Two weeks ago, I kicked off a five-part series on Newgistics’ corporate values by discussing our commitment to the philosophy “Customers Come First.” The goal of discussing these values on our blog is to enlighten our clients, partners and their customers as to what makes Newgistics “tick”—the ideals that are the foundation of our company culture and vision. This week, I would like to take a few moments to discuss the second of our values: “Continuous Improvement Through Bold Innovation.”
The basic concept of shipping is quite straightforward, right? Put the item in the package, put a label and postage on it, and send it off. If only it were that simple. The fact is that, in our industry, the only companies that survive do so because they offer tangible results and are committed to delivering more for their customers than attractive rates. There is a road littered with companies who failed to deliver on anything but a rate. Newgistics has been very successful in helping companies realize that shipping is about more than the simple act of moving products from point A to point B; it is about creating benefits across their entire business that ultimately improve the experience for both the shipper and the consumers to whom goods are being shipped.
To that end, we know that if our company is to not only improve the services we offer our clients but also stay ahead of our competition we must adhere to these basic principles:
Newgistics takes tremendous pride in being an innovator and leader in the world of shipping and logistics. The achievements we have realized in more than 10 years of service are a testament to the hard work and effort exhibited by our staff on a daily basis. However, achievements and innovation have no meaning if they do not directly translate to quantifiable results and value creation to our clients and their customers, which is inextricably linked to our previous discussion on “Customers Come First.” And Newgistics will continue to lead, innovate and strive for excellence in everything we do.
If you are already becoming a regular reader of The Gist, I want to personally thank you for your continuing support and interest—and if this is your first time here, welcome. I look forward to your feedback and to visiting with you again in two weeks to continue this series on our company values.
Bill Razzouk; President & CEO
Summer is winding down, and as consumers turn their focus toward back-to-school shopping, retailers are already in the thick of preparing for the holidays. The planning required to support an industry which secures as much as 40 percent of its annual revenues in the fourth quarter is an exhausting process. One particularly daunting task is as inevitable as the holidays themselves — handling the onslaught of parcel returns that follow as soon as the gifts are unwrapped.
Returns are a fact of life for retailers. And while they can take action to reduce return volumes or streamline the merchandise returns handling process, what can be done to lessen the impact of returns that should never have been received? Fraudulent returns cost everyone money – from retailers to consumers – so striving to limit the impact of these events helps everyone.
Sizing the issue
“Despite the fact that the majority of consumers do the right thing when it comes to returning merchandise, the fact remains that the efforts of a devious few can wreak havoc on the industry,” said Bill Razzouk, president and CEO of Newgistics. According to statistics released by National Retail Federation, $42 billion in merchandise was returned by consumers during the 2009 peak holiday shopping season – of which $2.74 billion was reported as fraudulent. The continued growth of revenue drivers such as e-commerce and mobile commerce, coupled with new tactics from dishonest consumers, means the problem will only grow harder to combat. However, the impact on retailers can be determined by how well they police the issue and manage the expectations of their customers.
Best Practices for Returns Management
“The long-term value of the relationship a merchant builds with a loyal customer is undeniable. These customers often identify very closely on a personal level with the brand and are committed to its success,” said Razzouk. “As you want to ensure the satisfaction of this group while keeping your bottom line in mind, you should invest in their well-being by implementing a friendly and comprehensive – but firm – return policy.” Below are some best returns management practices to consider:
One of the questions I am often asked by our clients and business partners is, “What makes Newgistics such a special place to work?” To begin with, the reason for the question rests in the fact that we are a company that takes great pride in what we do, how we do it and the services we provide, and it shows. As a veteran of the shipping and logistics industry, I have worked with a lot of organizations in this space, and I can say without hesitation that the team we have assembled at Newgistics is second to none. So, to answer the original question as to why Newgistics is such a special place, one has to look no further than our Core Values.
Walking the halls in our corporate office and the floors of our national network of operations centers, our core values are prominently displayed for all to see. It is our expectation that everything we do is reflected in those values.
In an effort to share with our clients and partners a little bit of insight into how we function as an organization, I will be posting my thoughts on each of our core values over the next few weeks, starting with Customers Come First.
This may seem rather obvious, but I have seen many companies suffer or fail because they either lost sight of or never embraced the fact that customers are the very reason for a company’s existence. Regardless of how good your technology, how solid your operations and the tenacity and intelligence of your staff, failing to consider the impact that every single action has on the customer will eventually cause your business to fail. It is that simple, and it is the reason why every person in our company is called upon to do what is necessary to keep our clients, prospective clients and business partners satisfied. We know that every time we ship a box or process a return on behalf of one of our more than 300 clients that we are not simply moving a box but are moving a customer, so we have a tremendous responsibility in the success of our customers if we too are to be successful.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to my next post when I will share with you Newgistics’ commitment to Continuous Improvement through Bold Innovation.
Bill Razzouk; President & CEO