Reverse logistics: GT Logistics uses Reflex WMS to support industrial-scale management of returns for 600 Lidl stores
The project at a glance
Retail brand Lidl France entrusted GT Logistics with managing non-food returns (clothing, homeware, and small household appliances) for more than 600 stores at its 30,000 sq m warehouse in Rives, southeastern France. The firm is using Reflex WMS, coupled with a mechanized system, to process more than 10 million products each year, so they can be returned to stores and placed back on shelves for sale.
Business sector: Logistics service provider
Locations: 30,000 sq m warehouse in Rives, southeastern France
Application: Reflex WMS SaaS
Context and objectives
Lidl runs promotional campaigns at its stores every two weeks. These campaigns generate huge quantities of returns, all of which need to be sorted, packaged, and stored before they’re shipped back to stores and put back on shelves.
Unsold products from promotional campaigns arrive on pallets. They are then identified and their contents are quantified and qualified. If the items are in brand-new condition, they can be repackaged and repalletized. If they’re slightly damaged, they can be discounted and resold. Items that aren’t fit for resale are removed from the system.
The biggest challenge for GT Logistics is to effectively process between 80,000 and 1 million items a week at its warehouse in Rives.
GT Logistics has deployed Reflex WMS Web, coupled with a mechanized system, to manage these returns. The company opted for Reflex on account of its ability to efficiently manage reverse logistics flows (which by nature are complex and unpredictable) and to handle high volumes, and for its support for mechanized systems (crossbelt sorter).
Once incoming items have been quantified and qualified, goods that can be resold, and therefore returned to stock, are directed to the mechanized system provided that they are small and light enough to be handled by the sorter. Larger or heavier items are dealt with manually by operators. Bulk items are repackaged in boxes or other formats that are identical to the original packaging.
Reflex coordinates flows to the mechanized system or to the operators, as well as handling all the automatic calculations, ensuring that products suitable for repackaging are sent to the correct storage locations. What’s more, daily return forecasts can be entered into the MyReport BI solution, which then issues a precise stock report by email each morning.
Once the items have been returned to stock, they are then shipped to stores as and when orders come in. Reflex WMS manages order preparation tasks, as well as shipments to retail outlets.
- Effectively processes large and unpredictable volumes of product returns
- Provides an overview of in-stock products that can be put back on store shelves
- Automates all calculations, ensuring that products suitable for repackaging are sent to the correct storage locations
- Intuitive design and short learning curve: new and temporary staff are fully operational within 48 hours