This is the second part of a three-part series on common models of reusable container replenishment, and their benefits. The first entry can be found here.

Making the right decision up front on the best replenishment model for your reusable container management initiative can both minimize the need for end-user involvement and maximize efficiency, while still taking the challenges of your unique business environment into account. In this entry, we’ll be looking at automated models – models in which orders are placed when a predetermined set of circumstances are true.

DEMAND LIMITS

Creating orders automatically based on a location’s historical demand completely removes the human element from the replenishment process, and uses a location’s historical demand to automatically generate orders for reusable containers pre-emptively, to arrive at the location when needed.

“1:1:1”

“1:1:1” is our name for a method typically reserved for part-specific containers specifically designed to protect a unique part. This replenishment method essentially creates one order for the one container to be sent back to one end user, and order generation is triggered when the reusable container is checked in at the fulfillment center.

Alternatively, there are two variants of this replenishment method: “1:1:Demand,” in which replenishment order generation is triggered on check-in at the fulfillment center, but only if demand for the reusable container exists at the location that shipped the container; and “1:1:Many Demand,” for when a group of end users might be authorized to utilize the same part-specific containers – and the replenishment order is generated on behalf of the end user with the most immediate need among the group of end users.

The automation of replenishment orders not only reduces the chance of human error affecting the quantity or content of the order placement, it also accelerates the process by eliminating the time spent communicating between personnel as reduced stock levels are tracked and reported. Intelligent, automated management steps can reduce the number of reusable assets needed, minimize end user involvement, and increase the velocity of container movements.

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