RPA News & Views 


March 2012

Mike Hachtman
Mike Hachtman, RPA Chairman
Chairman's Corner

Dear Members:


One of the benefits of being Chairman of the RPA is the platform it gives me to promote the Association, its members and the value of reusable packaging to a very broad audience. In February at the MODEX show, I had the opportunity to sit for an on-camera interview with an editor from SupplyChainBrain magazine to talk about the value of reusable packaging and the RPA (see story below).


As I prepared for the interview, I recognized just how far we have come as an organization and industry over the last 12 years and the recognition the RPA is beginning to receive for our leadership. Telling our story was easier than I thought because of all the work we've done together over the years. I believe the RPA has really become the collective voice of this great industry. I also realized the challenge of trying to tell people about the value of reusable packaging in such a short period of time; there's so much to tell!.


That brings me to my main thought for this month - the importance of industry communications. We need to promote better communications between the RPA and its member companies, and between members and their customers. The RPA must continue to strive to be the industry voice with the ability to speak with authority and substantively about the issues and opportunities we all face as an industry. We have to be the platform where the industry can come together and create meaningful dialogue between producers and users of our products and services. We need to engage our members, customers, the government and others in a constructive dialogue that promotes reusable and sustainable business solutions in today's supply chains.


The RPA is trying to do this more and more. Through our improved website, our e-newsletter, our LinkedIn reusable packaging group (see story below) , our conference sessions like the one we just completed in Utah, or the upcoming program at PACK EXPO, we are promoting the value of our products and services, our Association and the professionals who make up this great industry.


I encourage all of you to think about how you might respond to an on-camera interview about the value of reusable packaging. And I ask you to become part of our ongoing industry dialogue, participate in our programs, and help us grow as an industry association.


As always, I welcome your comments and feedback mike.hachtman@relogistics.com




Mike Hachtman

Chairman of the Board

President ReLogistics

Member Spotlight: Rich Larson, National Accounts Manager for Buckhorn Inc.;Member RPA Board of Directors


Rich Larson has 30 years of returnable container selling experience. He is National Accounts Manager for Buckhorn, a provider of a wide range of plastic packaging products. Read the full interview here


Featured Article:  

Mapping Reusables Into Your Supply Chain



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. Read more




RPA Chairman Mike Hachtman recently promoted the benefits of reusable packaging and the RPA with Supply Chain Brain during the MODEX show. To watch Mike's interview click here.

New Member News:

Flo-Pallet, Federal Supply and Arrows Up Join Reusable Packaging Association


Three new companies recently joined the RPA, increasing the Association's reach and range of resources. Flo-Pallet Inc. a provider of a new highly specialized material and manufacturing process for reusable pallets. The company's specialized sheet molding composite material has been used in the automotive, aerospace and other industries, but this is the first time the product is available commercially as a reusable pallet. One of the benefits for the reusables industry is that the material can be reused only by specialized recyclers, eliminating its attractiveness for theft for a profit. The company is headquartered in Reed City, Michigan. Curtis Lewis, President of Flo-Pallet, is the company's Executive Representative to the RPA.

Federal Supply Services International brings with it unique capabilities and experience within the reusable supply chain. The veteran-owned and -operated business supplies reusables that support the US government and its Department of Defense integrated supply chain management system. The company's flagship product is its reusable G-PAKEZup pallet packing, shipping and storage system that is in use by the military in the United States and overseas for a variety of missions ranging from transport of medical equipment to warehouse logistics to long-term storage. Glen Baldridge, CEO of Federal Supply Services International, is the company's representative to the RPA.

Arrows Up, Inc. joined the Reusable Packaging Associationto strengthen their mutual goal of increasing the adoption of reusables. The company, based in Elk Grove Village, IL, produces the Arrows Up Bulk Transport System (BTS) that is designed to transport a wide variety of agricultural and other center-release products. Arrows Up produces custom-built intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) to meet unique customer requirements. The company will exhibit in the RPA Reusable Packaging Pavilion at PACKEXPO 2012 in Chicago. John Allegretti, President and CEO, is the company's representative to the RPA.

"The Association grows broader and stronger each time a new member joins us," said Jerry Welcome, President of the RPA. "The diversity of these three new companies demonstrates that reusable packaging solutions can impact sustainability for even the most complex supply chains, no matter what the product or where it is being sent."

Get More From Your Membership: Get Involved

The more you participate in the RPA, the more benefits you will gain from your membership including increased networking and collaboration, the ability to determine and shape research initiatives, and greater representation of your needs. Following is a list of the RPA committees and their chairmen. Contact the appropriate person if you would like to be involved in the committee.
  • Membership Committee: co-chairs Phil Davis, Senior Perishables Supply Chain Manager, The Kroger Company; and Robert Zachrich, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Fabri-Form Company    
  • Communications Committee: Hillary Femal, Director of Marketing - IFCO Systems, Inc.    
  • Education Committee: Bob Klimko, Director of Marketing, Orbis Corporation    
  • Industry Relations: Lane Pence, Director, Growth Strategy, CHEP USA  

Are You LinkedIn?  Join the RPA Group at LinkedIn.com

The Reusable Packaging Association group on LinkedIn currently has nearly 700 participants online, comprised of association members, media contacts, end users and prospects, and a variety of other key industry experts interested in learning more about the benefits of reusables. 


As part of the group, you will have the opportunity to participate in several new features such as the RPA's online polls, subgroups, and have a first look at any job postings.  As an RPA member, you may also submit job postings and promotions from your own company to the RPA LinkedIn site for approval by the site moderator or owner, in addition to starting discussion threads on topics you find timely and relevant.  We strongly encourage you to participate in this quickly growing social media group to receive the most immediate RPA updates available!


To join the group, simply visit RPA on LinkedIn.com or email Lisa Knight of CAPS, group moderator of this site.

About Reusable Packaging Association

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.


To learn about becoming a member click here



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