Reverse Logistics toolkit: what would you add?

By John Cullen

I hope that people have had a chance to look at the reverse logistics toolkit on the CGMA website. If you have used it, we would be very interested to hear your thoughts about it.

An important feature of the tool is the way in which management accountants or management accounting is embedded in the management of the reverse logistics process. Have you used the tool to undertake a diagnostic of your organisation''s reverse logistics processes?

If so, did you find it easy to use or were there issues? If there were issues, what was the nature of these issues?

Have you used quality costing concepts to identify the prevention, appraisal and failure costs associated with returns? Has open book accounting been useful in terms of identifying cost reduction and service opportunities through the supply chain? Have you utilised activity based costing or balanced scorecard approaches to help identify opportunities to improve reverse logistics processes. Are there some accounting techniques not currently identified in the toolkit which would be a useful addition?

Have you successfully utilised the Performance Improvement section of the reverse logistics toolkit? Has this helped you to take a more complete overview of the reverse process and, consequently, to make improvements on both bottom line performance and customer service?

From a management accountant’s perspective, being part of a team working with colleagues from other managerial disciplines would seem to be a key driver to successful implementation of the toolkit. Have you been able to work successfully with other colleagues in this area?

The whole purpose of the tool is to bring about overall improvement through better diagnosis and positive interventions. From your perspective, is there anything we could do to improve the toolkit?

In order to share more information on best practice relating to reverse logistics processes we are currently holding forums in the UK, hosted by different major retail organisations. As a result of these forums, we are also designing a major survey on reverse logistics processes.

If you would like to be involved in the survey, please let us know. We would very much like to extend the forums and the survey beyond the UK and hope there may be an opportunity to do this through the CGMA.

If you would like to contact me to discuss these matters further, I would be happy to hear from you. My contact details are