The first step to properly managing your reusable containers must be changing the way you see them. From the outset of your container management initiative, your reusables should be considered long-term corporate assets – not simply as expensed items. As packaging is typically considered an expense item in your budget, we understand this marks an unusual shift in perspective.
Treating reusables as corporate assets requires an increase in visibility throughout the supply chain, which in turn gives managers the data needed to reduce transportation and production problems throughout their enterprise. Depending on the technology you deploy, the data captured can reflect container arrival at and departure from supply chain stops, how long they have been dwelling unused in storage, and where containers that have gone missing were last seen.
With the increased visibility enabling the collection of container movement data, you can answer three key questions for the most efficient container management program:
How many containers are needed?
Increased visibility can collect precise container demand metrics, across all locations in your supply chain, based on historical data and updated requirement notices.
Where are your containers?
The data trail helps you track location changes and current container status, enabled by serialized container identification. Knowing the current and future situation throughout your supply chain helps keep all relevant partners in your supply chain informed, enabling better planning.
How many containers are available?
Information provided by inventory management and demand calculations helps improve the shipment of empty containers to locations with a demand for them, and more precisely cubed trailers can be built knowing what is ready to ship and where it’s going, for greater efficiency in logistics.
Seeing your reusables differently can help you to see them more clearly, more consistently, and more intelligently, enabling you to make smarter decisions that will impact your organization for the better. Visibility increases ability to plan, and good planning results in less downtime, less waste, and more efficiency… saving you time and money.