Effectively managing inventory goes beyond delivery to the customer; you must also manage the RMA process to update inventory quantities, costs, and sales upon return of items.
RMA represents return merchandise authorization, the beginning of the return process for an unwanted purchase. The customer typically completes a form and awaits authorization from the company prior to sending the order back for a refund or credit. The RMA form may be included with the receipt when the order is sent to the customer or processed online through a customer portal.
Understanding the reason for return can be an important piece of information, especially if the same item continually gets returned for the same reason. You might be having quality issues from your team or from your supplier that at least merit a conversation to determine whether you should continue selling the product.
RMA Process Flow
An RMA number will be associated with that product through the return process for tracking purposes.
Policies vary widely among companies – some accept returns with no questions asked and others require you indicate the reason for return. Most companies do set time limits for accepting returns, i.e., thirty days from the date of purchase. Be sure to clearly state your return policies on your website and/or other collateral to avoid disputes or customer dissatisfaction regarding your terms. These terms should indicate whether the cost of return shipping is the customer’s responsibility or whether your company will cover those costs, perhaps in the form of a preprinted return shipping label.
The RMA process flow sends information to the warehouse, informing them of the returned item. Once the returned inventory is received, the RMA number can be tracked, and the item may be returned to inventory or destroyed. Again, the policy will vary from one company to another and depend on the industry, but the goal is to keep RMA inventory items organized so they do not get mixed in with new items.
Returned items can be processed through your SOS Inventory account. SOS Inventory can process returns with or without a RMA. If returned items will be returned to inventory, their quantities will be entered into the system. You don’t need specialized RMA tracking software when SOS Inventory can handle all inventory types and processes seamlessly.
SOS Inventory can process returns several ways:
- Generate a return from the original shipment transaction. This method will import the cost of goods sold value, providing the precise restock value. If quantities returned differ from quantities purchased, the restock value will also require adjustment.
- Generate a return from the shipment transaction. Simply locate the transaction in your shipment list and select “Create Return” from the “Actions” menu.
- Generate a return from the associated sales order, invoice, sales receipt, or RMA. The Restock Value field of the generated return will show the item’s purchase cost as listed in the item definition.
You may issue a credit memo to your customer through QuickBooks Online by checking the Credit Memo box on the return.
When adding a return, the items go back into inventory. Accordingly, they should have a value or cost basis. The system uses the Restock Value for each line item as the cost basis for all future calculations and MUST be entered before saving the transaction. You can adjust the restock value to account for damages, etc. This value is entered for you if the return is generated from the shipment on which the item was sent to the customer.
Simplify your RMA process and stay on top of returned items and their costs to keep your records accurate and stay abreast of products that may require more attention on your part. Trust SOS Inventory for the best of inventory management tracking and control features.