Rockwell Automation’s Returns Center in Champaign, IL is the midwest hub for all products that customers need to return to Rockwell for a multitude of reasons. “Processing” returns used to be a process where a processor would need to manually input the return number(s) and tracking number(s) for every single return that is processed by the return center into an Excel Spreadsheet that was slow and could only be updated by one person at a time.
Our challenge was to create a solution that would account for returns that could have multiple return numbers with one tracking number, (example: Three different small products, that were all returned in one box. Each product has a different return number, but because it was shipped in one box, there is one tracking number,) but also account for situations where one return number can have multiple tracking numbers (example: a big product needs to be shipped across three different boxes, with each box having a different tracking number).
We created an entry screen where a processor, instead of manually entering data into a confusing, slow, and inadequately sharable excel spreadsheet, was able to enter a return number, and all related tracking numbers (and vice-versa) without typing anything and simply using the barcode scanner that is attached to each work station. With this data, we’ve been able to generate reports for the returns center that all used to be generated manually.
After implementing the system, the Returns Center has found that they are processing 50-70 more boxes a day on average. User entry errors have gone down about 50% since we have eliminated the need for users to manually enter data. Management has also created more time for themselves to work with their employees and focus on other tasks since running reports are now done with a click of a button instead of having to manually create reports from data entered in Excel.