RPA: Four steps to managing and tracking reusable assets
June 06, 2012 - MMH Editorial
At any given time, a manufacturer can likely tell you the quantity of bulk items available for processing, and a distributor can tell you the number of trucks it has on the road and the number in for repairs. However not every company can tell you how many reusable assets, including pallets and containers, they have out at retail stores, in the warehouse or waiting for repairs.
These reusables are recorded on a company’s books as assets, yet often they are not tracked and managed the same as other assets because historically packaging is often treated as an expendable commodity.
If you’re not tracking and managing your reusable assets, someone else is likely benefitting from your investment. There is a strong secondary market for reusable containers, with resellers and regrinders capitalizing on companies that do not properly monitor their reusable assets.
Implementing an effective system to track and manage your assets requires four steps:
· Understand the issues
· Understand the available asset management systems
· Develop the processes & KPIs necessary to create actionable and enforceable data
· Obtain stakeholder alignment, educate the supply chain and implement a discipline to ensure compliance
Since 1999, the RPA (formerly the RPCC) has been a collaboration between supply chain partners to promote the environmental, safety, and economic benefits of reusable packaging. It is a trade association of leading manufacturers, poolers, distributors, retailers, educators, and others with a commitment to reusable packaging systems and the message of re-use.