Returns management is the supply chain management process by which activities associated with
returns, reverse logistics, gatekeeping, and avoidance are managed within the firm and across
key members of the supply chain. The correct implementation of this process enables management
not only to manage the reverse product flow efficiently, but to identify opportunities to reduce
unwanted returns and to control reusable assets such as containers. Effective returns management
is an important part of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and provides an opportunity to achieve a
sustainable competitive advantage.
cf. Douglas M. Lambert and Terrance L. Pohlen, "Supply Chain Metrics," The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 12, No. 1, (2001), pp. 1-19.