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Latest Issue: Nov/Dec 17

Maplin expands Iforce partnership to include returns processing

Maplin, the consumer technology specialist, has further strengthened its strategic partnership with iForce, by adding the iForce Revive service proposition to the national multi-channel fulfilment solution it has provided since 2014. The combined operation is operated from the Maplin national distribution centre in Wath-Upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire.

The iForce Revive proposition will provide Maplin with a software controlled inspection and processing capability to handle over 600,000 items returned from their stores or from online customers, as well as any products that have been recalled. The objective of the Revive proposition is to ensure that the margin erosion associated with returns is minimised. At the heart of the Revive proposition is the ReSCu software which will direct the processes required through the inspection of each returned item, determining whether it can be put back onto full price sale, whether refurbishment action needs to be taken to allow full price sale, or whether the item should be disposed of.

The returns model will work alongside iForce’s fulfilment and warehouse management solution already embedded within the national distribution centre. Since being deployed two years ago, iForce Gateway, which is powered by the company’s exclusive software SMART, has helped the retailer to achieve its highest levels product availability and operating efficiency. The retail industry recognised the success of the partnership between Maplin and iForce by presenting the companies with the Retail Week Supply Chain Collaboration of the Year Award in 2015.

Andrew Uden, Technical Director at Maplin, said: “Over the last two years we have been given the opportunity to see first hand the exceptional levels of service iForce provides to its clients. This gave us the confidence to develop our relationship further by adding a sophisticated and highly innovative returns solution that will lead to significant cost savings.”

Brian Gaunt, CEO of iForce, said: “Maplin is a fantastic brand and we are extremely pleased to expand our current partnership by adding our proven returns proposition to our existing fulfilment operation. Across our portfolio of clients, we process in excess of £200 million of returned stock every year, consistently returning £15 of value to our retail customers for every £1 they spend on our processing costs. We expect our Revive solution, which is underpinned by our unique software, to deliver a similar value for Maplin.”