RPA Forum Insights: Day One

RPA Forum Insights: Day One


Successful Implementation Needs No Sweat

While the benefits of reusables within a supply chain are plentiful, the mere task of implementing them – or changing your ways – correctly can seem daunting. The overhaul in logistics can seem like a total transformation for a business. And while there are challenges associated with any new change introduced into an operation, understanding the proper ways to address those changes can make the entire process much less stressful, and more beneficial.
April 28, 2015 was the first day of the 2-day Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) Forum in Chicago.
It was an exciting first day. Thought-leaders from companies around the world shared their experiences, benchmarks and best practices in learning sessions. The purpose of the event? To help attendees address supply chain issues associated with reusables, and learn actionable solutions from business contacts who have implemented them with success. Ultimately driving relationships for future help and discussions.
This collective learning through shared experiences made it easier for interested attendees to roll out their own reusable packaging plans with ease, thus allowing them to spend time focusing on what really matters – the economic, operational and environmental impacts on their organization’s sustainability that the adoption will create.
For those who were unable to attend this great forum, we’ve collected some of the thoughts shared throughout the first day.
Takeaways from the Keynote Presentation, “Transforming Your Company’s Supply Chain – Challenges and Opportunities.”
Presented by:
Richard Sherman, Principal, Gold & Dumas
“A fundamental change happening in the marketplace is that omni-channel commerce is changing the supply ‘chain’ to a supply ‘network.’ B2B companies can learn from B2C omni-channel best practices.”
“Reusables start with the end-consumer in mind and work back in the supply chain. This means companies need to be a strategic partner, not a transactional partner.”

Takeaways from “Best Practices for Implementing Reusable Supply Chain Solution.”
Using a case study approach, an industry panel of users from multiple industries explored best practices for designing, implementing and refining a successful reusable packaging strategy that will work in any supply chain scenario.

Presented by:
 Cindy Doman, Herman Miller
Harry Chase, Kimura
Bob Klimko, ORBIS Corporation
“When planning the reusable packaging event cycle, refinement is ongoing. Companies that are innovators recognize this and continue to look for packaging opportunities for their new product launches, new channel partners and new customers.”
“When implementing reusables, create the right cross-functional team from material handling to engineering to line-side workers. Line-side workers are the experts in what they do and are the eyes and ears of product flow.”
“When considering reusables, map the entire process from start to finish. The team should actually walk the entire process from part supplier to line-side, to understand all aspects. This process map is the key to successful implementation.”
“When working with packaging suppliers, they can offer great insight from other industries that I don’t get to see. They can bring best practices from these other applications and offer a wealth of information.”
“Look at all facets and determine the total cost to implement the packaging strategy. Develop a Plan for Every Part (PFEP) and base decisions on the data like time and distance studies.”
What insights will Day 2 hold? We’ll share more shortly. Not sure how to get started? Here is a great place to start.