|Robert Engle, RPA Chairman|
RPA: A Great Insurance Policy
During our recent Spring Board meeting we spent some reflective time discussing the ongoing viability of our trade association and whether or not the industry was really ready to sustain a "stand-alone" group. It was a very frank and good discussion. I am happy to report the consensus opinion was yes that the RPA was needed if for no other reason than it provides a type of insurance policy against unforeseen challenges that our member companies might face in the future that can't otherwise be found.
Board members felt that there wasn't a clear way to express the particular value equation of the RPA being an insurance policy, but they could clearly envision what would happen if we didn't have a strong industry association to turn to in the event of a wide-spread industry threat. Founding members recall that when the precursor to the RPA was a part of the MHIA there was no mechanism in that group to address a financial issue on taxes impacting the reusable industry. Those members had to create a structure and bear the cost of coming up with a viable solution on their own. The lesson learned was having a strong industry apparatus like the RPA would enable the industry to quickly develop a response and laser-focused approach to deal with any situation that might adversely impact member companies.
Another member pointed to the Reusable Packaging Pavilion at PACK EXPO as an additional strength. He noted it probably would have been very difficult for the industry to pull together an industry-focused pavilion at a major trade event like PACK EXPO, without the strong hand of the industry association. Today, that original concept, which started out with 12 members in a 3,000 square foot space, has mushroomed into a 30-plus member, 12,000 square foot showcase of reusable products and services. The Pavilion has enabled the RPA to create an industry presence unlike any other industry at the show. The RPA Pavilion is an impressive showcase of our members and their products and services, it also meets one of our core value propositions - to promote reusables in the marketplace.
We talked about the need to do more. We can't just be an insurance policy or a trade show pavilion organizer. We must look for new ways to deliver more programming and services, and we must look for ways to generate non-dues income from the work that we do. A good part of the meeting was spent discussing how we might accomplish that goal. We also recognized that if we are to be successful, we must figure out ways to get our end users more involved and vested in the RPA.
The first step identified is to make sure that the Pavilion at PACK EXPO Las Vegas is a major success. In that vein, we are launching a new Learning Center as part of the Pavilion. to help bring practical solutions and experiences to our attendees. The Learning Center will draw more attention to the pavilion and to all the solution providers who exhibit there. It serves to promote the reusable industry and is also one of the strongest membership recruitment tools we have to strengthen the association and add members and end users to the mix. If we have a strong PACK EXPO event, we create even more credibility and presence for our industry association.
The second step is to have a good plan going into 2014 to bring online some new ideas. We need to review our current tools to see if they are still relevant and hopefully identify new information that can be made available to end users to help them to implement a reusable packaging solution in their operations. We need to identify new trade show opportunities where the RPA can build an industry presence in a new market area. We also need to build a strong stand alone conference program designed for end users and members to come together to share ideas and look for new ways to promote the switch to reusable packaging.
And finally, we need to restructure and reenergize our committee structure. Committees and their members are the lifeblood of any member organization. Committees generate new ideas, and they help share the responsibilities for creating new programs and events that drive value for the organization. Committees enable more member company employees to get involved and become engaged in our efforts. They are also a proving ground for new industry leaders. If we don't open the opportunity for fresh blood to become involved in the RPA, the organization will truly suffer. We have two new Chairpersons who are eager to take up this challenge - Lisa Knight, Marketing Director at CAPS, and Samantha Goetz, Marketing Communications Manager at ORBIS Corporation, are two great examples of the kind of people we need to engage in the future.
All-in-all, I think we had a very successful and productive Board meeting. I feel confident that the pieces are in place for us to move forward in the years ahead and add more value and reasons for being a member of this great industry trade group. I look forward to our next Board meeting at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and bringing ideas and plans together for implementation in 2014.
Chairman of the Board
CEO, Otto Environmental Systems North America, Inc.
Lisa Knight was named Chairperson of the RPA Marketing and Communications Committee in January 2013.
|Lisa Knight, Director of Marketing (CAPS).|
Lisa Knight has over 10 years B2B marketing experience, and for the past five years has lead the marketing team at Container And Pooling Solutions (CAPS). Ms. Knight is currently responsible for driving the overall marketing strategy for both the IBC and Automotive business segments, including inbound lead generation, public relations activities and managing the company's brand. Prior to joining CAPS, Ms. Knight worked for the Reply! Inc. Real Estate Division in Metro Detroit.
Ms. Knight has been a member of the RPA's Marketing Committee since 2008 and holds a B.A. Public Relations degree from Central Michigan University. She was named Chairperson for the RPA Marketing and Communications Committee in January.
Recently Lisa was asked about her new role as Chairperson in an interview with RPA's editor. To read her interview click here
|Industry News and Views|
Investors, consumers and other stakeholders want to know whether a company is performing in a globally responsible manner from environmental and social as well as economic perspectives. Fortunately, it's now proven that improving sustainability leads to higher financial performance.
GS1 US introduces new traceability readiness programs
From Food Engineering
GS1 has introduced two new programs to help food companies implement and improve traceability through GS1 standards. The Seafood Traceability Readiness Program and Dairy, Deli, Bakery Traceability Readiness Program will help manufacturers prepare for FSMA and Bioterrorism Act requirements by identifying, capturing and sharing product data along the supply chain, improving business efficiencies and increasing visibility into the supply chain.
New on Reusables.org
Worldwide Foam, Ltd. Opens Two Branches in 2013
Worldwide Foam, Ltd. has opened two branch locations for
manufacturing crosslinked polyethylene foam in Ontario, California and Lithia Springs, Georgia. Both locations have a skiver and are already taking orders with an average two day lead time from all four of the company's locations. (read more here)
ORBIS Corporation Introduces New Beverage Pallet
Corporation, a manufacturer of sustainable reusable packaging and an expert in supply chain optimization, has introduced the all-plastic 1420
mm x 1120
mm Beverage Pallet, a pallet designed for optimum conveyance of a wide variety of plastic and metal containers for the Asian beverage industry. (read more here
RPA Feature Article: Four Steps to Take in 2013 to Meet FSMA
|Jack Sparn, chief innovation officer at Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS)|
Jack Sparn, chief innovation officer at Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS), an RPA member, wrote an article outlining the four areas that anyone involved in the manufacture or distribution of food should focus on this year to meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The article appeared in the April edition of Food Logistics Magazine. The four steps are:
To read the complete article click here
- Document your food safety processes
- Prepare to implement a track-and-trace system
- Consider adoption of reusable containers
- Plan now for electronic data exchange in 2015
Make Your Customer Happy; Tell Them About RPA's Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award
The RPA is accepting submissions for its second annual Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award. This is a great opportunity to share with your end-user customers so that they can gain recognition for their sustainability efforts. Your company also will share the spotlight for the supporting role of your products or services. Companies can indicate on the submission form any information that they want kept confidential. The entries are reviewed and judged by an independent panel, none of whom are members of the RPA.
The winning company will be publicly announced at a press conference at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013. The winner also will be in the spotlight at the RPA Networking Event at PACK EXPO. Lastly, the winner will receive media coverage in the material handling media. All these elements add up to a nice recognition package for your customer and your supporting role in their efforts. Please let your customers know about this opportunity. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 21, 2013. Submission forms are available at the RPA websitehttp://reusables.org/2865/general/rpa-accepting-submissions-for-second-annual-excellence-in-reusable-packaging-award
New Member: Inpack Global Ltd Joins RPA
The RPA welcomes Global Ltd, as its newest member and first Korean member company.
Inpack Global, a professional packaging company headquartered in Korea, has joined the RPA and will exhibit in the Reusable Packaging Pavilion at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013. Their membership broadens our international membership: we already have member companies from Canada, Denmark, and Mexico.
The company's flagship product is the "MSC", the Multi-Stage Case, made of eco-friendly TPS-P recyclable plastic. It is a patented product with numerous features designed to aid in efficient supply chain management. The
reusable "smart" pallet/crate packing system has interchangeable parts, an embedded RFID chip, and is collapsible, lightweight, heavy duty, and stackable (scalable to product), with multi-color variations for product differentiation.
Brian Yoo will serve as the company's Executive Representative. You can reach him at email@example.com
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.