Advance exchange programs are becoming quite popular in the technology market. These programs provide the end user with a replacement unit/device for malfunctioning equipment that cannot immediately be evaluated or repaired. The advance exchange concept allows manufacturers to replace whole-unit product returns quickly and efficiently, decrease downtime, and keep customer satisfaction levels high.
An advance exchange program can be used in many different situations. For example, a retail customer takes a broken unit (TV, computer, monitor, etc.) back to the point of purchase or authorized service shop. After some quick troubleshooting, the customer’s data is transferred to an equivalent refurbished replacement unit, and the customer is able to quickly move on. The broken unit is then returned to a centralized repair center, where it will be repaired and refurbished, then returned to become a future advance exchange unit.
The same concept applies to the enterprise world, where manufacturers and service providers are often charged with getting mission-critical equipment back online as quickly as possible after problems arise. It is in the customer’s best interest for the service technician to replace faulty equipment with advance exchange inventory, then address the cause of the problem later.
How Does the Advance Exchange Work?
In order to make advance exchange service possible, manufacturers, retailers, and service providers must have an inventory of finished goods in stock and ready to use. Purchasing (or repurposing) brand-new products to create inventory in an advance exchange program can be very costly.
To solve this issue, REL can take returned materials received through the reverse logistics function — whether they are product returns, damaged goods, or service depot returns — and process them according to manufacturer specifications. Products are also assessed to determine current market value. When it makes sense, whole units can be repaired and/or refurbished to replenish finished goods inventory for advance exchange.
REL’s ability to test and screen products internally, then strategically evaluate reuse opportunities using market intelligence, enables our customers to maintain consistent levels of advance replacement inventory. For companies that need a comprehensive advance exchange management program, REL can process shipping requests, manage return material authorization (RMA) tracking, and warehouse products until they are needed. In addition, REL’s network of stocking locations around the globe enables our customers to store the right products in the right place at the right time, where they can be accessed in time to meet service level agreements.
Advance Exchange Equals Increased Satisfaction
By repairing and reusing returned products, companies can reduce the amount of purchased replacement stock in finished goods inventory, as well as the amount of capital tied up in on-hand inventory. This decrease in overall costs leads to an increase in the bottom line. In addition, advance exchange inventory gives customers the instant gratification they expect. Faster turnaround with easy and reliable service leads to increased customer satisfaction, return business, and referrals.
To learn more about REL’s advance exchange inventory service management, contact us today!