Member Spotlight: Dave McCulloch, Vice President & Managing Director, Packaging Systems Division, Schaefer Systems International, Inc

Dave McCulloch talks about energy challenges and why he became a member of the RPA board.

RPA Editor: Describe the products that your company offers.

McCulloch: Schaefer is a manufacturer of turnkey returnable packaging solutions. We offer the best packaging solution for the customer’s needs, from hand-held containers to custom steel shipping racks.

RPA Editor: Describe the area of the supply chain where your products play a role.

McCulloch: Our products are typically used between suppliers to manufacturing plants for automotive, appliance, agriculture, aerospace, electrical, industrial and life science products.

RPA Editor: Describe some of the challenges you see that impede companies from implementing reusable packaging.

McCulloch: Corporate support for the initial capital layout is always a challenge, even when the cost is justified on paper. Also, there is continued pressure by the insurance industry against the use of plastics inside of buildings.

RPA Editor: Describe some of the successes you or your customers have had with implementing reusable packaging.

McCulloch: We have helped numerous companies save by using right-sized packaging solutions that protect their products and maximize the shipping cube of the transportation being used. We have furthered this by putting many products into containers that will collapse for return shipments, with results of up to a 4:1 return ratio.

RPA Editor: What are the key changes you see happening in the reusable marketplace in the near future?

McCulloch: We expect to have continued pressure to reduce costs which is difficult in a volatile resin market. Until the United States has a solid energy policy that uses all of our own resources, we will be subject to the harsh price swings related to the price of oil, even though our resin is made from natural gas. Our market will most likely see further consolidation within the next 3~5 years.

RPA Editor: List your current position within the RPA and tell us why you chose to become a member of the RPA leadership team.

McCulloch: I will start my position as a new board member January 1. Schaefer and I were honored to be asked, and we felt it was time for us to take a more active role in the returnable packaging industry in North America.

RPA Editor: What value do you personally hope to gain by being in a leadership role with the RPA?

McCulloch: I am hoping I gain an increased perspective of the industry and its reach. I am also looking forward to networking with industry peers. We also hope there will be benefits to the company as a whole, but those are hard to define since we became a member of the RPA only recently.