I was recently joined by Scott Hurley, VP – Product Marketing & Strategy, Roambee, and Scott Mears, Roambee’s Global Field Marketing Manager. If you
suffered retinal damage were at PACK EXPO, Mears was sporting the vivid yellow gear (See photo above). Both Scotts were excited to chat about their upcoming webinar, IFCO Has Found the Missing Piece Critical to Your Supply Chain. They will be joined by Josh Taylor, Global Manager – Digital Solutions for IFCO, and Tim Debus, President and CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association, in what promises to be an insight-packed session.
So what is that missing piece? You’ll have to watch the presentation to find out the details, but it suffices to say that IFCO’s relationship with Roambee has yielded powerful results. For example, Roambee’s visibility solution used by IFCO Systems was critical to police taking down a multi-million dollar plastic theft ring last year in Chicago.
The successful sting operation was an integrated effort driven by IFCO and involving two national retailers, a private detective agency, and the Cook County, Illinois Sheriff’s office. Advanced tracking devices subtly affixed to IFCO containers enabled the group to pinpoint the time and place of thefts and, ultimately, the illegal regrind location, leading to arrests.
“We have helped wiith many different recovery stings,” Scott Hurley explained. While it might not make sense at first blush to put a $20 beacon on a $5 asset, it turns out that there can be a solid business case for doing so – in a strategic way.
IFCO already utilizes RFID and barcode-enabled assets. Such reusables are typically only visible at read points, however. They don’t provide a clear understanding of asset activity between reads. “What we’ve found out is that you don’t need to put a tracking device on every single RPC,” he said. “Where there is one RPC, typically there is going to be 10, maybe 100, maybe 1,000 of them.”
It is necessary only to equip a statistically significant number of them to start harvesting critical data. The sensor is typically equipped so that it is not easily visible, either embedded in the reusable asset or attached to the bottom or backside.
While identifying networks of asset loss can be a quick win for companies employing advanced sensor technology, insights from data can often be the more significant opportunity over time. Hurley notes benefits such as identifying dwell time and bottlenecks, for example, or automating inventory, or red-flagging temperature incursions, as well as creating the opportunity for accurate invoicing.
“The loss of reusable transport packaging assets from ineffective systems or theft is an industry-wide problem, but emerging capabilities with technology-enabled products offer a robust mechanism of real-time inventory visibility and management to overcome yesterday’s tracking limitations,” stated RPA’s Debus. “Today’s smart and connected products provide asset managers with innovative tools to not only safeguard inventories but to also create operational efficiencies that extract more cost-savings in the reuse system.”
To summarize, the webinar panel will discuss in detail IFCO’s success story and share insights on how you can better manage reusable packaging to:
- Reduce asset losses,
- Improve cycle time/velocity,
- Increase asset utilization,
- Automate inventory count,
- Stopping revenue leakage, and
- Reduce demurrage & detention fees.
To register for the November 30 webinar IFCO Has Found the Missing Piece Critical to Your Supply Chain, click here.