Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) do a better job of protecting fragile perishables, reducing costly shrink, and they eliminate packaging waste which is better for the environment. Consumers also prefer to purchase goods packaged and shipped in environmentally friendly packaging, so why isn’t everyone switching to RPCs right away? For some, the obstacle is change itself; when you’re so busy, it can be difficult to imagine taking on one more thing. For others, a lack of familiarity with how reusable supply chains work can be overwhelming.
You’re already doing it
To be fair, using disposable packaging is a pretty straightforward process. Corrugated cardboard goes in one direction through the supply stream. Store associates handle disposal, so as a buyer you don’t have to be involved in what happens to single use packaging once it’s emptied. With RPCs, the containers need to get back to the reusable service provider (Tosca). However, the benefits of RPCs offset this additional step.
Grocery operations already have the infrastructure in place to incorporate RPCs into their reverse logistics. On any given day, you’re already returning any number of things to a distribution center — pallets, damaged product, etc. So RPCs can fit seamlessly into processes that already exist within your supply chain. It is as easy as collapsing them (we’ll train your employees how to do this quickly and easily), putting them on pallets and adding them to the truck already on its way back to the distribution center. The service provider is responsible for recovering their assets from distribution centers or salvage sites.
What’s more, Tosca will help you understand how to make it all happen easily and cost-effectively — right down to providing training and support material for your entire network of stores.
How we help
Anytime you make a major change in your supply chain, you have to cope with concerns over whether the investment will be worth the return. Still, there’s no denying the value RPCs can bring to an operation.
Reusable Plastic Containers significantly reduce damage rates, provide superior protection for product quality and freshness, can reduce lifting-related employee injuries and speed up restocking. What’s more, they deliver economic and ethical benefits by reducing your supply chain’s contribution to the waste stream. After all, better for the environment is also better for business!
That leaves the question of the investment. Any change requires an investment of time to implement, but Tosca truly strives to make our RPCs a turnkey solution. We do the heavy lifting of helping incorporate RPCs into existing supply chains, from working with you to identify exactly what size and how many RPCs you need, to working with suppliers to optimize container packout and training employees on how to use RPCs in store and also prepare the containers for return. We know when it’s easy for your operations, everyone wins.
It’s understandable to feel challenged by something new that seems like a significant change from how you’ve always done things. But RPCs are well worth the exploration to understand the financial impacts and benefits to your organization and your shoppers. Our customers consistently tell us they’re pleasantly surprised by how easily RPCs fit into their supply chains. Contact us today to learn how RPCs can work for your grocery operation.