manuals and processes. OEM accreditations are a signal that the partner has been audited and is trusted by the OEM to deliver services to a high standard, meeting their expectations and specifications.  

These services can also be triggered for a customer product issue while under warranty or when covered by an insurance policy. Speed is of the essence in these processes to fault-find to limit the time customers are without their technology. Same-day repair should be the goal to boost customer satisfaction.  

Recycle 

Technology contains material that can become hazardous if broken down in landfill. This is called electronic waste, or e-waste

Where it’s not economically viable to repair or refurbish a return, safe disposition of goods is important to limit the negative environmental impact those products have. Reducing or eliminating your e-waste supports sustainability and ESG objectives for your business. 

Products must still be data wiped to minimize the risk of data breaches. Where data is highly sensitive or cannot be wiped, components can be shredded. Data wiping software and shredding partners can supply certification and paperwork to create an audit trail for the disposition of the data. 

ewaste statistics

Click to enlarge

Components and parts that are suitable for salvaging can be stripped and added to inventory. These parts can be donated to repair and refurbish other products. Parts can also be sent to users to avoid a product return if they can swap a part themselves. These could also be used as an additional revenue stream for customer replacement parts for products that fall outside warranty.  

Importance in Asset Maximization 

Innovation in robotics and automation enable a seamless approach to these processes, improving efficiencies and completing tedious, repetitive tasks that may often put a strain on technicians. 

Through parts harvesting and the repair of assets, you enable the recovery of products that are restored to a usable condition. These products can be used as swap stock to minimize customer downtime without their product or sold as second-hand goods. Collecting parts and components, as well as achieving OEM accreditations, ensure a solid supply of parts for future repairs.  

Through repair and refurbishment processes, the grade of returned products is uplifted, extending their lifecycle and enabling re-use. This means the restored product can achieve a higher financial return through recommerce networks or can be re-used within your business.  

Depending on your business model, instead of selling refurbished products, you may distribute them internally. For example, within your business for employees to use. For leasing companies, the product can be re-leased to the next user.  

Recommerce

Definition and Scope

While recovery processes boost the quality and function of a returned product, recommerce is a gateway ensuring access to another user. This is important if you have no use for the asset within your business.  

Recommerce can be considered a synonym for reselling or aftermarket sales. It covers the process of selling a like-new or used, returned product that has been previously owned.  

The seller of these products may have used recovery processes to uplift the quality, function, and use of the product to extend its lifecycle, or they may sell the product as-is. If products are sold as-is, without any grade uplift, the buyers may go on to repair, refurbish, recycle, resell, or reuse.  

Recommerce provides the opportunity for a new generation, a subset of the market, and consumers to experience the product at a lower cost. Through recommerce practices, new sales of higher-end items are pushed into the market which customers may not be able to access because of price. 

As a result, it drives awareness of the brand, unlocks the affordability challenges, and introduces new buyers to other associated products. 

For example, a potential customer may not be able to afford a product brand-new. With the lower cost of a second-life product, they can make the purchase. Once they associate your brand with quality and products they can trust, there’s the possibility of purchasing more recommerce products from your brand. 

Through recommerce opportunities, you can monetize the assets after they’ve been repaired and refurbished. With these assets, you can balance and fund the supply chain, benefitting from considerable revenue returns. 

This process can not only apply to whole, complete units, but single components and parts too. 

Impact on Sustainable Business Practices

Recommerce enables the flow of refurbished goods into the market, providing a supply of second-hand products which can be re-used by consumers. There’s an increasing demand in the consumer market for refurbished products as these are more affordable than brand-new goods. They also appeal to the environmentally-conscious consumer.  

Coffey et al, 2021 describe the phenomenon of eco-anxiety as “the distress caused by climate change where people are becoming anxious about their future”. This distress is predicted to be “significant and potentially damaging.” As a result of the increase in eco-anxiety experienced by consumers, the drive to purchase more sustainable products will be stronger.  

For economic sustainability, recommerce of preloved technology enables a new revenue stream. For as long as you’re receiving product returns, you can maintain the symbiotic relationship with selling these onto the secondary market, and continue receiving money back. 

This revenue can be funneled into areas of your business such as research and development, data security, or even donated as a philanthropic gesture.  

Ultimately, the creation of products for the used goods market serves the circular economy, ensuring that technology is not just made, used, and destroyed as with a linear economy, but is contstantly having lifecycles extended.

 

Illustration of a Linear Economy

linear economy with logo cropped

 

Illustration of a Circular Economy

a circular economy simplified cropped

The Importance of These Services

Impact on the Bottom Line 

When developing an effective reverse logistics process that harnesses all these elements, efficiency is key. Processing too slowly increases the risk of depreciation which means reduced value recovery, creating the need for potential cost write-off, and processing no products at all removes the opportunity for value return.  

Returns Management 

Fraudulent returns from opportunists, either intentionally or unintentionally, can be a big issue for you to combat. It’s worth regularly reviewing your returns policies for existing loopholes that these opportunists can exploit. The process must involve verifying that products fall under the terms of the warranty when conducting repairs, exchanges, or refunds.  

Deploy returns avoidance methodology – seek to provide remote user support so self-diagnosis or repair can be conducted. This is particularly important for in-person assessments, in-store for example where a customer may seek a return. Your in-store staff may not have the knowledge or experience to assess whether a product return falls under the warranty terms. 

Utilizing the knowledge and expertise of a returns partner can bolster this level of user support. Through training, a returns partner can provide the additional awareness needed for your employees to make informed decisions. Failing to do so can lead to dissatisfied customers or loss of profits. 

If the outcome of your processes triggers an exchange or refund for your customer, then accuracy is important to ensure you’re not paying out for repairs, new products, or providing money back based on inaccurate testing. This unnecessary expenditure can hit your profits.  

Recovery 

You can save money by ensuring you’re only investing in recovery services for products that genuinely need them, or by issuing customer refunds or credit where they’re truly due. 

Efficient and effective quality assurance tests ensure that repair and refurbishment processes are conducted to a high standard. Failing to meet a set requirement can lead to products needing a second round of recovery processes. 

The more time it takes to restore the quality and functions of a product, the greater the investment required. It is much more cost-effective to get the quality of a product right the first time around. If your products aren’t successfully meeting quality assurance tests, then the recovery process needs to be analyzed for weak spots where improvements can be made.  

Conducting root cause analysis or spotting trends in the reasons why consumers are returning products due to faults can assist with manufacturing. By reporting these faults and issues further up the supply chain, quality control can be tightened to eliminate defects. This information can also be used to influence future product or packaging development.  

Recommerce 

While you must work quickly to limit the impact of depreciation, quality mustn’t be compromised. Failing to work efficiently may mean wasted time, effort, and resources, hitting you financially. It can also lead to dissatisfied customers – not only your end users but also others in the supply chain if you’re supplying low-quality goods.  

Depreciation not only impacts the products as they’ve been returned, but also the products you’ve used recovery processes on. Getting the products back out for use, either within your business or elsewhere, as quickly as possible ensures the investment you’ve put into the processes elevating their useful life doesn’t suffer.  

Selling products has come a long way since storing inventories on spreadsheets. Efficient approaches involve live inventories of products, listed with their unique identifier, grade, and value. You need to implement effective selling tools, such as dealer and reseller portals, to reach a wider network and gain the most value return for your used products.  

As mentioned previously, making your products available on the secondary market can introduce your range to new customers who are priced out from buying the products brand new. They may buy second-hand now but it creates the environment where they’re more likely to buy new from you in the future. Through recommerce, potential customers have increased opportunities to buy from you, rather than from your competitors, boosting your profits both in the short term and the long term. 

Environmental Implications

These activities support the shift from a linear economy to a circular one (see circular economy graphic above). Historically, we’ve become accustomed to the linear approach; taking resources, making products, and then wasting them when we no longer have a need for them. 

The circular economy sees the lifecycle extended through repair and refurbishment either with the same owner or another. It takes preloved products and makes them reloved. The process is repeated until it’s no longer financially or functionally viable.  

Minimizing e-waste is one of the most significant positive impacts of these activities. The products will eventually reach a point where their useful life can no longer be extended, but sustainable recycling of non-useable components ensures that the hazards are kept out of informal waste and landfill. Parts harvesting will keep components in use for as long as possible while they have a function and can keep other products being reloved.  

Through the extension of product lifecycles, there becomes a decreased demand for brand-new products. This relieves the pressure on manufacturing to produce new and in turn, reduces the raw materials that are harnessed and the CO2e associated with production. 

This reduces harvesting of naturally occurring substances like metals and minerals, reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing. Choosing a refurbished piece of technology can avoid up to 87% of the resource and emissions impacts. 

Ultimately, all these activities can be detailed within sustainability reports as they demonstrate progress towards ESG and CSR objectives. These are becoming increasingly important for transparency to stakeholders, investors, and customers who are seeking increased understanding of how businesses are striving towards sustainability.  

Enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

These processes, when implemented swiftly, can strengthen your relationships with customers, build a positive brand image, improve customer lifetime value, and increase peer referrals.  

When moving returned products through the reverse logistics process swiftly, the time customers are without their product is reduced. The shorter the customer downtime, the better the experience for them. This includes same-unit repairs and if an exchange is dependent on the outcome of the return assessment.  

Speed is also important to customers when the outcome is a refund. Not only do customers want to be without their products for as little time as possible, the same can be said for their money. Getting a positive outcome for them in as little time as possible will improve their satisfaction.  

Should the customer not get the outcome they wish and feel they’ve been misled, whether this is dependent on the time passed to reach a resolution or alternative, their satisfaction will be decreased.  

Consumers are becoming more eco-conscious and are more actively seeking businesses that are transparent about their sustainability efforts. Those concerned about the environmental impact of their technology use will migrate to businesses that confidently and accurately demonstrate the steps taken to enhance the eco-friendliness of their activities. Be aware of greenwashing, however. The repercussions of exaggerating your environmental efforts will backfire and ultimately do more harm than good.  

Through recommerce, second-life products enter the market and are a more affordable option for consumers who may not be able to access your products from new. This increases their satisfaction as they don’t feel like a marginalized segment of the market and can instead enjoy the benefits of your products.  

Evaluating and Choosing a Service Provider

Criteria for Selection

Industry Expertise

The technology market is very fast-paced. Products are constantly evolving, putting high pressure on partners to remain agile and swiftly develop solutions that support the ever-changing products. Not only that, but the diversity and range of products is vast. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What applies to one manufacturer or to one model won’t necessarily lend itself to another manufacturer or a different model. 

Some solutions and automation can be repeatable and scalable, but not all. The partner must have industry insight and product knowledge to understand where broad application is suitable and where it isn’t.  

Partners should seek to deliver market-leading solutions which means striving for continuous improvement and innovation to provide competitive services. They should provide ample opportunities for their aftersales technology to drive improvement for their customers in terms of product development and manufacturing supply chain.  

As demand for products is high, unforeseen circumstances can arise that cause issues within the supply chain. Although it’s rare, the landscape can change overnight, so the partner must be able to mitigate issues rapidly to ensure continuous supply and limit disruption. They should prepare contingency plans with back-up options in case of Plan A failure.  

Technological Capabilities

Technological capabilities enable the research and development of automated, repeatable solutions to improve quality and efficiencies, as well as process whatever volume of product the customer needs. These advances should also work more sustainably, minimizing product waste, and reducing CO2 emissions.  

The partner must be able to support and sustain customer growth and also accommodate lower product volumes, should the need arise. This is important for scalable operations, to cover both people and space, and is particularly pertinent for product flow impacted by seasonality. 

Speed is an important factor in reverse logistics, more so if following recommerce processes. Depreciation is a risk to the product – the longer the processing takes, the more the potential value recovery can drop. Rapid processing of products ensures maximum value retention, especially important to recover repair and refurbishing costs.  

The chances of achieving First Time Fix (FTF) are increased when implementing better technologies - a necessity when recovering value. The more you process a product to get the best grade, the more your costs accumulate. It’s imperative to get high yields successful through quality assurance checks the first time so processes aren’t repeated.  

Sustainable Practices

With the increasing volume of electrical products in circulation, consumers are becoming more educated on the impacts this has and therefore will look to manufacturers and suppliers to enable sustainable disposition practices. 

As demand for technology increases, and the innovation behind it, so too will the carbon footprint associated with its creation. Every part of the supply chain needs to consider how they will combat this and form value propositions and business objectives that take this into account. 

Businesses should seek suppliers with a clear sustainability objective and outputs that demonstrate improved performance. Third-party logistics and reverse logistics partners should be constantly seeking the betterment of solutions that lower the carbon footprint and waste of its customers and their users.  

Track Record and Client Testimonials

Typically, it may be difficult to ascertain who are the customers of the partner to obtain peer reviews. As this is information not usually in the public domain, it’s important to seek out and research whatever information may be available.  

The reputation of the partner you select is important. Perhaps there are reviews or testimonials that are accessible. Look at who seems to have the biggest customer base. A contract renewal is a sign of trust in the established relationship and a sign of success. See who your peers or network are partnering with. Ask your contacts for information about who they would or would not recommend, and what experience they have with the potential partner. 

News articles or press releases can often indicate partnerships if not outright declaring them. These may give a good commentary on what others are saying, particularly around the general industry sentiment of the supplier.  

Social media and reviews can be a good starting point to ascertain the causes the supplier advocates and the services they offer. These profiles are not only a source for how the supplier presents themselves but also how their employees and customers interact with them.  

Customer advocacy content and case studies are another good source of information that demonstrates tangible benefits that the provider has offered to its customers. These help you get a feel for if the same could be applied to your own business goals.  

Establish how long the potential partner has been in business and what acquisitions or investments they’ve received. Check how long they’ve been providing the services that are suitable for your own business. Those serving for longer periods may typically have a stronger proposition in place that evolved over time and has been refined.  

Certifications and accreditations are a sign of manufacturer trust and compliance with industry standards. To achieve one of these, the facilities are audited to specific criteria that ensure processes are completed to a high standard. A supplier with little to no certifications or accreditations may show immaturity of business operations, or perhaps something else about how they conduct their processes.  

All these factors above will help indicate the effectiveness and value of the partner you’re considering. Failing to work with an efficient partner can impact your finances as well as your reputation.  

Cost Considerations

The financial side of working with a reverse logistics partner is extremely nuanced and there is no one-size-fits-all pricing structure. Various factors impact the costs of the services, including the different expected inputs and outputs that are being proposed. 

As the finances are nuanced, it’s essential to understand each cost proposed on a line-by-line basis. This will ensure your budget is appropriately prepared and you have a clearer audit trail. You’ll also be in a better position to truly calculate the cost savings or value recovery that’s being generated as a result of the partnership.    

Hypothetically, factors impacting costs can include: 

  • Logistics  
  • Packaging  
  • Labour of receiving and routing 
  • Warehousing  
  • Processing  
  • Repair  
  • Refurbishment  
  • Quality review  
  • Repackaging  
  • Storage  
  • Account management 

The Process of Working with a Service Provider 

Initial Consultation and Needs Assessment 

After conducting your research to determine which service provider(s) have the market reputation that’s attractive to you, there are multiple ways in which you can contact them. Most commonly, it will be through their website. 

Alternatively, you may email directly, or reach out to a member of their business development team perhaps at an event or via LinkedIn. Once you’ve signaled your intention, there needs to be a two-way conversation that outlines your initial pain points, objectives, and business goals. This way your provider can understand what you need and how they can help you. 

Tailoring Services to Specific Business Needs

Through close conversation, the service provider will learn more about what you’re trying to achieve, what perhaps isn’t working for you right now, and what your key success factors are. They will understand that each business is different and so is the product range and use. They will discuss with you the influencing factors of the project delivery, such as the range and scale, your user types, business models, and geographic coverage. 

The objectives you’re looking to achieve will define what services are required. The levels to which services can be tailored to your needs can be simple or complex. It could be that the solution is simple repair and refurbishment, or perhaps you have a complex device that needs a bespoke solution with specialized tooling and areas (such as a clean room). The main top-level aim is always to get the most from the product at the highest standard, in the quickest time. 

Recovery methods range from basic manual disassembly to more complex semi- or fully-automated processes with non-intrusive repair and refurbishment methods. This is largely impacted by the commercials. In the case of repair, once products are processed, one stream will go back to the original owner, and another stream will be placed back into the market for deployment either back into a workplace or sold via a recommerce program. 

Recommerce programs always require a mature, established network of trusted buyers to be able to supply these with high-quality second-life devices.   

Implementation Strategy

Once the customer is satisfied with the proposal and contracts are signed, a project manager from your provider is assigned. They are the main point of contact for the customer and work to ensure that everything is delivered following the project plan that the customer has agreed to.  

From there, your provider establishes recruitment and creation of new lines, if needed. Their IT teams will get any new systems set up and complete integrations before the project delivery begins.  

Ongoing Support and Performance Monitoring

The service provider will establish a point of contact responsible for customer channels. Within their team, there will be a hierarchy that allows for a seamless escalation path should issues arise. 

Each of these team members are central to the account and will act as a liaison between internal systems. This ensures one single source of information to give peace of mind that the program runs without issue. There will be regular check-ins to provide updates to the customer and take any action should the needs of the customer evolve.  

Why Choose
Ingram Micro Lifecycle

Company Overview and Experience

Ingram Micro Inc, the parent company of Ingram Micro Lifecycle, is the trusted distributor of high-tech devices to over 60 companies, backed by 40+ years of industry service. Ingram Micro Lifecycle and its acquired businesses have a cumulative 30+ years of experience in reverse logistics.  

Right from fledgling mobile devices such as the Nokia 3310, Ingram Micro has been a staple in market-leading service provision to the technology industry. Ingram Micro Lifecycle strives to deliver best practices and continuously improve. We repeatedly demonstrate agility and the ability to adapt to evolving technology to guarantee that customers receive the best possible service through the greatest solutions.  

To achieve this, we are constantly researching and developing new processes to improve efficiencies and deliver customer cost savings. Increasing our application of automation and robotics are just some of the ways we’ve successfully delivered innovative solutions.  

We recognize that your business, users, and the technology used no longer require simple repair solutions. The industry demands value-added solutions that improve the environmental impact of our technology consumption through the enhanced re-use of products, reducing e-waste.  

We evolve with the products and demands of our customers to ensure their customers stay connected to their devices with minimum downtime.  

Specific Services Offered

Ingram Micro Lifecycle offers a wide range of reverse logistics, asset management, and depot services solutions. These can be tailored to provide simple or complex projects involving IT assets, mobility devices, small domestic appliances, and high-tech electronics.  

 

Ingram Micro Lifecycle's Services / Solutions Cycle

Ingram Services _ Solutions Cycle

We are one of a few providers with the infrastructure, resources, and technical know-how to offer waste-saving solutions such as Diamond Substrate Processing, LCD repair, and UV-C recoating. Our proprietary robotics solutions improve the efficiency of product sorting and battery testing. Our customers get maximized part reuse with less waste generation through solutions such as high-quality non-invasive refurbishment and laptop reskinning. 

Ingram Micro Lifecycle takes the time to get to the root of your pain points to understand how we can create only the best solutions.   

Case Studies and Success Stories

CPE Returns and Refurbishment

Leading connectivity provider in the UK, TalkTalk, needed a services provider that could handle their high volumes of CPE returns. The solution needed to fault-find, grade, repair and refurbish products to complement the customer’s sustainability goals. 

Using the latest innovations in reverse logistics, our skilled technicians were able to successfully improve the rate of returns processing through streamlining, improved material recovery, and automation within our repair and refurbishment solution.

Returns Processing of Consumer Leased Electronics

Raylo, a leading consumer electronics leasing company, needed a returns management partner with the scale and agility to support their growth targets and circularity objectives. 

Ingram Micro Lifecycle was able to match the customer’s ambition, providing end-of-lease processing and fulfillment services. Our end-to-end solution covers product screening, grading, and uplift via technical repair processes, enabling maximized product re-lease, recommerce, and value recovery. 

Compliant Disposal of Retired Assets

NTT Ltd, a global IT infrastructure and services company, was faced with processing redundant IT equipment consolidated from their offices across Europe and needed an ITAD partner. Ingram Micro Lifecycle has become their partner of choice for ITAD solutions after several years of working together.  

Customer Contact Center

Vodafone partnered with Ingram Micro Lifecycle for their customer support calls. Our hub ensured an optimum customer experience, working closely with the client to adhere to a consistent framework. 

The use of brand terminology and phrases strengthened a seamless experience for the user. The project delivered support beyond simple calls and commonly asked questions, providing the operator with detailed diagnostics of how customers used their devices. 

As a result, over 50% of their enterprise customers no longer had to return their device for repair, which minimized customer downtime. The support from Ingram Micro Lifecycle led to the best NPS the operator had ever received.  

How Ingram Micro Lifecycle Aligns with the Needs of Modern Businesses

Ingram Micro Lifecycle, supported by Ingram Micro Inc., has a global presence and financial leverage that can enable the purchase of stock on behalf of customers. This lowers the financial risks for you with obtaining inventory and allows your funds to be used elsewhere within your operations.  

We have the agility to innovate and strive to create new methods of working that suit your exact requirements. This means we aren’t stuck using tried and tested methods but strike for improvements that deliver better results. The solutions we deliver are always scalable and repeatable, with the ability to expand to new locations and countries, wherever you require.  

Our breadth of services means we offer a true end-to-end solution with every part of the process housed within our facilities. This delivers improved processing speed and efficiency, while retaining complete control.  

In this fast-moving world, businesses need the structure to support hybrid/remote working and modern workplace as a service. Our depot services and Device as a Service solution enable these modern approaches to the workplace, managing IT assets remotely to relieve pressure from your internal IT teams. Our capabilities include holding stock, configuration of devices, shipping, in-life support, processing of leavers and end-of-life devices, and facilitating repairs, returns, swaps, and upgrades. 

Ultimately, our vision is to enable a circular economy for all our customers. Sustainability always has room for improvement and that’s what we chase when we work with you. By pushing ourselves, we achieve improved sustainability and circularity for you. 

daas-customer-journey

 

Understanding Service Agreements

Service Agreements are issued at the final stage of the consultation process. This follows the Request for Proposal and signing of the Non-Disclosure Agreement. 

We understand that businesses may not be fully aware of what they need, but you know your problems inside out. We build a relationship where you’re comfortable sharing your pain points and challenges so you can articulate a desired outcome. Through two-way conversation, we gain clarity and scope for the project ahead. It’s a consultative process, discussing ideas, sharing case studies of similar work, and designing a fresh solution that meets your needs of the project.  

You must consider if the proposal fits your goals and objectives, meeting the expectations of your users and customers within an affordable budget.  

After these consultative rounds and answering any questions that either side has, the Service Agreement is issued at the very end.

Steps to Engage with Ingram Micro Lifecycle

 

Schedule a Consultation

Ingram Micro Lifecycle is open to hearing from potential new customers through our website (www.ingrammicrolifecycle.com), our LinkedIn profile, or through a member of our dedicated Business Development team.  

After raising an initial query, your details will be routed to the most appropriate associate internal who will reach out to arrange a meeting at a time convenient to you.

Develop a Customized Plan

Through the RFI, RFP, or RFQ process, we will discuss with you any problems you’re facing so we understand fully the extent of your pain points and barriers. Based on these challenges, we will create a solution overview for presentation to you. In this collaborative meeting, we welcome feedback and questions about the proposal and understand where improvements can be made. We get to the heart of your challenge so we can understand the impact and benefits of our partnership to create the best solution.  

Once you are happy with the proposal and signal your intention to commit, contractual agreements are issued.

Implementation and Support

Once you accept a proposal, we assign a project manager who creates an implementation project plan. This is aligned with your needs and input to determine the appropriate timescale for delivery.  

After the signing of contracts, the project launches which triggers our recruitment of any new or specific project job roles. The operational build and layout begins, along with the design of any new processes, for example, if we require new lines to fill any service delivery gaps. If no new lines are needed then staffing needs are established, building our teams to the required workloads, so the project can begin seamlessly.  

IT systems are also implemented, getting you set up and IT integrations are completed. Our IT team will load the commercials into the system so cost centers and billing are established before your products start physically arriving. They also establish the correct reports in the formats and layouts you need, showing the pertinent data required.  

Our associates will walk the products through the different stages of the processes to ensure there are no issues and the outcomes are delivered as we and you expect. Training is provided in parallel, both for you and our teams if needed, so all are aware of the requirements and can deliver them to the best of their abilities. Logistics and packaging processes are also enacted.  

Once everything is set up and tested, the green light is given for the project to commence. 

The project manager will spearhead a team where each member is responsible for separate systems within our project delivery. This ensures a single source of information for each step, supported by a hierarchy for escalation in the rare event that a problem arises.  

We host a weekly check-in between the main account representative from your business and our internally assigned Account Manager. In addition, there are also monthly business reviews and quarterly business reviews. These involve your wider teams, including, but not limited to, account directors, IT, and commercial managers. The attendance of pertinent team members is dependent on the solutions and services we provide for that particular project. These meetings enable progress review against SLAs and KPIs to check on account health. 

These meetings can be in-person or remotely, depending on your needs and requirements.

Long-term Partnership Benefits

Through partnering with Ingram Micro Lifecycle, you are guaranteed a long-term relationship based on mutual trust, great service delivery, ongoing innovation, continuous improvement, and robust communication.  

The longevity of our relationships enables a true understanding of your goals and your customers or users. We operate as a family, getting to know your industry so we can nurture your business through the processes we offer. With our support, you can seamlessly navigate any challenges posed by your IT assets, small domestic appliances, high-tech electronics, or mobility devices. With our in-depth knowledge of your business, our support can go above and beyond, in some cases offering proactive support to mitigate potential risks.  

We pride ourselves on our agility and innovative approach to customer solutions. 

Take the First Step Today

Get in touch with Ingram Micro Lifecycle today to begin moving towards enhanced returns management, recovery, and recommerce strategies for your business.

Embrace circularity at every stage of the asset lifecycle.

Get in touch