A new “Lost and Found” online portal from AIAG will help automotive industry participants to find their missing reusable packaging.
The AIAG wants to get the word out to Tier suppliers and OEMs that it has built a new website for reuniting lost reusable containers with their owners. For it to be effective, participants need to upload information about stray reusable automotive packaging they have accumulated. The goal of the program is to help participants find their lost RTIs through a robust, easy-to-use information-sharing system that will speed up the search process. As a result, members will save time and money.
The new tool, known as the AIAG RTI Portal, benefits members by reconnecting them with their reusable packaging. The program will also help participants reclaim lost warehouse space, as well as provide them with useful data about container leakage points.
“The OEMs in the Detroit area tasked us with helping them corral their orphan containers,” explains Lang Ware, director of supply chain products and services for AIAG. With containers leaking out of their systems, the cost of replenishing containers has been going up and up. At the same time, warehouses and plants become cluttered with stray reusables from other companies. Because automotive packaging is customized to transport specific parts, the packaging is usually of little value to businesses that inadvertently accumulate it.
“Often, a company has RTIs onsite that they know belong to someone else, but they don’t know how to get in touch with the owner or arrange a pickup,” Ware says. “The AIAG RTI Portal allows companies to list their RTIs or find out who is the rightful owner of an RTI left in their facility.”
AIAG staff members provided the portal programming, aided by the experience and knowledge of automotive industry volunteers. “We were able to pull in some of the experts from OEMS and Tier One suppliers who are professionals at managing reusable containers in closed loops,” Ware notes. “They supplied the expertise necessary to do it.”
The portal is a no-cost service to AIAG members, who can upload information on RTIs they have accumulated, including a description and picture. They can also browse to look for their missing reusables. Non-members of AIAG have limited access to the portal. They can browse the listings and make contact to claim their lost reusables, but do not have access to posting information about packaging they have accumulated.
The site began with a soft rollout in February. Now the emphasis is on uploading container information to the portal. Ware reports that the group is “doubling down” on its efforts to getting information uploaded, utilizing interns, new hires, and others to get the job completed.
“All we need now to help reach its full potential is for more organizations to enter their lost-and-found RTI information so that the portal is more pervasive,” Ware says.
Ware stresses that the portal has other uses beyond reusables. It holds the potential to reunite any orphan reusable transport equipment with its owners. Ultimately, he believes the portal will help drive the discipline necessary for more successful reusable packaging management.
The AIAG RTI Portal is an attractive solution to the challenge of how to reconnect reusable packaging with its owners, one that might prove to be of interest to other supply chains where reusables go astray.
Visit the AIAG RTI Portal at https://rti.aiag.org.