Mapping Reusables Into Your Supply Chain

Editor’s Note : The con­tent of this arti­cle was orig­i­nally deliv­ered as part of the Reusable Pack­ag­ing Asso­ci­a­tion work­shop at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in 2011.

By Andrew DeWitt, Senior Busi­ness Ana­lyst, TOSCA Ltd., and Reusable Pack­ag­ing Asso­ci­a­tion Member

Reusable pack­ag­ing can deliver cost sav­ings, increased mate­r­ial han­dling effi­cien­cies and reduce a company’s envi­ron­men­tal foot­print. How­ever, the imple­men­ta­tion of reusable pack­ag­ing will have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on many inter­nal processes as well as those of sup­pli­ers through­out a sup­ply chain. The changes that result from con­vert­ing to a reusable pro­gram can touch many peo­ple and the work they do. From work­ers on a line who fill the reusable con­tain­ers with prod­uct, to sup­pli­ers who inter­act with the con­tain­ers, to trans­porta­tion staff. If a com­pany decides to man­age the clean­ing, repair­ing and sort­ing of the reusables in house, there will be new processes and pro­ce­dures to cre­ate and sup­port. Because reusables require new processes in mate­r­ial han­dling at many places along a sup­ply chain, a com­pany must under­take care­ful plan­ning and thor­ough train­ing in order to be suc­cess­ful. This arti­cle will help you:

• Map and review an exist­ing sup­ply chain
• Map future sup­ply chain with reusable pack­ag­ing
• Test and refine the new busi­ness model
• Pre­pare for suc­cess­ful implementation


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