Mother Nature is the original great innovator. You can see her genius and creativity in the most basic of her creations — eggs, for example. A single egg is a 75-calorie powerhouse of nutrition — 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fats, iron, vitamins and minerals — packed into its own handy little portable container. Humans work hard to come close to that level of simple, perfect innovation.
When we succeed, it’s gratifying to have our innovation recognized. The Tosca team is extremely proud of our most recent acknowledgement, as our egg RPCs have been selected as a finalist for an APICS Innovation Award of Excellence.
With more than 45,000 members, APICS is a leading voice in supply chain management. The professional association for supply chain managers provides research, education and certification programs aimed at nurturing end-to-end supply chain excellence and innovation. When it comes to assessing the value of a supply chain innovation, APICS speaks with singular authority.
The innovation awards, which will be presented in September at APICS 2016 in Washington, D.C., recognize “achievement in developing pioneering strategies and solutions in the changing industry landscape.” Judges evaluate submissions based on innovation, competitiveness, product enhancements and leadership. Some of the past Innovation Award winners include GE Oil & Gas (2014), Cox Communications (2013), and Hewlett-Packard (2012). We’re honored to be in such distinguished company.
In submitting our egg RPCs for consideration, Tosca was able to illustrate how our innovative reusable packaging helps grocery operations develop more effective and efficient supply chains. When used to transport eggs, RPCs improve efficiency and reduce waste at every stage of the supply chain, from producer to distribution center to retail outlet.
For all Mother Nature’s innovation, eggs have some design challenges. They’re fragile, which results in breakage during transportation and handling that causes millions of dollars in losses each year. They also require refrigeration to keep them at safe temperatures and prevent spoilage. Corrugated packaging hasn’t done a very good job of addressing those challenges over the years, but RPCs can.
In our award submission, we highlighted the success of a leading national retailer that turned to RPCs to address the millions of dollars in eggs they were losing to shrink, and the costly labor hours required to manage eggs in their stores. Tosca worked with the retailer to carefully lay out every step of the journey toward a more efficient supply chain, including providing support to process more than 10 million containers annually.
By deploying our RPCs specifically designed for eggs, the retailer was able to slash egg markdowns by half, and reduce labor at the egg farms, distribution centers and retail outlets.
At the farms, RPCs were easier to pack and stack, and were conveyor friendly. They allowed eggs to cool to the required temperature of 45 degrees in just one day, instead of the five or more required to cool them in corrugated boxes. With less damage to the product, distribution centers had less mess to clean up when eggs arrived in their warehouse, and the RPCs’ handles made them easier to pick up and stack for store orders. In the store, the drop wall allowed RPCs to go from a transport package directly on the shelf, saving labor and time, and improving worker safety.
For Tosca, successfully helping customers improve efficiency while reducing shrink and waste is its own reward. Our customers’ successes are testimony to the innovation of our RPCs. Still, it’s gratifying to think the APICS judges will agree.