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Logistic Glossary – Letter R

Radio Frequency (RF)

A form of wireless communications that lets users relay information via electromagnetic energy waves from a terminal to a base station which is linked, in turn, to a host computer.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

The use of radio frequency technology such as RFID tags and tag readers to identify objects. Objects may include virtually anything physical, such as equipment, pallets of stock, or even individual units of product.

Ramp Rate

A statement which quantifies how quickly you grow or expand an operation growth trajectory. Can refer to sales, profits, or margins.


The allocation of product among customers, or components among manufactured goods during periods of short supply. When price is used to allocate product, it's allocated to those willing to pay the most.

Raw Materials (RM)

Crude or processed material that can be converted by manufacturing, processing, or a combination thereof into a new and useful product.

Real Time

The processing of data in a business application as it happens, as contrasted with storing data for input at a later time (batch processing).

Receiving Dock

Distribution center location where the actual physical receipt of the purchased material from the carrier occurs.


The function encompassing the physical receipt of material, the inspection of the shipment for conformance with the purchase order (quantity and damage), the identification and delivery to destination, and the preparation of receiving reports.


(1) A fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in performance. (2) A term used to describe the process of making (usually) significant and major revisions or modifications to business processes. (3) Also called Business Process Reengineering.

Refrigerated Carriers

Truckload carriers designed to keep perishables good refrigerated. The food industry typically uses this type of carrier.

Release-to-Start Manufacturing

Average time from order release to manufacturing to the start of the production process. This cycle time may typically be required to support activities like material movement and line changeovers.


The process of moving or resupplying inventory from a reserve (or upstream) storage location or facility to a primary (or downstream) storage or picking location, or to another mode of storage in which picking is performed.

Request for Information (RFI)

A document used to solicit information about vendors, products, and services prior to a formal RFQ/RFP process.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A document which provides information concerning needs and requirements for a manufacturer. This document is created in order to solicit proposals from potential suppliers. For example, a computer manufacturer may use an RFP to solicit proposals from suppliers of third party logistics services.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

A document used to solicit vendor responses when a product has been selected and price quotations are needed from several vendors.


Organizations intermediate in manufacturing and distribution process such as wholesalers and retailers.

Resource Driver

In cost accounting, the best single quantitative measure of the frequency and intensity of demands placed on a resource by other resources, activities, or cost objects. It's used to assign resource costs to activities and cost objects, or to other resources.


Economic elements applied or used in the performance of activities or to directly support cost objects. They include people, materials, supplies, equipment, technologies, and facilities. Also see Resource Driver, Capacity.


A business that takes title to products and resells them to final consumers. Examples include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Safeway, but also include the many smaller independent stores.

Return Disposal Costs

The costs associated with disposing or recycling products that have been returned due to customer rejects, end of life, or obsolescence.

Return Goods Handling

Processes involved with returning goods from the customer to the manufacturer. Products may be returned because of performance problems or simply because the customer doesn't like the product.

Return Material Authorization or Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)

A number usually produced to recognize and give authority for a faulty (perhaps) good to be returned to a distribution center or manufacturer. A form generally required with a warranty/return which helps the company identify the original product and the reason for the return. The RMA number often acts as an order form for the work required in repair situations, or as a reference for credit approval.

Return on Assets (ROA)

Financial measure calculated by dividing profit by assets.

Return on Sales

Financial measure calculated by dividing profit by sales.

Return Order Management Costs

The costs associated with managing Return Material Authorization (RMA). Includes all applicable elements of the Level 2 component order management cost of total supply chain management cost.

Return Product Authorization (RPA)

Also called Return Material or Goods Authorization (RMA or RGA). A form generally required with a warranty/return which helps the company identify the original product and the reason for the return. The RPA number often acts as an order form for the work required in repair situations or as a reference for credit approval.

Return to Vendor (RTV)

Material that has been rejected by the customer or the buyer's inspection department and is awaiting shipment back to the supplier for repair or replacement.

Returns Inventory Costs

The costs associated with managing inventory returned for any of the following reasons repair, refurbish, excess, obsolescence, end of life, ecological conformance, and demonstration. Includes all applicable elements of the Level 2 component Inventory Carrying Cost of Total Supply Chain Management Cost.

Returns Material Acquisition, Finance, Planning, and IT Costs

The costs associated with acquiring the defective products and materials for repair or refurbishing items, plus any finance, planning, and information technology costs to support return activity. Includes all applicable elements of the Level 2 components material acquisition cost (acquiring materials for repairs), supply chain-related finance and planning costs, and supply chain management cost.

Returns Processing Cost

The total cost to process repairs, refurbished, excess, obsolete, and end-of-life products, including diagnosing problems and replacing products. Includes the costs of logistics support, materials, centralized functions, troubleshooting service requests, on-site diagnosis and repair, external repair, and miscellaneous. These costs are broken into Returns Order Management, Returns Inventory Carrying, Returns Material Acquisition, Finance, Planning, IT, Disposal, and Warranty Costs.

Returns to Scale

A defining characteristic of B2B. Bigger is better. It's what creates the "winner takes all" quality of most B2B hubs. It also places a premium on being first to market and first to achieve critical mass.

Reverse Engineering

A process whereby competitors' products are disassembled and analyzed for evidence of the use of better processes, components, and techniques.

Reverse Logistics

A specialized segment of logistics focusing on the movement and management of products and resources after the sale and after delivery to the customer. Includes product returns for repair and/or credit.


Radio Frequency (RF).


Radio Frequency Identification. Also see Radio Frequency.


Request for Proposal (RFP).


Request for Quote (RFQ).


Return Goods Authorization. Also see Return Material Authorization.


Raw Materials (RM).


Return Material Authorization. Also see Return Product Authorization.


Return on Assets.

Roof Fairings

An integrated air deflector mounted on the top of the cab.

Root Cause Analysis

Analytical methods to determine the core problem(s) of an organization, process, products, market, etc.

Route Trucks Delivery

Trucks that travel fixed routes.

Routing Accuracy

When specified activities conform to administrative specifications, and specified resource consumptions (both man and machine) are detailed according to administrative specifications and are within 10% of actual requirements.

Routing or Routing Guide

(1) Process of determining how shipment will move between origin and destination. Routing information includes designation of carrier(s) involved, actual route of carrier, and estimate time en route. (2) Right of shipper to determine carriers, routes, and points for transfer shipments. (3) In manufacturing, this is the document which defines a process of steps used to manufacture and/or assemble a product.


Return to Vendor (RTV).

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